Episode 101: Lorrie Thomas, Web Marketing Therapy on Chill Pills, Give to Gain and the Four Agreements

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Lorrie Thomas may be the first “social profile manager.” Mark my words, cultural anthropologists, you heard it here, on DishyMix, first! Lorrie runs an agency, with her sidekicks, the “wild web women.” down in Santa Barbara. She teaches UC Berkeley and UCSB Extension classes on web marketing. And she carries around pill bottles with her logo, Web Marketing Therapy filled with tiny little “chill pills.”

If you’re in the need of a chill pill, listen to this episode where Suz and Lorrie talk about the notion of “giving to get” or “giving to gain.” Lorrie regales us with great stories of companies you’d never predict being significantly more successful by giving away their knowledge, information and even products which boost their sales.

Than Lorrie reminds us, poignantly of Don Miguel’s excellent book, The Four Agreements. It brings us back to ground and takes the air out of the self-importance that creeps into our work.

Lorrie has a fantastic schtick with her Web Marketing Therapy angle. You must check out her site as well as this lighthearted but meaningful episode of DishyMix, recorded on location at the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit. And get a bonus - the delightful Mr. Jim Sterne does the show’s introduction.

Transcript

Susan Bratton: Welcome to Dishy Mix. I’m your host Susan Bratton, and today’s show is live at the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit. On today’s show you’re going to get to meet Lorrie Thomas. She’s the marketing therapist at a company called Web Marketing Therapy. And we’re going to focus today primarily on what’s happening in the world of small end media business. So for those of you who are used to us talking about the big, big picture of big, big brands, we’re going to get real tight real fast. But before you get to meet Lorrie I have a special guest for the show, and I want you to say hello to Jim Stern.

Jim Stern: Hello to Jim Stern.

Susan Bratton: Jim is the progenitor of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, he’s one of the co-founders of the Web Analytics Association, he’s a dear friend of mine, and he was on a recent episode of Dishy Mix where we talked all about things like bounce rates and KPI’s. Welcome Jim to Dishy Mix again.

Jim Stern: Thank you very much. It is a thrill to be here as always.

Susan Bratton: I’m glad. Hey, your show looks packed. You’ve got almost, maybe even more than five hundred people sitting around in that room, which…

Jim Stern: We do, yeah.

Susan Bratton: tells me that people really care about Web Analytics, especially probably in a down market…

Jim Stern: It is. It’s how do you get more out of every dollar you’re spending, how do you make sure you’re spending it in the right way, where should you spend more of it, and where should you spend less of it, and that all bubbles up through measuring what’s happening on your website.

Susan Bratton: So you, I just sat with you through what I really enjoyed, which was this kind of two minute presentation by a number of your sponsors, and I like that because sometimes walking the show floor is a little overwhelming. I liked that they had to give a really concise pitch, based on what you’re seeing in the market place, what people are talking about here at the show…

Jim Stern: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: what the vendors are purveying…

Jim Stern: Yup.

Susan Bratton: What are some of the big changes in Web Analytics? What’s coming up, coming to the floor that we should be thinking about?

Jim Stern: I’m, well so as we just come from the vendor pitch session, I see two things there. One is we’ve got big vendors doing big things, doing integrated marketing. We’ve got lots of little vendors coming up out of nowhere with really interesting, the guy talking about the database, database of email messages. So, how are people messaging? How are people sending? How often does it go out? How many links do they put in? So lets measure what’s happening in the email world, in the newsletter world. We’ve got people who are measuring our integrating attitudinal information with the behavioral information. We have people who are tracking, well podcasts, as you know. We’ve got people who are tracking just about everything you can imagine and figuring out how to use it to actually measure their marketing, not just their website. So this is the integration that I’ve been waiting for a long time. This is why it’s the Marketing Optimization Summit and no longer just Web Analytics.

Susan Bratton: That makes total sense to me. Yeah, it seems like some of the vendors had very unique, I would almost say feature-based capabilities.

Jim Stern: Yup.

Susan Bratton: One of the guys was talking specifically about Abandons…

Jim Stern: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Another one that was interesting was the one… What was, he offered to go through you whole, like comb you website and look through all your broken links…

Jim Stern: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: and find out where your meta tags went wrong and things like that.

Jim Stern: And that your javascript’s actually running correctly.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Jim Stern: So they are monitoring, they walk through your whole website page by page. Not just, you know, used to be just looking for broken links. Now it’s looking for broken tags, broken javascript, where things aren’t lining up properly, where pages don’t get tagged. That’s a company called Observe Point, founded by the guy who founded Omniture, so these are people who know what they’re doing.

Susan Bratton: Not only was he giving away hundred dollar bills…

Jim Stern: He was.

Susan Bratton: In his two minutes he managed to give a couple hundred bucks away, but he’s also offering a free combing of your site for people who attend. I’m going to check it out…

Jim Stern: Yes.

Susan Bratton: I’m going to get combed.

Jim Stern: Go get combed.

Susan Bratton: I’m going to get it. Well I know you have to get back to you big event. Thanks for coming on Dishy Mix just to say hi. You want to give a shout-out to anybody or anything to the Dishy Mix listeners?

Jim Stern: Well, hi mom. But actually more important, I want to introduce Lorrie Thomas because that’s why we’re here.

Susan Bratton: Perfect.

Jim Stern: Lorrie emailed me and said, “Hey, would you come and give a lecture at my, the course I’m doing at the University of California Extension?” And I, of course, flattered, you know, drop a hat and give me a microphone and I’m a happy camper. But I was really intrigued because this is another case of somebody who understands the philosophy the way I do about customer centricity and about what the web can be, but wraps it up in the form of marketing therapy, which I just found really enchanting, as I found Lorrie.

Susan Bratton: Well welcome Lorrie Thomas to Dishy Mix, and Jim Stern thank you so much for being here and kicking it off for us today.

Jim Stern: Thank you for helping me kick.

Susan Bratton: Alright, I’m going to transfer the microphone to Lorrie. So welcome Lorrie Thomas. How are you?

Lorrie Thomas: Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here, and I’m getting all she-geeky at the e-Metrics conference.

Susan Bratton: She-geeky?

Lorrie Thomas: Oh yeah.

Susan Bratton: Uh huh. What does that mean?

Lorrie Thomas: My team is a bunch of wild web women and we’re nerds, but we know marketing, so we embrace our she-geekiness. I don’t know how else to say it.

Susan Bratton: I like it. Well so let me tell you a little bit about Lorrie Thomas. Lorrie runs a company called Web Marketing Therapy. She’s also considered a motivational marketing expert. She really focuses on teaching people how to think strategically about web marketing related subjects. She does a lot of teaching. She teaches a lot of different things about web marketing, including web marketing applications, social media marketing, search engine marketing apps, all kinds of classes at the UCSB Extension and UC Berkley Extension, so not only is she helping her clients, but she’s also reaching out into her community to move people in to our industry. She also came from the whole web marketing world. She was web marketing director at Pro Health, which was interestingly a patient owned company dedicated to research and funding for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, two things that I think, you know, a lot of people aren’t sure what those are and to have patient information as a part of it and to use the web for crowd sourcing information seems like a really good area for that. She was also internet marketing manager at Affinity Group, something near and dear to my heart Lorrie. You don’t know this, but I have an RV.

Lorrie Thomas: Really?

Susan Bratton: Yes. And so you manage search engine marketing programs for rv.net, the Good Sam Club, Trailer Life Enterprises, and you are talking my language girl, ‘cause I loves me my RV. I just told Tim, so we keep our RV parked at the front of our house, which you’d normally be like, “Okay, that’s so massively tacky”, but our house is gated so no one can see. So we can be like rednecks behind a gated entrance…

Lorrie Thomas: I love it.

Susan Bratton: It’s the perfect combination.

Lorrie Thomas: I love it. Love, love, love it.

Susan Bratton: And I just said to Tim, “Babe, here’s one of the things I want to put on our long-term plan…” We had this, on Sunday we sat down for about four or five hours and we just worked on the next generation of our business strategy for Personal Life Media, and we wrote down what our strategy is for ourselves, for our life, for our daughter, what do we want in the future, and one of the things that I want is some vineyard acreage. My long-term vision is to put a house, build a house or kind of make it look like an old barn that I’ve turned into a house, that’s my dream, in the vineyards, and I love the Calistoga area, although any place with vineyards makes me happy. And I said, “I have this brilliant idea. We can’t afford to go build this big vineyard house right now. It’s, you know, not in the cards for us now, we’re plowing our cash into building our business, but maybe we could just buy some vineyards and put our RV on it.”

Lorrie Thomas: Now you’re talking. Now you’re talking. As long as you have wireless in that RV, you’re good to go.

Susan Bratton: Exactly. So when I read that you knew about the RV world, I was like, “I already like her.” Oh and here everybody, listen to this. Okay, I’m shake this. This what you just heard is my bottle of pills from Lorrie. It’s Web Marketing Therapy. It’s Marketing Rx, they’re Chill Pills. Now are they really M&M’s or are they really chill pills?

Lorrie Thomas: They’re real chill pills. They’re chocolate, and as far as I’m concerned that’s the best cure that anyone can have. And yeah, we suffer from marketing overwhelm, so it helps.

Susan Bratton: Now before you went to Affinity Group you were one of the, on the founding team of Value Click.

Lorrie Thomas: Yes.

Susan Bratton: So that’s where you got your web marketing start, back in the early 2000’s, right?

Lorrie Thomas: 1999…

Susan Bratton: 1999.

Lorrie Thomas: We partied like it was 1999, and it was, it was. And yes, I sold clicks. I gave it all up to go sell clicks. My family was devastated.

Susan Bratton: What did you do before that?

Lorrie Thomas: I was in retail management at Sachs Fifth Avenue. I was a personal shopper, and I went back and forth to New York, and that was my world.

Susan Bratton: Any regrets moving out of the world of fashion and beauty and into the world of clicks?

Lorrie Thomas: Absolutely not because now I have clients in the fashion space, and now I have my cake and I eat it too.

Susan Bratton: I like that. Oh, that’s good.

Lorrie Thomas: Yes.

Susan Bratton: So, you’re a marketing educator, you’re a writer, you’re a strategist, you’re a web marketing expert, you’re a speaker, you’re doing a lot, you’re running this agency. Tell me about the things that you’re doing right now for some of your clients. Where are you spending most of your time as a… You primarily service the Santa Barbara area? Are you…

Lorrie Thomas: We’re nationwide…

Susan Bratton: You are nationwide, okay.

Lorrie Thomas: We have some clients we’ve never met live and that’s the beauty of all this web work…

Susan Bratton: Oh, that’s great.

Lorrie Thomas: We definitely have a concentration in Santa Barbara, but we also have a concentration in Los Angeles, and a lot of it’s word of mouth, they’re nowadays word of mouth marketing, but the emphasis and where we find a lot of our time and energy and expertise is going is helping organizations build their authentic brands via social media, either teaching them or supporting them in writing content, that really communicates who they are, what they do, who they serve, and in some cases we’re helping people become weblebrities where they are really using the web to boost their own personal brands or business, and in this day and age, I don’t know if you heard but we’re in a recession, and right now the trust factor is really the missing link for success and the web can be an amazing tool to build that because guess where people are going when they’re searching and they’re comparison shopping, the web, so, so it’s a lot of the content. And content not just in text anymore, but video, social media, podcasts.

Susan Bratton: Somebody, who the heck was it? I just interviewed them. Gosh! I do an interview every week and so sometimes it munges together. Somebody was saying, it’ll come to me who it was, that they think that the…. Oh, I think it was Kelly Mooney from Resource Interactive. She runs the agency, they have VS Pink and some really good brands, she just wrote The Open Brand book. She said she thinks that in the very near future there will be a job occupation that is the social profile manager. It kind of sounds like if you’re helping weblebrities increase their weblebrityliciousness, that you might just be the very first social profile manager in the universe. What do you think?

Lorrie Thomas: I love it. I think it’s a very descriptive job title and very appropriate, and absolutely, it’s so critical.

Susan Bratton: So I want to be a web celebrity. What should I do?

Lorrie Thomas: You are a weblebrity.

Susan Bratton: I want to be bigger. Big, really big. What do I have to do?

Lorrie Thomas: Build a community, and really just be your authentic self and get out there and have an opinion and break the rules and just connect and do that through podcasting, social media, blogging. And I always like to say, start small and snowball. It’s not going to happen overnight, but if you do a quality job over and over again it’s like compounding interest. You do the same amount of effort, energy, and before you know it you’ve got this massive web arsenal that’s there working for you. We do call it the World Wide Web for a reason. Just got to use it.

Susan Bratton: Now Lorrie you are so funny. You have like a little turn, a phrase for everything. Did you grow up in Oklahoma, ‘cause I, you just seem like this down home girl whose got a phrase for every darn thing, “Well that’s what the cat dragged in and da, di, da, di, da”, chill pills and all this stuff. Where’s all this coming from? Where’s this like funny little Americana wisdom thing?

Lorrie Thomas: Oh my gosh, I am a Southern California kid, maybe Valley Girls…

Susan Bratton: California? No, I don’t think so.

Lorrie Thomas: is the only excuse I have. I’ve had students in my courses at UCSB and Berkley, and these are PhD’s just getting their marketing geek on, that have said, “I don’t know how you have a Master’s degree because you just make up words. Like, I don’t know how you got through school.”

Susan Bratton: Isn’t that what marketing is? We just, I just turned to Jim Stern in the last session… Somebody said, oh gosh, it was a cute word. I think my brain is going today. I gave up drinking, maybe that’s the problem.

Lorrie Thomas: There we go.

Susan Bratton: Only for ninety days, so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Lorrie Thomas: You know what I think it is? Being an educator… So, oh my gosh, so funny, but, you know, being an educator you have to be a professional explainer….

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Lorrie Thomas: and I’m always trying to find easy digestible ways for things to stick.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Lorrie Thomas: That is my job, I’m a service professional…

Susan Bratton: Sure.

Lorrie Thomas: And as an educator it’s my job to serve, so I think that’s where all the wild web women isms come from…

Susan Bratton: Uh huh.

Lorrie Thomas: See, I just made one right there.

Susan Bratton: And the snigglets. I love a snigglet. That’s what I was telling Jim, somebody in there made a snigglet and I was like, “Huh, that’s a good snigglet.” He’s like, “Yeah, that’s a keeper.”

Lorrie Thomas: Yeah, as we’re all writing them down.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, everybody loves that. So lets go back to this web celebrity because a lot of Dishy Mix listeners are web celebrities or they’re running small businesses and they’re trying to make a name for their business online. You went through a very quick laundry list of, “You need to do a blog and a podcast and social media and blah, blah, blah”, you know, all that stuff. How do you figure out the strategy for any given person or company and help them prioritize what they should do first and where they should spend their time, and then once they’ve built up an audience what the hell do they do with it? I know that was a lot of questions, but you can handle it.

Lorrie Thomas: I love it. Absolutely, I can still handle it. We always say strategy first, execution second, and what Web Marketing Therapy’s team does is when we’re facilitating the process with a partner we look at unique abilities of the organization, of the business owner, whether it’s an intern that can write really well or a business owner that has no issues getting up and speaking in public or getting on the phone with the media, we look at the unique abilities and the unique assets within each organization, and once we have an understanding of what those assets and unique abilities are then we start to help make recommendations. Case in point; blogging is fantastic, but if you can’t write or hate to write or you catastrophize the process, please don’t blog. You know, I mean, I want to start an abandoned blog shelter. Blows my mind how many people go to a conference, they hear that they should blog, and they go and they launch something and then they don’t know what to do with it because they didn’t think before they hit the execution phase. So really putting to work tools that will support the traits of an organization or the solo entrepreneur.

Susan Bratton: You know it’s funny, I always, I’ve always known since the very first podcast interview that I ever did where I picked up the phone, I was doing it over the phone instead of in person, which is my favorite…

Lorrie Thomas: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: Being here with you today, it’s always better. I picked up the phone, I did the interview, I hung up the phone and I said, “Uh, that was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. That’s like rolling off a log.” I was so in my flow…

Lorrie Thomas: Yup.

Susan Bratton: the minute, the first minute I ever did that, and I’ve always enjoyed blogging, but now that Twitter’s here, I look at my blog and I go, “Ugh, that’s so much effort. I can certainly be pithy.” I love the combination of…

Lorrie Thomas: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Twittering and podcasting because in podcasting I like to go deep…

Lorrie Thomas: Right.

Susan Bratton: as deep as I get in thirty minutes. In Twittering I love to be pithy, and now I’m kind of, my blog is my bastard child all of a sudden.

Lorrie Thomas: Well now your blog can be a place to house your podcasts…

Susan Bratton: Yes.

Lorrie Thomas: and for some of the Twitter posts that get the most reaction, that might be your catalyst, that might be your analytics takeaway of what you can use that for, and again, blogs can be anything. I mean, we have days where we don’t blog or we maybe just put a picture up and that’s it. Also team blogging is something I recommend…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Lorrie Thomas: Having multiple people. I have days I’m here at the eMetrics conference for several days. The likelihood of my ability to post something in the next couple days is nil…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Lorrie Thomas: So I know that the wild web women at Web Marketing Therapy are all doing what they need to do, and it’s a truly seamless fun collaboration.

Susan Bratton: I think it’s a good thing, and I notice there are a lot of Twitter tools now that are also collaborative Twitter tools that are coming to the fore, Enterprise Level, Twitter solutions and things like that…

Lorrie Thomas: Yup.

Susan Bratton: I like Tweet Later Pro. That’s my latest love. It’s a service that allows you to plan your Twitters and schedule them in advance. So there are a number of things that I know I’m going to be doing, and there are a number of things that I know I want to say more than one time over time, and I really like the idea of, just like I used to sit down on a Sunday and write four or five blogs, I’d get in the zone, I’d write four or five blog posts and then I’d schedule them out over time, I can actually do that now with Tweet Later Pro, which I love.

Lorrie Thomas: Absolutely, and everyone loves Twitter because it’s easy and fun. I’ll say that again, easy and fun, because everyone goes, “Why is this stuff so popular? Why does it working and why is everyone on it?” Because we can all play on it, and there’s no intimidation factor, so that’s where people are going, so use what works.

Susan Bratton: Exactly. Now think about one of you clients. Or it doesn’t even need to be one of your clients; think about somebody who’s set-up, who’s social media set-up is one that you respect and admire, someone who’s doing a certain combination of things that you see are paying off for them. What are they and why are they paying off?

Lorrie Thomas: I have a fantastic example…

Susan Bratton: Great!

Lorrie Thomas: and it’s so out of the box…

Susan Bratton: Good.

Lorrie Thomas: So the, I love when I speak at conferences pulling up on the slides the nation’s leading tax negotiation and mediation company. When the IRS is breathing down your back, a company called Tax Resolution Services is the only company to call. And Michael Rozbruch has a blog…

Susan Bratton: I hope I don’t have to.

Lorrie Thomas: I hope you don’t have to either.

Susan Bratton: That’s a call you don’t want to have to make.

Lorrie Thomas: Absolutely, absolutely, but if you ever do you know who to have on your side. They are probably, you know, what you wouldn’t expect as an organization that would use social media. They have a Tax Resolution University blog chock full of information that is so educational, helpful. So for the people that are really in that pinpoint time in their lives where they’re scouring the World Wide Web at three in the morning they stumble upon the Tax Resolution blog, they get tips, they get information, it becomes a great education, where’s the team kind of a tool. They’re also on Twitter and they’re also on Face Book and they’re also on linkedin.com. So Michael Rozbruch is the founder and CEO, and Brian Compton is the president and they both have profiles, and those guys use social media just to be educators, and they’re my favorite example right now.

Susan Bratton: Well if you’re going to have tax problems at least we know who to call now. Thank you for that. I hope we don’t have to…

Lorrie Thomas: No problem.

Susan Bratton: We are going to take a break, and when we come back we’ve got lots more to talk about with regards to small business and social media and the opportunities there. We’re with Lorrie Thomas. She’s Web Marketing Therapy, she’s the web therapist, and I might take one of my little chill pills right after the show, so stay tuned. We want to thank the sponsors of Dishy Mix because I really appreciate them, and I hope you do to and you’ll listen to the messages, and when we come back we’ll talk to Lorrie some more. Stay tuned.

Susan Bratton: We’re back with Lorrie Thomas of Web Marketing Therapy. I’m your host Susan Bratton. Before the back we were talking a little bit about leveraging social media marketing. And Lorrie one of the things that you say is that you have to give to gain. “You have to give to gain.”

Lorrie Thomas: I can’t help it with all the, all the therapy isms. But yes you do have to give to gain.

Susan Bratton: Okay, tell us about it.

Lorrie Thomas: So, I hear a lot of consultants, and I like to call them insutlants, that are like, “Oh my expertise, there’s a monetary value to that.” Well, you know what, get over yourself. As a marketing therapist I’d like to tell people to check their egos at the door. We need to give folks a sample of what we have to offer before they know they can trust us. And so giving to gain doesn’t, you know… I mean my organization donates one percent to the planet, that’s one way of giving. But we also give away our expertise on our blog, on our podcasts, and there’s a lot of organizations that use social media and websites. And free one hundred and one checklists to using online PR to boost your business, that is valuable, billable time, but they package it in a way where they say, “You know what, we trust enough that you’re going to like what we have to offer, that you’re going to get a better feel for us”, and then they’re going to pre-qualify the right people. So yes, giving your expertise, giving products, putting something… You got to put something on the table.

Susan Bratton: Give us a couple examples of things that you’ve seen out there that you thought were smart ideas or things that you might know are paying off when people give to get.

Lorrie Thomas: One example is Anne Levine. She is a law school admissions expert, the best law school expert, just came out with a book with a  book, The Law School Admission Game, and she gives away tons of advice on her blog. It’s thelawschoolexpert.com and just go to her blog. And, I mean anything you need to know; LSAT scores, what you need to do for law school, and it’s enough that it’s valuable for people looking for information, but it also, the one’s that need that next step they know she’s the right person because she gave it away, she gave it away on the blog, and it’s brilliant.

Susan Bratton: It’s interesting, information product marketers have been learning about that lately because I just launched my own product. It’s a system that teaches people how to interview. Interviewing is my passion, I love doing it, and there are more and more people now who are interviewing for their blogs and writing stories, they’re interviewing for podcasts because everybody’s podcasting, they’re interviewing for their information products, they’re interviewing for their television show, their radio show, there’s still zillions of people that are radio talk show hosts out there. And when I went to look for advice about how you interview, how you book the big guests, you know, all those things, there was nothing out there that I could find that really gave great advice, and I decided to write it. And one of the things that I’ve been doing is learning about how sell an information product on the web, how to sell direct to your customer your product. And one of the things that I’ve learned is that you always give away your best stuff first. You lead with your best foot forward, you give away your golden information. Because really what people want is not just that one really insightful thing, but they want the whole system, the whole plan, your worksheets, your checklists. You know, they’re going to buy your, if they’re interested and you’ve impressed them with that one golden thing, then they are going to become a customer of yours anyway, so it’s the same kind of a thing where I like to, I give away my fifteen easy question generating ideas, you know. Why not give it all away?

Lorrie Thomas: Absolutely, and it’s, the mentality, the paradigm is that you hold it until someone buys it…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Lorrie Thomas: But really the folks that are going to grab onto it and connect with it and do something with it that are going to take that and the one’s that want the next level, they are your, they are your desired customers, clients, prospects, leads. And so it’s just changing and getting to retrain your brain to give away what you have. And another example is Specialty Color Services. They are a photo lab in Santa Barbara, California, the least likely kind of web marketers out there where they have a storefront and they, you know, do their photo products, and they created a Face Book group and they did a whole campaign called Photo Your Love, and it just tugged on the heartstrings and the passionate photographers, they made it easy, you could share your mobile uploads, anything that really embodied love, and what they started doing was giving away T-shirts, giving away photo albums, giving away the metallic prints, and the more they gave away the more they sold because people got it, they tested it. What do they say in info product marketing? To do the pink spoon. It’s like the Baskin Robins little pink sample spoon…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Lorrie Thomas: where you try the little…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Lorrie Thomas: sample of ice cream and you’re like, “I love it. I want more”…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Lorrie Thomas: They employed the pink spirit.

Susan Bratton: It is ice cream after all.

Lorrie Thomas: It is ice cream.

Susan Bratton: And who doesn’t love ice cream.

Lorrie Thomas: Hey, and there’s web marketing ice cream, too. And whatever you got to do, give it away and it goes back to giving to gain. It just works.

Susan Bratton: The world has changed, now that, you know, even in things like Twitter and Face Book, to be relevant you really have to be philanthropic…

Lorrie Thomas: Yes.

Susan Bratton: And give away a lot of good content, re-Tweet, point to content…

Lorrie Thomas: Yup.

Susan Bratton: give out links that are beneficial, that have nothing to do with you and your product and what you’re trying to sell…

Lorrie Thomas: Yes.

Susan Bratton: but instead are things that just make the life better for everyone else so that people realize that you’re a really good person.

Lorrie Thomas: Absolutely, and this all goes back to quality and value. All I want to see is what’s in it for me. If you can think that that is where your prospective customers and current customers are at, give them something of value and get over yourself. Is someone else has something better to offer, share that link, and guess what, the person that you just endorsed…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Lorrie Thomas: they’re going to come back to you and you’re going to create a new partnership, and that’s where you win.

Susan Bratton: So what are these kids like? I’m totally changing subjects. What are the kids like in school now that you’re teaching in college?

Lorrie Thomas: Oh well…

Susan Bratton: Are they so web savvy or, what strikes you about them?

Lorrie Thomas: I am so blessed that I teach high school students through Santa Barbara City College, it’s a dual enrollment class, and through UCSB Extension and Berkley Extension I teach adults, and through the adult program I also have a lot of international exchange students, so I’m talking, I have students from 15 to 65, and actually I’ve had, I had one student at once who was 82 years old. So, I’m a nerd, so I love to watch patterns and get to know people, and it is fascinating how the web just has no barriers. There’s, there’s no, there’s no elitism with the web, and so yeah, you have the teams that are on MySpace and Face Book, but nowadays it’s, you know, the boomers are the ones that are really taking over Face Book. And so a lot of the folks that are really embracing the web, it doesn’t matter if you’re techy or not as long as you can think strategically and think marketing and really connect. Actually some of the folks that are more customer centric and more relationship builders, they’re the ones that are taking the technology to the next level, versus the ones that are geeks that just don’t get the relationship component, so I’m finding the folks that can really connect can learn the tech stuff. It’s not rocket science. So it’s very interesting.

Susan Bratton: It’s funny, I don’t know who said this, and it might’ve been a comment that someone made on a blog or something, but they said, “The engineers have developed Face Book and now we’re going to turn it into something that’s actually social.” And I though, “Oh, I wonder what that would be like”, ‘cause it seems pretty social to me. You know, I haven’t had that deep level of thought about what Face Book could be if social people rather than engineers had created it…

Lorrie Thomas: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: Do you have any insight into that?

Lorrie Thomas: It goes back to the whole kind of the theme of being here at the eMetrics and doing this live, it goes back to just learning and understanding what’s going on, using your webs statistic, watching patterns, watching what the folks on Face Book are doing with the technology, and then leveraging that, building, rebuilding, optimizing. They say you create, you execute, you monitor, and then you rinse, repeat and you start all over again. So yeah, the engineers have created it, but it’s, all this stuff is in our hands so we are the ones that are going to drive it.

Susan Bratton: So you talked about the four key elements to a good marketing strategy. You also have something else that’s a four that you like, and that is a book by, it’s Don Miguel Ruiz, it’s called The Four Agreements, that’s your favorite book. I’ve read that, but they didn’t stick in my mind. Will you give us a refresh on what the four agreements are?

Lorrie Thomas: Absolutely. It’s a book that I keep and reread at least once a year, and The Four Agreements, the fist one is to be impeccable with your word. Never talk bad, or negatively against someone else, be mindful of what you write, what you say. The next agreement is to never make assumptions, and that is one that is difficult to do sometimes, but to never assume what the other party is thinking. The next agreement is to not take anything personally, and that is a personal and professional tip. You know, sometimes you get a “We have to cancel our service agreement with you.” Well it’s not personal, it’s business, and that will really help you survive and thrive. And the last agreement is always do your best. And they’re simple and they apply and they’ll never go out of style. They’re just, I’ve always operated with them, and so far so good.

Susan Bratton: So last question for you. I asked you about something that’s changed your life and you told me it was a trip to England that was humbling and amazing. Tell us that story as the last thing we talk about…

Lorrie Thomas: Oh wow!

Susan Bratton: Give us a little inspiration.

Lorrie Thomas: This is, this is the warm fuzzy part of the interview. I went to England last year, and I was originally going there to do a collaboration with Dr. Ralph Elliot of Clemson University and we were going to do a co-presentation and a seminar, and the event was cancelled and it was cancelled very last minute, and I’ve known Dr. Elliot for years and he said, “You know what, even though the event’s canceled keep the ticket. Thanks for being a great partner to me over the years”, and at the time it was, I had recently lost my father. I was, I had just finished all the paperwork for my divorce and I was in the final throes of grad school and Web Marketing Therapy was just starting to take flight and the agency was growing and I was in the prime of my life literally and figuratively. I was 31 years old, and I got on this plane and I took the first vacation I ever had taken before by myself. And it was the most amazing thing. My sister had a friend who was finishing up a job at a law firm in England and I was able to stay with him and some other girlfriends of his that were crashing there, and it was just like Lorrie and strangers the whole trip. It was, it was just so clarifying and beautiful and the people I met, and I really learned that I’m really okay being with me. I met someone on that trip; I met me. That was the best part.

Susan Bratton: Oh, that’s a terrific story. I also like to travel alone. I love to travel with my friends and my husband and my family, but traveling alone really does open you up. It’s like a heightened, it heightens your sensation because you’re not focused so closely, you’re focused, you’re focus is actually more open, and you pick up so much that you would’ve otherwise missed, and also of course you meet random people who are fun and interesting and…

Lorrie Thomas: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It was a remarkable experience, and I have friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life.

Susan Bratton: That’s great. Well, what I’d like everybody who’s listening to do is to encourage you to speak to one person that you don’t know today. Just go up to somebody and say hi and start talking to them. You know, for me I wade into a room full of strangers and I scan the room for the most interesting person that, I literally scan the room and I say, “Who in this room looks like they’d be the most interesting person with whom to have a conversation?” And I sally up to them and I introduce myself, and I have no problem doing that. Now that took me years of work to get to the point where I was, you know, confident enough and kind of in my body enough to even stand there and scan the room instead of just walking into the room and, you know, kind of glomming onto the first safe looking person I could find, now I feel like I have that confidence to direct my attention to someone who might actually be very interesting, and it’s a process. It’s definitely a process, and a great way to do that is to just go talk to one person that you’ve never talked to. What do you say we go do that?

Lorrie Thomas: Lets do that right now.

Susan Bratton: Well I hope you’ve had a good time talking to, meeting Lorrie Thomas today. I’ve had a good time talking to here. You’ll check out her website, Web Marketing Therapy. Maybe she’ll send you some chill pills if you’d like some. As a matter of fact, how about if I do this? How about if I offer a couple of bottles of chill pills to anybody who’d like them on the Dishy Mix Fan Club?

Lorrie Thomas: Absolutely.

Susan Bratton: You’d be happy to send some chill pill out to some Dishy Mix fans?

Lorrie Thomas: I’d be more than happy to, and actually Susan I’m going to give you our Web Marketing Therapy thinking cap…

Susan Bratton: Oh a thinking cap…

Lorrie Thomas: Yes.

Susan Bratton: I love that.

Lorrie Thomas: Yes.

Susan Bratton: That’s a great logo. You’ve done a fantastic job with all of the branding on your site.

Lorrie Thomas: Thank you.

Susan Bratton: I really encourage Dishy Mix listeners to go to your webmarketingtherapy.com site and look at everything that you’ve put together. It’s all very well thought through. It’s very defined and very, oh what’s a good word for it? You just carry everything forward…it’s consistent. You have a very consistent way of doing branding, and I know you’re a small business, and yet you have this consistency that makes you, you know, it generates a lot of confidence in who you are as an organization because it is so consistent and well done.

Lorrie Thomas: Thank you. It was a pleasure putting it all together, and the way we looked at it as an educational resource, we have to practice what we preach, so…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Lorrie Thomas: we put our blood, sweat and tears into it, but was it worth it? Absolutely.

Susan Bratton: Definitely, and I will wear my cap proudly. Alright. Well Lorrie, thank you so much for being on Dishy Mix. Have a great day.

Lorrie Thomas: Thank you.

Susan Bratton: Alright. Everyone, please have a wonderful day, and I will connect with you next week. Take care. I’m your host Susan Bratton. Bye-bye.