Don't Be Cute Ep 255

Summary Notes


In a candid discussion, the host emphasizes the importance of sticking to the basics in business, as illustrated by a seasoned CEO's advice: "Don't be cute." He argues that entrepreneurs often complicate their strategies when simplicity and consistency yield better results. Using examples from conversations with successful entrepreneurs and his own marketing team, he demonstrates that refining and repeating proven methods trumps innovation for those not yet outperforming their mentors. The host also touches on the significance of optimizing the most impactful elements of a sales funnel, like the headline, to drastically improve conversion rates. Ultimately, he advocates for replication of successful actions and adherence to established systems until one has the expertise to innovate effectively.

Summary Notes

The Importance of Reminders in Learning

  • Speaker A believes that people often need reminders about what they already know rather than new teachings.
  • Reminders can be crucial in applying known strategies or principles effectively.

A lot of times I feel like we need to be reminded more than we need to be taught. And this is one of those instances.

The quote emphasizes the value of recalling and reinforcing existing knowledge over acquiring new information in certain situations.

The Game of Business

  • Speaker B introduces the podcast's focus on customer acquisition, maximization of earnings per customer, and customer retention.
  • The podcast aims to share failures and lessons learned in the journey of business.

Welcome to the game where we talk about how to get more customers, how to make more per customer, and how to keep them longer, and the many failures and lessons we have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy and subscribe.

This quote outlines the podcast's central themes and invites listeners to engage with the content and subscribe for more insights.

The Principle of "Don't Be Cute"

  • Speaker A discusses a principle often repeated in their community: "Don't be cute."
  • The phrase was originally heard from a serial CEO who specializes in growing companies for private equity firms.

What I want to talk to you about today is a saying that we said over and over and over again in our community and some real world applications to it. And that saying is, don't be cute.

This quote introduces the key principle that will be explored in the discussion, which is to avoid overcomplicating things unnecessarily.

Real-World Application of "Don't Be Cute"

  • Speaker A recalls the CEO's analogy of backyard football to explain the concept of "Don't be cute."
  • The CEO advises to focus on simple, effective strategies rather than complex, risky ones for consistent results.

And he was like, hey, don't be cute. He has this Long island accent. And I was like, I don't really know what that means. He's like, all right, so you know when you play in backyard football... And so that story has always stuck with me because it's so true in business...

Speaker A narrates the CEO's story that illustrates the principle of "Don't be cute" through a relatable example, highlighting its relevance to business.

Fundamentals Over Fancy Tactics in Business

  • Speaker A believes that success in business often comes from sticking to fundamentals rather than getting fancy.
  • Entrepreneurs, especially new ones, tend to neglect repeating successful actions.

But I feel like so many of the entrepreneurs that I talk to and the ones that we work with, a lot of times, myself included, we try and be cute and we try and get fancy when it's usually the fundamentals that breed success.

The quote reflects Speaker A's observation that entrepreneurs frequently overlook the effectiveness of basic, proven strategies in pursuit of novel, complicated ones.

The Pitfalls of Not Repeating Successful Actions

  • Speaker A identifies two types of successful actions: personal successes and advised successes.
  • A common mistake is not repeating what has already proven to work, whether discovered independently or advised by others.

And one of the biggest telltale signs I think of somebody who's newer is that they do not repeat successful actions.

Speaker A points out a critical error often made by less experienced entrepreneurs: failing to replicate actions that have previously yielded positive results.

Importance of Following Established Systems

  • Emphasizes the value of adhering to proven systems when starting out in a new venture, such as real estate flipping.
  • Highlights the experiences of entrepreneurs who found success upon reverting to the original methods taught to them.
  • Suggests that successful systems are designed based on overcoming common obstacles and achieving specific goals.
  • Stresses the importance of resisting the urge to make premature changes to a working system.

"Until you make more than the guy who taught you that system, you do the system exactly the way that it was outlined."

This quote advises beginners to follow an established system strictly until they surpass the success of the person who created it, emphasizing the importance of learning from those who are more experienced.

"We've been trying a lot of stuff. And finally we decided to just do it the way that you had outlined it. And we're actually seeing a lot better results."

The quote reflects the realization by entrepreneurs that following the advised methods led to improved outcomes, underscoring the effectiveness of sticking to the prescribed strategy.

The Role of Experimentation and Optimization in Business

  • Discusses the ongoing process of optimizing a marketing conversion funnel.
  • Reveals the extensive experimentation with various elements of the conversion process, including headlines, buttons, page flow, and messaging.
  • Indicates that the likelihood of further improvements by changing a heavily tested system is low.
  • Implies that the process of optimization is complex and based on cumulative iterations.

"We've already tested over 100 different pieces of this conversion process."

This quote demonstrates the depth and breadth of testing involved in optimizing a conversion process, highlighting the meticulous approach to refining a business system.

"What do you think the chances are that if they change something, it's going to be better? Probably low, right?"

The quote suggests that after extensive testing and optimization, the probability of new changes leading to better results is low, emphasizing the reliability of the optimized system.

Entrepreneurial Mindset and Ego

  • Addresses the common entrepreneurial trait of wanting to be unique or smarter than others.
  • Encourages entrepreneurs to replicate success before attempting to innovate or personalize systems.
  • Reminds entrepreneurs to focus on executing the 'boring work' and to avoid getting 'cute' with their approach.

"My rule of thumb for me is, until I'm doing as well or better than the person who taught me this thing, do not change it."

This quote sets a personal guideline for the speaker on when it is appropriate to modify a learned system, stressing the importance of achieving a certain level of success before making changes.

"Replicate before you get fancy, right?"

The quote succinctly advises to master the replication of a successful system before trying to enhance or modify it, suggesting that foundational work precedes innovation.

Importance of Repetition in Entrepreneurship

  • Repetition of successful actions is crucial for entrepreneurial success.
  • Optimizing the conversion process is a primary focus until it reaches a point of satisfactory efficiency.
  • Once optimization is achieved, the focus shifts to driving traffic to the top of the conversion funnel.
  • Consistency in successful actions is key to scaling and growing a business.

"And it's repeating successful actions."

This quote emphasizes the significance of identifying and consistently implementing actions that have been proven to lead to success in entrepreneurship.

"But once I feel like the numbers are optimized, I probably won't tweak that very much, because now it's a successful action and I want to repeat it as many times I possibly can."

The speaker is highlighting the moment when they will stop making changes to the conversion process. Once it is optimized, they plan to maintain it as is and focus on scaling the successful strategy.

The Role of Audience Support in Content Creation

  • The speaker does not run ads or sell products, relying on audience support to spread the message.
  • Audience engagement, such as rating, reviewing, and sharing the podcast, is crucial for reaching more entrepreneurs.
  • The speaker's goal is to positively impact other entrepreneurs and their communities.

"Real quick, guys, you guys already know that I don't run any ads on this, and I don't sell anything."

This quote clarifies that the speaker's podcast is not monetized through traditional means such as ads or product sales, and thus, they depend on other forms of audience support.

"And the only ask that I can ever have of you guys is that you help me spread the word so we can help more entrepreneurs make more money, feed their families, make better products, and have better experiences for their employees and customers."

The speaker is requesting the audience's help in sharing the podcast to achieve a broader impact on the entrepreneurial community.

Optimization Strategies for Conversion

  • Using existing templates effectively is advised if not creating from scratch.
  • When building something from the ground up, focus on the first elements that users interact with.
  • The top of the page (above the fold) has a significant impact on conversion rates.

"But if you're coming up from these things from scratch, what I can tell you is that after having now done this, I've done this optimization process a zillion times in my life now, the headlines and the messages, the top, literally, the first one to two things that someone reads are going to have the biggest swing on the needle."

The speaker shares their experience, emphasizing the importance of headlines and initial messages in the optimization process for conversions.

"And so, if you are trying to optimize something, if you're way below where you need to be, don't even worry about anything below the fold."

This quote advises focusing on the top part of the page, as it is more influential in driving conversions than the content below the fold.

"And I can't tell you the amount of times we're literally just deleting everything below the fold got us better throughput on those types of pages."

The speaker shares a counterintuitive insight that sometimes removing content below the fold can actually improve the performance of a page in terms of conversions.

Importance of Headlines and Simplification

  • Changing a headline can significantly increase the effectiveness of a webpage.
  • Simplifying content by removing unnecessary elements can lead to better user engagement.
  • It's crucial to focus on what prompts users to continue with a process rather than assuming completion prematurely.

"And so just recently I changed the headline of our landing page for agencies who are going to be partnering with us for our Allen software. And we three x'd the throughput of that one page simply by changing the headline."

This quote emphasizes the impact a single change in the headline had on the landing page's performance, tripling its effectiveness.

"We five x the throughput by removing a headline that was there. We didn't even add anything. We literally removed something that was there, which was, hey, you finished this process. The next step is this."

This quote highlights how removing an existing headline led to a fivefold increase in throughput, suggesting that less can be more when it comes to guiding users through a process.

Value of Repetition and Learning from Others

  • Repetition is key to reinforcing successful behaviors and actions.
  • Taking advice from experienced individuals can save time and resources.
  • Replicating proven strategies is a shortcut to success; only after mastering them should one attempt to innovate.
  • Expertise often comes from repeated failures, not immediate successes.

"We need to repeat successful actions when they're there."

This quote underscores the necessity of identifying and repeating actions that have previously led to success.

"Why would you not at least just duplicate, replicate their process and what they're doing first, and then when you surpass or at least match them, then and only then you will have the understanding of the process to improve it."

Here, the speaker advises that one should first replicate the successful processes of others before trying to innovate, ensuring a solid understanding of the fundamentals.

Consistency and Fundamentals

  • Staying grounded in the basics is crucial for success.
  • Iteration and innovation should come after mastering the fundamentals.
  • Consistent application of successful strategies leads to outsized returns.

"Don't be cute, don't try and get fancy, don't run the super crazy, whatever play just look at the fundamentals."

This quote advises against overcomplicating things and stresses the importance of sticking to the basics.

"Repeat successful actions. We need to be reminded more than we need to be taught."

The speaker reiterates the importance of repetition over constantly seeking new teachings, reinforcing the concept that practice makes perfect.

Perspective on Wealth and Social Consequences

  • Financial success in marketing can lead to wealth and freedom.
  • Achieving success may result in envy from others, which is an accepted part of the journey.
  • The speaker conveys a preference for being envied over being insignificant, using humor with the term "potato."

"Hope your marketing is converting like crazy money and leading you to financial wealth and freedom, only to realize that it is empty and that in the process you will turn most of the people that who know you secretly against you."

The speaker offers a nuanced view on the consequences of financial success, suggesting it can lead to a sense of emptiness and envy from others.

"I'd rather be envied than potato."

This quote humorously expresses the speaker's preference for achieving success and being envied over not being successful at all.

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