Your Website is the #1 Piece of Digital Real Estate with Tess Wittler

Episode 7 March 28, 2022 00:22:40
Your Website is the #1 Piece of Digital Real Estate with Tess Wittler
Launch With Words
Your Website is the #1 Piece of Digital Real Estate with Tess Wittler

Mar 28 2022 | 00:22:40

/

Hosted By

Bridget Willard

Show Notes

Is blogging bad or a waste of time? Do home remodelers and design-builders have to blog? In this episode of the second season of the Launch With Words Podcast, Bridget is joined by SEO Writer, Tess Wittler, for an insightful conversation on why small businesses should care about publishing regularly on their websites.


"Your website is your Number 1 piece of digital real estate." Tess Wittler

Follow Tess on Twitter

https://twitter.com/TessWittler

Tess Wittler's Website

https://tesswittler.com/

Are you ready for the Done For You Newsletter?

https://bit.ly/DoneForYouTess

More Episodes

https://launch-with-words.castos.com/

Get the Launch With Words Plugin for free on WordPress

https://wordpress.org/plugins/launch-with-words/


Episode Transcript

00:19.11
Bridget Willard
Hey, hey! Thanks for joining me again on another episode this time with my longtime friend Tess Whitler. She is a remodeler and custom home builder marketing solutions person. She is that Marketing Department that you want. She has a Done For You Newsletter Program. She is amazing. She is smart. Tess, welcome to the show. So I know that you have been writing in the service industry for contractors for

00:40.92
Tess Wittler
Oh it's great to be here. Bridget thank you.

00:52.41
Bridget Willard
a very long time enough to have a MBA if if we were just handing them out. How do we get people who are small business owners, how do we get plumbers and yoga teachers and manicurists to care about having a blog on their website?

01:12.79
Tess Wittler
Wow so you know that's kind of like the million-dollar question but it really boils down to a couple of things, right? So it. It boils down to um Google likes fresh websites and fresh content. So what better way to do that than to have a blog? But more importantly than that, I think that 1 thing that a lot of small businesses sometimes forget is as we're feeding that Google Monster, you know, common, everyday customers -- they check you out before they ever pick up the phone to call you. You know they go to your Facebook page and they go to your Instagram and they go to your Google My Business or Google Business Profile as it's called now. And they definitely go to your website to learn more about you to see if.

01:54.94
Bridget Willard
Hm.
Bridget Willard

02:07.76
Tess Wittler
number 1 you offer the services that they're looking for and number 2 if you are the right solution. So I think even more important than, than SEO which is definitely my geek zone and I love that space. But I think even more importantly than that, it's just to be able to be there to help your potential customers understand what you do and get to know you better.

02:28.41
Bridget Willard
Oh for sure. I mean yeah, if Marcy told me to go to Alamo City Plumbing because my bidet is leaking, Ah, I'm gonna go look and see if they even talk about bidets. I'm gonna look and see if they have reviews I'm gonna check out their, you know, Facebook Page. Are they still even in business? Do they have Instagram? What is going on with this place? And I think that most people have overly obsessed on what's being found ah on a Google Search Engine Result or the SERPs. Um as opposed to "plumber near me."

02:49.93
Tess Wittler
Yep.

03:06.77
Bridget Willard
Ah, "manicurist near me." I mean how many of us are doing those searches?

03:10.77
Tess Wittler
All the time every single day.

03:14.10
Bridget Willard
Yeah, because I don't really care about you know a manicurist who's in Nashville. I don't even care about a manicurist who's in San Antonio. I want a manicurist who's in Southtown that I can go walk to when ah my cuticles are looking like they do right now.

03:30.52
Tess Wittler
Right? right? right? And so you know going back to the original question with, you know, how important is content? So you know that content then becomes -- and I am huge you follow me for years I am huge with repurposing content. So.


03:47.23
Bridget Willard
Yes!

03:49.88
Tess Wittler
So, having a piece of content and finding 50,000,000 ways to use it over the long haul. So you know you you write a blog article. You know, how you know, "how to tell if a bidet is leaking," for instance.

04:02.92
Bridget Willard
Oh.

04:05.28
Tess Wittler
And you post that on your blog because your website is your number 1 piece of real estate -- digital real estate -- so it needs to go there first. And then perhaps you post it on Facebook and then maybe you post an image of it on Instagram with a little bit of explanation -- because, of course, you can't do links. Um and then, you know, you post it on Twitter and you post it on Google My Business. And ah you know you, you use it once -- there immediately. And then three months later, guess what? You get to do it again.

04:33.82
Bridget Willard
Ah, yeah, yep.

04:39.72
Tess Wittler
Um, so yeah I mean you have to, you have to care about content. And then you have to constantly be -- I don't want to say constantly because people get scared when they say, "oh my goodness we have to blog 5 times a week?" Those days aren't necessarily here anymore. But you do need to be adding new, fresh new content to your website on a regular basis.

05:00.13
Bridget Willard
Oh yeah. That's, that's the thing I always emphasize is it's more like a metronome. You know, we say consistent and then like I'm not even consistent. So like Fridays, I have it in my calendar -- which I just deleted them all because I'm just so used to doing it -- But Fridays in my

05:11.51
Tess Wittler
Um.

05:19.55
Bridget Willard
calendar -- I, I do something to my website every single week because I know it changes the sitemap and that is what that's how Google sees the consistency. So you want that that same beat going on. Whatever it is. So that's why with, for example, with the Launch With Words Starter pack -- that's free -- it has blogging prompts so that you will publish something once a month. because that is consistent. Right? Now, if you want to use them and do twelve weeks at a time --that's twelve weeks and then you're done. That's fine, too.

05:47.00
Tess Wittler
That.

05:56.80
Bridget Willard
But hen you're not going to be consistent later. So it's 10. Especially now, especially in this post-pandemic. I don't know if we're even "post" because a pandemic isn't over. But in this like new global economy with things So uncertain. I just saw like three businesses close on Instagram yesterday. It's. We have to have that validation part. In the agency, my agency days, we talked about validation and discovery. Like this is why and blog isn't a four-etter word. It is but it's not like Oh mommy bloggers. It's so such a derogatory term. But it's publishing articles so that you are seen as the expert in your field. Like why am I going to you> Why would I get ah dip nails instead of gel nails? You know?

06:43.26
Tess Wittler
Absolutely.

06:53.13
Tess Wittler
It's a credibility builder. So, you know. You know, there's There's so many positive reasons for you know, making sure that you are adding blogs, adding articles to your blog on a consistent basis. You know, um.

06:54.72
Bridget Willard
Yes.

07:08.98
Tess Wittler
from my perspective and, hey we can use the plumbers perspective too, but I write for a lot of custom homebuilers and high-end, design-build remodeling firms. And one of my favorite pieces of content is what I call project stories. But yeah, so you can in.

07:20.96
Bridget Willard
Oh yeah.

07:26.30
Tess Wittler
You see this all the time on Facebook or Instagram where you have before and after photos. So instead of just showing the before and after photo, actually write 300, 400, 500 words along with that to talk about the project. Whatever that project is. Whether it's a toilet replacement or a shower reinstall or you know tile work or you know -- in my world -- you know Ah, an addition, a home edition or a new kitchen remodel. I mean those are amazing pieces of content that you obviously put back on your website somewhere.

07:51.98
Bridget Willard
Me.

08:02.50
Tess Wittler
Whether it's your blog or your portfolio or somewhere. And then, you know, it's evergreen content. It'll last for years and years and years. And then, of course, I always encourage my clients to use email newsletter. And and put that in your email newsletter. And that's a great piece of content to show credibility of your craftsmanship, show inspiration to inspire new homeowner, or to inspire homeowners that are like, "oh I really want a kitchen upgrade, too." So It's It's a great piece of content that can be used over and over and over again.

08:36.90
Bridget Willard
And just to go back to the before and after, I can't even tell you how many times I've seen on Instagram -- because that's like my little soothing place where I barely sell myself -- is I'll look at before and afters and I'm like I'm not sure which one is the before and I'm not sure which one is the after. So you need the context. Why did you change this kitchen? Did, did you get pregnant again? Is Grandma moving in and the counters need to be lowered to accommodate for a wheelchair?

08:53.39
Tess Wittler
Agreed Yes, yup.

09:08.77
Bridget Willard
What is the reason behind this remodel?

09:13.88
Tess Wittler
Yep. Yep. Absolutely. What was the why? And then what did you discover? Because there's always, I always try to incorporate some type of challenge. Especially in home improvements remodeling is there's always a challenge. There's always something behind the walls that you weren't anticipating. Even if you were anticipating it, tell us, who don't know that stuff as well, that that it was a challenge. Right? They absolutely.

09:34.95
Bridget Willard
Right? I mean that's what This Old House has been doing for 40 years. So like if they're Norm Abram and Bob Villa and whoever the new guy is. I just found they have a channel on Roku and I just started bingeing it.

09:51.24
Tess Wittler
Yeah.

09:53.40
Bridget Willard
Like I love This Old House. You're like oh no, this is happening The drain is bad and what are they going to do.

09:57.57
Tess Wittler
Well and This Old House is yeah. And This Old House, this a great analogy, because they also have that whole piece that whole segment where they kind of talk about and a solution right? I Love that piece as well. So of course you have This Old House.

10:09.16
Bridget Willard
Um, yes.

10:16.43
Tess Wittler
But then you also have the piece where they're back at the shop and they're talking about either a newer product that's on the market or just a common solution that people haven't really dived in dive dove into. And that also you know those questions, those burning questions, that consumers have are also great pieces.

10:24.33
Bridget Willard
Right.

10:33.25
Bridget Willard
Oh for sure because it can be part of the project portfolio and it and it can also be a blog article. But it could also be, for example, one of the episodes I was watching they wanted the open beam ceiling. Okay and this is in Concord, New Hampshire. So guess what? It's cold and it's hot.

10:34.13
Tess Wittler
For content right.

10:52.50
Bridget Willard
So you in the winter you can't have ah an exposed beam ceiling and not have um you know heat. So they decide to do a radiant of radiant. Um, ah what? What is it called?

10:59.88
Tess Wittler
Ahead.

11:07.51
Tess Wittler
Yeah, radiant heating in this in the ceiling area right? Okay, yeah, yeah, more.

11:11.81
Bridget Willard
No, they actually did it on the baseboards. Um, but and but in the but in the master bath they did it in the tiles in the flooring. So then that means they needed a bigger capacity for their um actual ah heating equipment and their water tanks in the basement. So like.

11:18.50
Tess Wittler
And.

11:26.95
Tess Wittler
Listen.

11:31.43
Bridget Willard
These are the things that's like oh well I want exposed beams you know like what Creative Woodworking Vermont does. Right? I want those exposed beams but I need heat because I live in the northeast or I live in Dallas and it snows or I live in Reno, Nevada. Right?

11:46.14
Tess Wittler
Right.

11:47.91
Bridget Willard
So, like what is what are those solutions? And that's part of the blogging that I think a lot of small businesses don't get, is you are educating the customer. They don't know that they have those choices unless you are educating them. I mean maybe they saw that episode, but you know they might be thinking Oh man I really like exposed ceilings but what do you do about the ductwork?

12:09.58
Tess Wittler
Right? Yeah, cause I don't want the ductwork to be exposed. And those are great pieces for you know, showing your expertise. Um, you know the other thing that's really coming up a lot in my world is smart home technology.

12:24.49
Bridget Willard
Um, yeah.

12:27.49
Tess Wittler
So smart home technology in the bathroom, for instance, and it's not so much that consumers don't understand that smart home technology isn't available anymore. But now, now contractors are running into issues with compatibility issues. So you know.

12:40.84
Bridget Willard
Yes.

12:45.43
Tess Wittler
So, you know, consumers want it to be, want it to be smart and they want it to do all the things. But they don't want to have to download 5 different apps to make each thing work. It's like oh okay, well this app is only for my lights and this lap is only for my shower and this app is only for my radiant floor heat. They want it all to synchronize.

12:50.16
Bridget Willard
Right.

13:03.36
Tess Wittler
So that's another big challenge that contractors are, are working with now is do they do it themselves or do they hire a smart home technology manager to do those things for them? And that's great pieces of content. And here you know you and I focus on on writing.

13:12.34
Bridget Willard
In.

13:20.25
Bridget Willard
Yeah.

13:22.34
Tess Wittler
I Especially focus on writing but podcasts as long as you have a transcript afterwards is is a great way. Video is another big thing that a lot of people in my audience want to tap into.

13:25.70
Bridget Willard
Yeah, yes.

13:35.70
Tess Wittler
Video is outstanding, you know, obviously. But you still need to make sure that you're adding that to your website and adding a description of what the video is on your website with a link to YouTube or however, you want to do it, you know. Work with your web developer to figure out the best way because video is very laggy but um.

13:48.70
Bridget Willard
Yeah.

13:53.80
Tess Wittler
You know? so but you always need that word piece because that's still how people are finding you. Right.

13:58.94
Bridget Willard
Well, the internet's blind. And I'll tell you my friend just bought a house last June and she you know went with you know it was in a you know home development new house and they used whatever alarm system, okay? And now she's like well dang I really kind of wanted Hey Google. And it's not compatible. That's a real thing because you're not thinking that. You have to make so many choices when it's a new or you're remodeling a home There's like from the fixtures to the technology to the upgrades that it becomes decision fatigue. It's so overwhelming.

14:18.94
Tess Wittler
Yep.

14:38.29
Bridget Willard
You know. In some ways, it's almost better to just walk into a home and be like okay, whatever it is I'm just here. But that's not why we buy homes right? That's not why we remodel homes so it's that education piece. And you touched on something that I think is really important, Tess, a lot of.

14:42.99
Tess Wittler
Yeah.

14:55.70
Bridget Willard
Ah, contractors especially or people in the service-based industry. One of the reasons why they're in that industry is because they're doers. They're not necessarily readers and writers. And, a lot of times, Um, they have Dyslexia or they're Neurodivergent. And so sitting down and writing a blog article is not going to happen. Ever ever ever. So video is perfect. You grab your Samsung Galaxy or your iPhone and you go, "Hey, this is Bob. I'm just, just installed Google Home Manager for our new client and they are super happy because now they only have one app that controls all their devices from their lights to their dishwasher to their refrigerator to the washing machine to the alarm." And, and then you, you have your office staff send it to a transcription service. And put it on the internet. You know? But like I, I do want to talk about what you do because that's you come in where it's like or my understanding is you're that external marketing team -- a lot like I am -- but you specialize with home remodelers and design-build.

15:54.65
Tess Wittler
Yep.

16:12.66
Bridget Willard
Which is totally different. You know, I was with the design-build commercial contractor. So that's like elite. So like what do you tell people? like how do they? Okay, they don't have time for this crap. How what is the best way?

16:25.85
Tess Wittler
No.

16:30.20
Bridget Willard
Because you can't write for all of the contractors. You don't even have time. But but how do you advise our listeners? How do you advise them to find someone like you if not you to work with?

16:43.87
Tess Wittler
Wow. Um, you know so I would say you know honestly if you are a remodeler or a contractor and you and you are listening to this just reach out to me. I'll connect you with some of my other friends who do what I do. Um I would say that's probably your first bet is.

16:58.80
Bridget Willard
Nice.

17:03.35
Tess Wittler
That whole referral piece, right? Bridget, I know you do that as well. Um, you know, we have a great referral network. Um I would say the other thing is is that sometimes you know you can. There's a lot of ways you can navigate content where you don't necessarily have to do it all.

17:04.32
Bridget Willard
Um.

17:21.38
Tess Wittler
But you could give ah you could give them a good step. Like one thing I'm thinking about, as an example, and this applies to all small businesses, you talked about the video, you know, piece where you grab your Samsung or you grab your iPhone and you shoot a quick video. But another piece is to use that recording feature on your phone and just start talking about a topic. And then use a transcription service like Otter.ai or something that's fairly inexpensive and transcribe it. And then you have your basis for an article.

17:39.40
Bridget Willard
Oh.

17:51.51
Bridget Willard
Um, yeah.

17:54.73
Tess Wittler
Or, you know ,your blog posts. Or if you happen to have someone on your team, if you have a big enough team, who is interested in marketing and flushing out those topics. You can give the recording to him or her, and they can you know run with it. There's a lot of ways to navigate that piece. I'm not sure that answers your question not, bridget. But I know you and I have over the years have come up with some quote unquote shortcuts for navigating this content piece.

18:19.24
Bridget Willard
Yeah, yeah, start with someone you do know and they can always refer you. So what about the Done For You Newsletter Program you have? Can you talk a little bit about how that's important with content marketing?


18:35.70
Tess Wittler
Oh yeah, sure. Thank you. So my Done For You Newsletter Program is specifically for um I would say designers, remodeers, and custom home builders who want content specifically on kitchens and baths.

18:49.72
Bridget Willard
Who.

18:52.80
Tess Wittler
Sometimes I touch on laundry rooms or mudrooms, but mostly it's kitchen and bath topics. And it's done six times a year so and it's a newsletter program. So I provide all of the content. It's shared content that goes out to all the subscribers in the program. And then you can lay it out into your newsletter program like Mailchimp, Constant Contact. Or, you can hire me -- and I can for a little bit extra -- and I'll lay it out in your newsletter. And it goes out six times a year to your subscribers.

19:20.71
Bridget Willard
Oh.

19:27.39
Tess Wittler
What I found with this program is especially with um my so my target audience is they really want to be able to do marketing and do marketing well, but they don't have the time. So I provide that content for them that then they can stay in touch with their subscribers in their audience through their email newsletter program.

19:47.62
Bridget Willard
Okay I know we're hitting our our our mark but I want to ask you. Like so when you're doing this with with your people and they're like yes I want to do the Done For You Newsletter, what is your recommendation for that lead magnet to get people to subscribe to them? Or do they already have that in existence?

20:08.15
Tess Wittler
You know, I'm going to be completely honest with you. Most of them already have a subscriber list and I walk them through the process of how to ensure that we're doing it all legally as far as you know adding their previous customers and their prospects. And I have a whole process that I go through to make sure that you know we're not doing anything against CAN-SPAM Act. But um and the other piece that I love about with lead magnets is we can do like a kitchen remodeling checklist or a bathroom remodeling checklist. It's a one pager.

20:28.10
Bridget Willard
Awesome. Perfect.

20:44.45
Tess Wittler
Great um, with some of my other subscribers I've done a series of articles that then we've turned into an ebook or a guide. So um, like you know how to remodel your kitchen or you know the, the 5 steps you need to um for building your custom home: steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

20:50.27
Bridget Willard
Oh.

21:04.24
Tess Wittler
Those are each blog articles then we throw it into an ebook and then that becomes their downloadable. So, I work with each of them on a very customized basis depending upon what they have already in their content inventory or what we could possibly create to help them.

21:16.58
Bridget Willard
Perfect. Perfect. I Love that. It's so. I, I just love this idea. I, I think this wonderful. Um I, I often think about hiring somebody to my newsletter because the more I know, the more I know I don't know. But really thank you for your time. How do people get in contact with you, Tess, and your services?

21:40.99
Tess Wittler
Sure the easiest way is to go to my website which is http://tesswitler.com -- and I'm sure Bridget will put that in the show notes. But and then from there, there's all kinds of other ways that you can connect with me through, you know, social media or um through, you know, email directly.

21:59.35
Bridget Willard
Awesome! Well, thank you so much for being on the show, Tess.

22:00.19
Tess Wittler
Thank you, Bridget.

 

Other Episodes

Episode 1

September 17, 2021 00:04:48
Episode Cover

Why Does Content Matter for Small Businesses?

You have a website for your small business but what about the blog? That's what most people refer to as "content" in "content marketing."...

Listen

Episode 1

January 10, 2022 00:21:50
Episode Cover

Customer Stories with Warren Laine-Naida

Why should your small business value blog posts and customer storytelling on your website? In this episode of the second season of the Launch...

Listen

Episode 8

September 29, 2021 00:07:02
Episode Cover

Case Studies are Marketing Gold

The Launch With Words starter pack has a blogging prompt for a case study in the Month of May. “This is a great time...

Listen