Part of growing your brand and business is figuring out the kinds of marketing techniques and strategies you have to implement in order to get the kinds of results you want. In this sense, doing marketing can feel like a magic trick: reframing what you do just enough to have some pizzazz, to dazzle, while concealing how the sausage actually gets made behind the scenes. Seth Greene, the CEO of Market Domination, LLC, is the nation’s foremost authority on growing your business with a podcast. Seth sits down with Brett Swarts to talk about how marketing techniques get deployed in real-time. If you were ever curious about marketing, there’s a lot you can learn from Seth, so don’t miss this conversation.
Listen to the podcast here:
Marketing Techniques For Dominating Your Market With Seth Greene
Our guest is the host of the SharkPreneur Podcast and started a brand new podcast called Startup Millionaires. He also hosts the SharkPreneur Podcast with a gentleman named Kevin Harrington. You may have seen him on Shark Tank alongside Mark Cuban and a few other successful people.
Our guest is also an Amazon bestselling author of multiple books, including The Facebook Ninja, Online Marketing Magic, Cutting Edge Marketing Magic and a few others. In particular, he’s a marketing genius, it’s what I’ve gathered so far as I get to know him a little bit more. He was the back-to-back GKIC Dan Kennedy Marketer of The Year nominee, whoever that guy is, I don’t know who he is, but I’m sure he’s fantastic. More than that, he’s been featured on NBC News twice, CBS, Forbes, and he has a whole lot of wisdom to share with us. I’d like you to welcome, Seth Greene.
Thank you so much for having me here, Brett. It is an honor to be on your show.
Thank you, Seth, for being here. Give our readers a little bit about your story and your current focus.
I started as a College Financial Planner. It was my mission to help make the cost of college a lot more affordable for parents and their kids, so that kids didn’t graduate with a mountain of debt. What happened was, I went to work for a Fortune 500 financial services company, when I got back from getting my securities license and training, my branch manager said, “I’ve got a book where all of your clients are going to be in your entire career.” I said, “It’s amazing. I’m young. I’m going to be rich. I’m going to buy a Ferrari. Give me the book.” He hands me the phone book. It was the Yellow Pages for those of you old enough to remember what that is. He said, “They’re all in there, Tiger. Go get them.”
I didn’t know any better so I listened and I made 300 cold calls a day, every day, interrupting strangers asking for money until I had the good fortune to find and beg my wife for 30 days to let me borrow more than our mortgage to go higher and work and learn from legendary marketing guru, Dan Kennedy. Doing what I learned from Dan, it took me from the 6,700th ranked last place advisor at that Fortune 500 company to the top 30 nationwide in two years. That growth is unheard of in financial services. It got me written about in several trade journals and books.
My phone started ringing with advisors who said, “How do I do what you did?” I said, “Dan, what do I do?” He said, “Start a marketing company and do it for them.” That was years ago. We started MarketDominationLLC.com. It started out as me and one advisor I was willing to let test out what I had created, it worked for him. We branched out and we have a fabulous group of about 33 team members all over the planet. We’ve served thousands of clients and we’ve since branched out from originally starting out in financial services to encompass about 63 different industries. That is the short version of how I got here.
That’s an incredible story. Dan sounds like an amazing mentor who poured into you and you took the risk of diving all-in, you have the mortgage, the business was tough, and it made it happen. What a story. Backing up a little bit. Before your success as a marketing specialist, educator and as a financial advisor, who was Seth growing up? In other words, what gifts do you feel you were given? How did those shape how you help others?
I was a magician in my spare time as a hobby and then to make money. I had originally decided to try and learn real magic because I wanted to cast some spells, curses, whatever on a bully who was making my life miserable in my neighborhood. My parents got me a deck of tarot cards to distract me from trying to summon Satan, which didn’t work. He never showed up. This was years ago, way before the internet. I went to get a book on how to read tarot cards and it turned out that the store that sold that was a magic store.
I saw the guy behind the counter performing a magic trick and I said, “Forget the tarot cards, I want to learn how to do that.”- That was my first real hobby that I turned into something that I could make money at. That is where I found Dan Kennedy. He was buying a marketing course for magicians put out by somebody else that worked in my magic business. When I asked if it would work in my real job, many years later, they told me the two words that changed my life and sent me to Dan.Marketing is like performing a magic trick. Click To Tweet
Those two words were?
How is marketing like performing a magic trick?
We make customers. We make leads appear for our clients like magic. How is it like magic? It has to be surprising and delightful. If a magician would say, “Pick any card you like.” You’re like, “He’s going to find my card.” In order to impress someone beyond that Uncle Earl looking through the whole deck and going, “I found your card.” You would have to do something different. I’m not a card guy, but I do know a few card tricks. There always has to be something different so that they don’t think it’s just another pick a card trick.
It’s the same thing in marketing, our consumers are inundated by 5,000 to 6,000 messages a day. Your business has to have a way to stand out, cut through the clutter, get their attention and get them to take action. It has to be surprising, delightful, give them something unexpected that they want, and reframe what they’re looking for as something that has some sex appeal behind it. All of those are principles that apply to both magic and marketing.
How has surprising customers and making them feel delighted change in the past few years? Maybe 1 or 2 things that you were saying, “It used to be the way we surprised and delighted customers, but now it’s changed.”
The principles of marketing never changed to those behind human behavior, why we do the things we do, those are all the same. What changes is the media that we get to execute those messages in. Obviously, with the advent of social media, the Facebook Advertising platform, for example, wasn’t as robust as it is. There wasn’t as much competition as there is. It makes it more of a fun marketing challenge to stand out.
What gets delivered after you get the attention, the like, the share, the click is important. If anything, we’ve gone backward. A lot of our clients will say, “I want to deliver all my information on the internet.” It should all be virtual. It could be a book, a membership site, or a course and we’re saying that’s great. You should also physically send it in the mail because you will have a higher retention rate and people will be less likely to cancel or ask for a refund if a big box of stuff shows up on their doorstep on a regular basis, if possible.
We’ve also found that it’s important to do what we call shock and awe. Let’s say they request a copy of one of my books. I don’t want to just deliver a copy of my book, I’m delivering the book and 27 other things in a giant box that make them go, “I can’t believe you sent me all of this. This is amazing. I want to do business with you. I want more.” We only send those to the right people. You can’t send that to everybody because it could get cost-prohibitive. We have a shock and awe campaign in our own business that costs a couple of hundred dollars to send out. Over 82% of the people who get it, end up hiring us for a significant marketing contract. We try and send out as many of those as we can, as long as we can and have enough team members available to fulfill on the backend.
When is my shock and awe campaign box showing up, Seth?
We’re working on it. I had a conversation with our COO about that.
Thank you so much. Full disclosure, I was on Seth’s podcast before. Honestly, I’m an entrepreneur who’s focused on growing my brand, but I don’t have the slightest clue on how to do it. I’m looking at Seth’s services to help me with that. You grew up with magic. You learned how to be surprising and delightful for people. You studied financial advising. You made cold calls as a salesman. You got connected with Dan. Correct me if I’m wrong, he opened you up to what your calling was, and your calling was to help others be surprising and delightful in a way that helps them grow their business. Is that a fair summary of what we just talked about?
Yes. First, I became an excellent marketer in the financial services space. It grew my own business as a College Financial Planner. It grew that practice exponentially, and then that launched a separate marketing firm because many other financial advisors wanted to do what I did. We set up a done-for-you agency to do it for them. Other business owners started seeing our marketing, started hearing about it and said, “Can you do that in my industry?” We said, “Absolutely.”
It was organic, and there’s something to be said for that where you were in the trenches, using the techniques and the strategies yourself. You had the rapid success and then it naturally focuses on, “How do I do that?” It shifted. By the way, do you still do financial planning or do you sub that out? How does that work?
I still own that company. We still help kids get into college, depending on the college, half the cost. I don’t work in it every single day because we have an extensive marketing firm as well. I am the face of that company. I conduct the public seminars and webinars that educate the public, and then we have an awesome team that fulfills on the backend.
What’s the name of that company? What’s the website?
What’s the most rewarding part of helping others grow their business through marketing?Your job is to reframe what your audience is looking for as something that has some sex appeal. Click To Tweet
The ripple effect. As a marketer of my own business, we can touch a lot of people but we can only touch so many. We’ll have a certain level of impact. If I’m touching 2 million people, but we’re serving 50 people and they’re each touching 2 million people, I’m up to 100 million lives that we’re affecting. One of my favorite examples of that is we’ve done some work in the regenerative medicine and stem cell space. We had someone who wrote in and said, “My neuropathy was bad, I was going to kill myself. I couldn’t live with the pain anymore. Nothing worked. I then saw your Facebook ad. I went to the website, I registered for a seminar. I went to the seminar. I got the treatment. You gave me my life back. My pain is gone. I’m a different person. You saved my life.” The ad we did for our client got him to come to a seminar and got him a treatment that provided meaningful relief and kept him from killing himself. I’m not saying all marketing saves lives, but that one did and that by itself would be why I would get up in the morning.
It seems like that one story, that one life you can change and help makes all the rest of the challenge worth it. That’s the most rewarding thing I would imagine especially for someone with a serious condition like that. Let’s shift a little bit. You have the podcast. You have the second podcast, the SharkPreneur and then the Startup Millionaires. You’ve done lots of podcasts with lots of entrepreneurs and financial people. I know you also coach and help CPAs and different financial wealth advisors. What’s the single most surprising theme that you’ve learned over the time period that you didn’t think you would learn? It’s like, “That’s surprising. I’ve interviewed a lot of these people.” This theme that came through and how has that changed your value proposition for how you help people?
The most surprising thing I learned was how many professional practices, advisor, CPA, attorney, what have you, don’t have a systematic way of keeping in touch with their clients, customers or patients in such a way that surprises and delights those people and get them to refer like crazy. I built that keep in touch system inside of my own practice and it worked magically.
Everyone kept saying, “How are you getting so many referrals? How come you’re busy?” It was back when I worked at the Fortune 500 company. I said, “Because I built this thing that stays in touch with my customers all the time. It’s not email. It gets them excited about sharing our message. It works.” People said, “Will that work for me?” It became one of our service offerings. We call it an internal marketing machine, that way you don’t ever have to ask your clients for referrals, they’re volunteering and they know how to talk about you and they do it on their own without you asking.
A lot of times I find the attorney and accountant that they think, “I’m good at what I do, that should be enough. I shouldn’t have to market, people should find me. I shouldn’t have to remind my clients how good I am. I shouldn’t have to ask them to talk about it, they should be out there telling everyone how much they love me.” I say, “Do you do that with your own accountant, lawyer, and dentist?” They say, “No.” I said, “Exactly.”
If it was their brother, their spouse or their cousin even then, it’s a stretch. You’re right because people are busy with everything else that’s going on in their life. That’s why they hire the professional to take care of that. It doesn’t necessarily come up in natural thoughts unless someone particularly asks and if it’s not top of mind or if they’re not being encouraged to communicate.
I have five kids and I like to say, I go back to high school days and I see people from high school, “I’m sorry. I don’t remember your name. I have a hard time keeping the names of my five kids. Don’t take offense.” Let alone a professional that you work with and you see once a year, maybe twice a year. That makes perfect sense. Shifting to the tactical, Seth. Will you give us an example of how your service helps others create and preserve more wealth? In particular, how does that reduce, defer or eliminate Capital Gains Tax?
The reduce, defer, eliminate, that’s your area of expertise. I’ll fairly give you that. I don’t know if I can answer that part. However, how it helps build and maintain wealth on the financial services side instead of spending $500,000 on four years at Harvard, you spend $250,000. You have $250,000 extra that you could invest. On the marketing side, we grow your business so you can run it. If your business is doing $1 million and we take it to $2 million or you’re doing $5 million and we take it to $10 million or whatever those numbers are, that’s a whole lot of money that you don’t have to “work for” to go get because we went and got it for you. I don’t know what your margins are and everybody’s business is different, but any dollar increase we can add, there’s a percentage that gets to the bottom line and helps grow your nest egg.
To that point, I saw a webinar where you’re training some CPAs on how to offer additional services to increase their value proposition and grow their income base. Can you speak on a couple of those? One of them you mentioned might have been cost segregation and a couple of others there.
We have another service that we call the Business Owner Savings System that puts on average $280,000 back in the pockets of our business owner clients. If they’re doing more than $1 million a year in revenue and they own the building that they’re in, we’ve got a series of services. We have a network of providers for engineers, accountants and other people. We talked about cost segregation, workers comp, insurance, credit card processing, marketing and their property taxes.
Most business owners are overpaying on their property taxes and they’re depreciating their assets slower than they could be. We have a whole separate program for the business owner. We only get paid a percentage of the money we save them. We don’t get paid until the money is back in their pocket. They can find out in fifteen minutes, answer nine questions and we can tell you approximately how much money we can save them. You’re absolutely right, every $280,000 back to your bottom line, triple net. What’s that pay for? Your house, your college, you name it.
Where do they find that service for what you offer? Is there a website they can go to and read more about that if there’s a business professional reading this?
If they go to BusinessOwnerSavingsSystem.com/schedule, they can learn more about the service and then they can schedule that, no obligations, fifteen-minute call, to see how much money we can save them.
Please share your top three wealth secrets that you have learned. It could be personally, all these business professionals you work with, financial advisors or your personal financial advising history.
One should be make sure to defer, eliminate your Capital Gains Taxes by talking to Brett and his team. Number two, I read one sentence in one book that a friend of mine wrote. He had his accounting expert wrote one chapter. There was one sentence in there that cut my tax rate almost in half, and it was the difference between taking your income as W-2 income versus taking some of your income as dividend distributions as a shareholder in your own company. I am not an accountant and I don’t play one on TV. I had to go through seven accountants to find one who knew what that meant and knew how to do it. Once they did it, it cut my taxes about in half.
Number three, for a lot of our higher net worth clients, they make way too much to put any money in a Roth IRA. However, we came up with a strategy that we call the Mega Roth IRA and my financial services practice, which allows you to put as much money as you want after taxes away and have it come out with the growth tax-free layer. That is a whole other service that that company offers that if you’re getting that money tax-free when you couldn’t otherwise get it, can make a huge difference in your nest egg.
Seth, when I asked you the question before about deferring, eliminate and reducing capital gains tax, you were shy to mention a few of these. I’m glad we’ve been able to dig these out. We got Mega Roth IRA. You’ve got some cost segregation. We’ve got a potential strategy for W-2 two versus dividend distributions. Those are valuable pieces of information. The same place they would learn about those, is there a website? Is that the business one that you mentioned before? Where would people learn more about that?
That would be MegaRothIRA.com/Seth.Coming from the trenches yourself can make your process feel more organic. Click To Tweet
What are the biggest mistakes wealth advisors are making when they’re advising their clients? In other words, what are they missing, whether it be a CPA, financial advisor, commercial real estate, syndicator operator or business broker? What do they need to know about what you do and how to best leverage your service and expertise to grow their business?
We could talk for days about what they’re missing. If we’re talking on the wealth protection and appreciation side, they’re missing the opportunity to put close to $300,000 back in their clients’ pockets. Their clients are most likely overpaying on their taxes. If they have high school or college-aged kids, they’re overpaying for their education. There are ways around that. They’re probably overpaying or they have underperforming marketing that could be optimized to either save them more money or bring them in more customers or clients at a more attractive price.
How do you stay centered in your values? Most importantly, how do you stay encouraged being that you run many businesses and helping so many people? In the context of marketing, which is cutting edge, although you said there are principles that are consistent but being surprising and delightful in an ever-increasing noise and speed of the pace of information, and centered in your values. How do you stay encouraged?
I am a black belt in Krav Maga, which is an Israeli military’s martial art. That’s certainly a physical activity along with weightlifting that helps me stay centered. I meditate and pray every day. That helps me stay centered. I am involved in my three children’s activities. That helps as well. As a dad, you have to remind yourself that it’s twelve-year-old soccer and not the World Cup and you should probably come down a little bit.
Were you competitive growing up? Did you play soccer or sports?
I played soccer.
That competitive part, does that translate into your drive?
It’s part of it. How do I stay encouraged? I read a book a day or a book every other day. I’m a voracious reader. Eighty percent of those are business books. I am a personal development junkie. I listen to podcasts. I read inspiring stories. I watch Goalcast on YouTube, along with as much inspirational content as I can find. I’m in quite a few mastermind groups where I’m a student in addition to the ones I lead. I’m always trying to plug in and get in rooms of people smarter than me, more successful than me so I can keep staying encouraged and inspired to take my game to the next level all the time.
That’s how you do it. The other question with the flip side, how do you keep from being discouraged? What are the things that you’ve cut out or you’ve eliminated over your course of maturing that want to share with our readers?
I don’t watch television news anymore. I don’t listen to the radio. No news. No newspapers. The only content I read is curated to be positive or something I absolutely have to know for one of our businesses. I don’t watch much TV. There are maybe 1 or 2 sitcoms I watch with my wife.
Which ones do you like?
We like The Goldbergs because it’s like our family almost, growing up. Nice Jewish family in the ‘80s with a hovering smother. Goldbergs and Modern Family.
How about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? That’s another good one.
My wife is obsessed with that. I watched the first episode or two, I didn’t get into it. My wife thinks she’s hilarious. It didn’t do it for me. I would say eliminating negative sources of information and negative news. Those are big helps. I stopped watching scary movies. I used to watch a lot more of those. Businesses can be scary enough.
Any last thoughts you’d like to share with the readers?
Your business is your greatest laboratory for becoming more of who you are. It helps you grow you as a person. There’s no greater lab or personal development experiment than trying to grow a business. For those of your readers out there who are entrepreneurs or who were entrepreneurs, you know what it’s like and hang on for the ride because it’s a roller coaster. There are no lower places and there are no higher places. If you have anybody reading who’s going through one of those valleys right now, I would encourage them to stick with it and hang on, it gets better. For those of you who are climbing the mountain, I would say, awesome, congratulations. Keep going. The world needs you.
Seth, I want to thank you for sharing your story, your insightful answers and adding value to our readers. I want to thank our readers for another episode of Capital Gains Tax Solutions podcast. As always, we believe most high net worth individuals and those who help them struggle with clarifying the capital gains tax deferral options. Hopefully, Seth shared a few things with you on how to create, preserve more wealth, and how to reduce some of your taxes as well as the marketing piece of communicating, connecting in a surprising, and delightful way. I encourage you to reach out to him if you think he can help you with that. Lastly, not having a clear plan is the enemy, whether it is a clear marketing plan or a clear capital gains tax deferral plan. Having a proven strategy is the best way to grow your wealth and business. Thank you again, Seth, for being on the show. I wish you a great day.
Thanks so much for having me. It was an honor to be here.
- Startup Millionaires
- The Facebook Ninja
- Online Marketing Magic
- Cutting Edge Marketing Magic
- Brett Swarts on Seth’s podcast