Episode 6 – We had the pleasure of being joined on the InspireFirst Podcast by copywriter and web designer, Daniel Lamb. We talked about a variety of subjects from balancing his copywriting and marketing life to his company Holland Creative. Lamb also talked about his personal upbringing, music aspirations, and his ‘love for pizza’.
More About Daniel Lamb
Daniel Lamb is a copywriter, web designer, and web developer all in one person! He is the founder of Holland Creative, a copywriting and design strategy company here in Atlanta.
Download Daniel’s content planning resource–exclusively for InspireFirst Podcast listeners!
Daniel Lamb Recommendations
While I’m working I like to listen to instrumental music, because it helps me focus. I don’t get distracted by the lyrics and it helps me keep my energy levels in the right place.Daniel Lamb
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Speaker 1: (00:01)
Now listening to InspireFirst podcast, where we discuss the art and science of good writing. Our mission is to inspire you to succeed within your writing and publishing goals through in-depth interviews, and expert insights. Get ready to grow as an author, blogger, and marketer with our host, whose content is reaching millions of readers worldwide. Chris Craft.
Chris Craft: (00:23)
Hey, Hey, what’s going on friends. Welcome to episode six of the InspireFirst Podcast. I’m elated to be joined by my friend, Daniel Lamb of Holland Creative. He’s a copywriter, a web designer, and a web developer. He does it all. And we talk a lot about productivity, his creative process, and how he was inspired to write. If you enjoyed today’s show, rate us five stars and give us a good review wherever you’re listening to this podcast and check us out online at inspirefirst.com. That’s inspirefirst.com. Now on to today’s show.
Chris Craft: (01:01)
Daniel Lamb is a copywriter, web designer, and web developer, all in one person. He’s the founder of Holland Creative, a copywriting and design strategy company here in the Atlanta area. Welcome to the show, Daniel, how are you, man?
Chris, thank you so much for having me. I’m doing really well today. I’m excited to dig into this conversation with you.
Chris Craft: (01:23)
Me too. You feel like an old friend, but we literally just met like a week ago.
Isn’t it funny how when you meet somebody and you’re just start vibing like that, that it feels like a lived in relationship, even though you really are just starting to get to know each other.
Chris Craft: (01:38)
Exactly. Exactly. So it’s really cool, man. Um, I always like to start with people’s story, so let’s start there. Who is Daniel Lamb.
Okay. Alright. hang onto your hang onto your seat. All right.
So, as you mentioned, I’m the CEO of Holland creative. We’re a marketing agency based here in Atlanta, which is pretty cool, you know, considering that I’m from a little dirt road town in middle Georgia. So let me back up a little bit and tell you a little bit more about who I am. So I, I grew up in a place called Perry, Georgia, which is a small town, um, in the middle of the state. So a little bit about my, the name of my agency is called Holland creative. And the reason I call it that is because I grew up on a street called Holland road, which was a dirt road. It was a dirt road, like red clay, Georgia dirt. And it wasn’t paved until I was getting ready to leave for college at 18. So my first 18 years were living in the woods with my grandparents on a dirt road, um, which is very, you know, to in these days terms, it sounds really odd compared to the fast-paced digital life that a lot of us live, you know? Um, and so, yeah, I, I was raised by my grandparents, um, in middle Georgia. As you can imagine, they, you know, born in the thirties and the twenties. And so I, I was raised very traditionally, um, by very, um, you know, old school people who had very high standards. You know, I was I was always held to a super high standard in school. Um, you know, if I got a B, if the question was, why didn’t you get an A, and if I got an, a, the question was, why didn’t you get that A+?
Daniel Lamb: (03:31)
Okay. Yeah. My grandma was a really, a really hard nose lady. Um, she was, uh, in collections, she worked for the Sears company back in the day and she was a collections agent. So she understood how to push people’s buttons and get results. I mean, today she could have been in crazy awesome direct response marketer, but, um, but yeah, so, you know, growing up with her, um, she was always making me do my homework and pushing me to, to do better and better and better, which probably gave me a bit of a perfectionist complex, um, which I can own that. I am probably my strongest critic today. Most people are always easier on me than I am on myself. So I have her to thank for that. That really has served me pretty well, being an entrepreneur though, because there’s nobody, you know, when you don’t have a boss, there’s no one to, to check up on you and say, Daniel, are you, are you performing at your highest? Are you getting things done or are you delivering on time or are you pushing for a better results? No, the answer is no. I credit her with that. My grandfather on the other hand was a little bit more laid back. Um, he, he was a, um, a government employee. He worked for the local air force base as a civilian. Um, and he worked on aircraft and stuff like that. And so he was really technically savvy. Like he always, he was always tinkering around with electronics and like wiring up like switches and like electrical schematics, but he was also really into gardening. One of my favorite memories of growing up there on Holland road was getting to garden with my grandfather. So growing tomatoes and vegetables out there in the garden with him and, um, you know, canning the summer with my grandparents.
Daniel Lamb: (05:38)
And, um, it really, it was a lifestyle that, um, you know, that at the time I thought it was really lame. Um, but now there are some of my most cherished memories. Um, and yeah, so, um, you know, fast forward a bit. Yeah. I, um, I got into copywriting sort of accidentally, um, you know, growing up down there, I had no ambition to become a, you know, a marketer or a copywriter. Uh, the family’s plan for me was always to become a lawyer or maybe a doctor. Even that I was always sort of into words and talking and conversations and stories. Um, you know, they said Daniel will always make you’ll, you’ll make a great lawyer or a politician one day. And to me that just sounded gross. I never wanted to be a lawyer or a politician. I never thought of them as good role models.
Chris Craft: (06:36)
But any who, um, my friends, my first jobs in the world were working as, um, really random things. Uh, I never really had a professional goal in mind growing up. I just kind of found my way into random jobs. So I was like, yeah, filing clerk at a doctor’s office. I worked as a pool cleaner, a pool boy. After all that, I taught music lessons after music school. Well, that’s another part of my story that we can dig into, um, Madonna where both me, but my main job experience before getting into marketing was in restaurants. So as I’m as a server, a delivery person, a dishwasher, I did all those things. Eventually it became a manager and a team leader there. So, I did all that working my way through college and, yeah, eventually graduated with an English degree.
Chris Craft: (07:37)
And, uh, one of the great things about working in the restaurant industry is you meet all sorts of people every day. Yeah. And, um, I knew that, uh, in order to get a job, the competitive field like marketing, I needed to network. And so I spent the last few years of my, uh, time in the, in the restaurant industry, really networking and getting to know my customers, my people focusing on, um, yeah, cultivating some leadership skills and some networking skills. And so by the time I finished college, I was able to get a job at a small agency here in Atlanta. And so I was there for about four years and that’s where I kind of cut my teeth on content, writing SEO, copywriting, and, you know, the world of marketing, which college did you go to? Um, so my first foray into college was at the university of Georgia.
Daniel Lamb: (08:27)
And I believe that I cursed myself by walking under the arch there at UGA. They say, you’re supposed to walk under the arch lest you fail at your collegiate endeavors. And so really I went there for about three semesters and I just wasn’t serious as an 18 year old, you know, out on his own for the first time. I was more interested in playing my guitar. So, I dropped out of UGA and then went to Institute of music and studied guitar and graduated from there and just kind of got into the lessons, teaching world and gigging and, um, working in restaurants, trying to do the music thing. Eventually that took me back into school because I realized that wasn’t super sustainable or lucrative. I ended up graduating from Georgia state with a degree in rhetoric and composition.
Daniel Lamb: (09:17)
I finally made my way back to my high performance roots and graduated Summa cum laude there and, and did a bunch of extra, you know, distinction projects and things like that. So I was really gung ho for school. I think I thought that I was going to go into academia at first. Then when I started doing my research on the academic job market, I thought maybe I should look into other means of making it as a writer because teaching as a university professor might not be the, the, you know, the life that I’m actually trying to cultivate,
Chris Craft: (09:49)
We’re talking about this offline, but, uh, you know, obviously that, that teaching aspect, um, your, your talent for it is still in play today.
Daniel Lamb: (10:00)
Yeah, absolutely. I love teaching. And so, um, I’ve been able to parlay that into a few different, um, a few different things. Um, in my career, um, I started teaching workshops at general assembly about a year and a half ago. So we were doing SEO workshops and copywriting workshops. Um, um, like once a month there, those little two hour intensives, which I eventually turned into an online course called the copywriters field guide to SEO. And so that was a little beta launch I did earlier this year when the pandemic kind of set in. I was looking for something else to do. So I had a small launch on that, which was really great. I learned a lot from doing that. And then, um, this summer I have started, um, as an instructor at Creative Circus here in Atlanta. Which is, if you don’t know, that’s a portfolio school for people in advertising, so copywriters and art directors. And so I am, we’re about halfway through our first quarter. I’m really enjoying working with these up-and-coming copywriters and bringing something a little bit different to the table for them, where they’re really invested in brand copywriting. I’m, you know, more from the direct response and SEO background. So it’s been a lot of fun working with these young people.
Chris Craft: (11:19)
That’s cool. So you mentioned during your story that you always had a way with words and you love words. When did you first realize that you had a love for words?
Chris Craft: (11:30)
This is gonna sound funny, but I think it goes back to the Scholastic book fairs in elementary school. And I don’t know if you had this where you grew up, but we had a book club with, which was partnered with pizza hut. And so if you read a certain number of books, you could get a free like kids pizza. And so I was always trying to get that pizza. There you go. We are
Speaker 3: (11:54)
Motivated by rewards. I love it.
Chris Craft: (11:56)
So I was always with a, with a Scholastic program. I was always begging for extra money to go and buy books at the Scholastic fairs. Cause we didn’t have, you know, growing up in a small town, we didn’t have a great library or a great, um, a great, uh, what’s the word bookstore. Um, so it was the school library that I was always checking out tons of books from, and then, you know, going in hard with that Scholastic book fair and getting as many books as I could for the money that my grandparents would give me for that. Um, and so I’ve always been motivated by books and pizza. And so really not a lot has changed since kindergarten, but when I started to realize that I was into writing, it was probably high school, um, around the time. So I started playing guitar when I was 13 and I started becoming more interested in creativity and writing like music and writing lyrics and things like that.
Chris Craft: (12:50)
So I started writing lyrics and poems, you know, around like late middle school, early high school. And, um, and so I think naturally I gravitated towards in school, like English class and history class, where it was more about the written word and story. And so I became like the GoTo person that people would come to for help with their, you know, their high school papers, you know, for editing for content. Um, and so I think, you know, by that time I knew that I had, um, sort of a, a love for the word, the written word by then.
Speaker 3: (13:25)
That’s cool. Um, you mentioned your involvement with, you know, um, direct response and SEO. Uh, do you have a favorite copywriting success story from some of your past projects?
Daniel Lamb: (13:39)
Yeah, absolutely. Um, so, so one of my favorite stories is from the very unsexy world of SEO copywriting and, you know, SEO gets a bad rap in the conversion copy world because of SEO is focused on keywords, keyword inclusion, and those kinds of tactics, but at a previous agency job, um, my first job in the field, we were working with a big online clothing retailer in the workforce space and they had these annual goals that at the time we thought were insane. They wanted to go from one year hitting 18 million in organic revenue to the next year hitting 30 million in organic revenue. And so me as the copywriter, working with the SEO team, we were stressed. We were like, how are we going to do this? And so, um, I was working with my boss’s strategist. And so we came up with, um, you know, a year long plan to do a bunch of H-tag optimization.
Daniel Lamb: (14:36)
So, headlines on the pages that were more relevant for, you know, the copy, the copy was more relevant for the products they were selling top of the funnel content. So we were doing lifestyle content about outdoor activities out their lifestyle and, and then also a category page content blocks. So, you know, for the different types of, um, product categories, we were optimizing those pages using keyword rich copy in block form. So usually those live at the bottom of the page, but anyway, so through, through all these sort of various tactics, we were able to make them that actually exceed those revenue goals, um, year over year. And we did it, uh, I think for the time that I was at that agency, we hit our goals or exceeded them year over year for three years running. Um, which was really cool. It was really cool because, you know, mainly that that company was focused on search. And so we were always happy to get some bragging rights for, you know, content and SEO, because you know, the spotlight was always on the media buyers.
Chris Craft: (15:45)
And that’s the question that comes up all the time. You know, how do you, um, resolve the ROI of organic content and your story, you know, spoke directly to that. I appreciate you given the, the strategy and the tactics from it, from that story that was, that’s really inspiring to me. And I’m sure it is to our listeners.
Daniel Lamb: (16:05)
Yeah, it’s, it’s tough sometimes to, to measure content marketing on an ROI basis. But I think that the best way to do that is to look at how content is feeding the top of the funnel. So while your metrics might be, you know, new viewers or time on page being longer, whatever it is that you choose as a KPI, I think it just has to be contextualized with the rest of your metrics, because it’s like, like, think about a paid traffic funnel. Like if you don’t turn traffic on and put people into that funnel, your bottom line metrics, aren’t going to look so good. And so if you’re using an organic mechanism like SEO or content marketing to push traffic into your funnel, you can look at it through the same lens as your paid advertising cost, the cost to create and amplify that organic content. You could look at it like ad spend. Rather than trying to say that this piece, one piece of content, you know, resulted in this many sales, you could look at it through that lens of, well, we created this batch of organic content. It costs us this much. And now that it’s pushing into our funnel, we’re seeing, you know, that ROI calculation on the back end, based on the, the, the whole, you know, efficiency of the funnel, if that makes sense,
Chris Craft: (17:28)
Very smart. Who are some or of your past mentors or current mentors in the copywriting world?
Daniel Lamb: (17:37)
You know, I would have to say, um, my first mentor that I really looked up to in marketing, wasn’t a copywriter. Um, he was the CEO of my first job, Response Mind Interactive here in Atlanta. His name is Ken Robbins. And the reason that I bring him up is because he was sort of like a, like a connector and a gatekeeper. He turned me on to all of the old school founders of marketing, like, um, like Claude Hopkins and John Caples, and like so all these like basically copywriters who more or less defined the era that proceeded the one we’re in now with all their measurability stories and the ways that they talk to customers to find out the unique mechanisms that would sell these products. But Ken was always encouraging his employees to read, read, read, read, read, and read widely.
Daniel Lamb: (18:32)
So not just copywriting books, but books about cognitive psychology about, you know, um, the theory of constraints, um, all these different topics that have really informed how I go about doing business. Um, but that said, I think some of the copywriters that I look to today and have looked to over the past couple of years, um, number one, I would definitely recommend checking out Joanna Wiebe from copy hackers. Uh, she has so much great educational content for free and for, for a fee. Her methodologies are really solid. Um, and, uh, she’s a great person, um, for more of the traditional sales copy, like the, you know, the direct response stuff. I would say that right now, there’s no one better to look at it than Stephan Jorgi. He has a program called the RNBC method and it is insanely effective.
Daniel Lamb: (19:28)
There’s also some free content from him that you can get and start to, to understand how it works. But basically he has systematized the whole long form sales letter process into some concrete steps that you can put to work. And even if you’re not writing long form content, like looking through those lenses isn’t is really, really helpful in terms of, um, figuring out your way into, um, that sort of direct response copy. Um, and then for like the personality driven copy and conversion copy based on personality brands, it’s actually a peer of mine. Uh, my friend, Brittany McBean. She is working with some really great some of the top names in our field right now on their website copy and, and, and, um, she has a great handle on how to translate, you know, that sort of hyper, current, like cheeky, punchy stuff into good copy.
Daniel Lamb: (20:28)
You know, we’re, we’re in a really great place right now with social media and, and, um, online groups that all these people are actually really accessible. If you want to learn from them, there’s nothing stopping you.
Chris Craft: (20:42)
Wow. Great, great feedback. Thank you. What does your in a writing routine, but like on the personal level?
Daniel Lamb: (20:51)
Oh man, that’s a great question. I love starting with the free stuff. Especially if you aren’t already in an agency or getting paid to do big SEO projects where you have all the fancy expensive tools. One of the great things to do is just to go start a Google account, um, and get into keyword planner, get into trends, get into search console, Google analytics. Um, if you can get into these tools, there are a lot of ways you can use them to find out what sort of competition levels are going on for keywords, what sort of, data you can find by location.
Daniel Lamb: (21:26)
So if you’re trying to do local marketing, Google is great about giving you data based on where the searches are coming from and the volume of searches based on location. Um, but if you’re not looking for, you know, that kind of data, Google trends is great to find out what people are talking about right now of trends. Yeah. Yeah. So unpacking like different ways to use that tool. I’d definitely recommend if you don’t know how to use the tools, go to YouTube and just look up tutorials on how to use these things, because sometimes it’s not apparent to, you know, just jump into the interface and figure it out, but find these free videos. They’ll make your process a lot faster. When I’m looking for voice of customer data, and trying to figure out, you know, what my unique way into a topic is, I love going into a few different places.
Daniel Lamb: (22:15)
Obviously customer interviews are going to give you the best one to one information. So if you’re working with a client who will give you access to their customers, definitely interviewed them directly. I mean, this, this is a tactic that goes back to the founders of marketing. Um, uh, talking directly to the customer is, is pure gold, but if you don’t have direct access to customers, find where they have written their thoughts down. So go onto Reddit, uh, look at subreddits for different types of topics. Like for instance, if you’re writing about healthcare, not healthcare, but health routines, health supplements, or exercise, like Reddit has subreddits on paleo, on Kito on all these different things. If you’re in the product space, I would recommend going to places like Amazon or other online retailers and reading through, um, product review is, um, and then when it comes to, if you’re trying to research for things that aren’t necessarily reviewed on Reddit or Amazon or Google, I would say go to competitors’ sales funnels and copy.
Daniel Lamb: (23:27)
So, look at what the competition is doing from a messaging standpoint, find the top number. I mean, the top, the number one, number two, number three, people in a space and look at their copy and see what sort of, you know, persuasion mechanisms are built into what they have to say. Um, and so those are just a few of the ways I could say, start getting into the research. There are a few other tools out there as well that you might want to check out, uh, like Answer the Public, Quora. There’s no shortage of places to find information.
Chris Craft: (24:03)
Yeah. Without a doubt, without a doubt as far as, Oh, and that was going to say you, as far as your writing, are you, uh, you know, jot your ideas down on paper guy first, are you an outline-guy first or just open up a blank, uh, document and let your words spill out and then she put up later, how do you approach the writing part?
Daniel Lamb: (24:26)
It kind of depends on what project I’m getting into. Um, if it’s a, you know, if it’s a sales letter, I, I have a sort of fill in the blanks process that I start with where I put my research in different places. I sort of figure out which, which ideas are going to go for different sections of the letter and sort of a mad lib, a little bit with a sort of a swipe that I have created for myself. But I use that to then sort of go into the writing process. So I like to have all of my research and quotes and data’s sort of sourced into one document. Then I will use that to create a fresh one. So side-by-side, I like working with side by side windows, um, for that reason. Um, and so then for, for more of the tactical writing where it’s like SEO writing and stuff like that, um, I have built myself a few templates that I work out of. Um, and so those are sort of optimized account characters for me to, um, to format [inaudible] and so on, um, and to, to basically sort of wrangle and all that, all the specs for me. And so those are more done, more mechanically.
Chris Craft: (25:48)
So, as writers and marketers, you know, remaining productive is very important. Um, do you have any tools or recommendations or productivity hacks that you can tell to our listeners? Daniel?
Daniel Lamb: (26:03)
Sure. I’m, I’m kind of a productivity geek, so I’m glad you asked this question. I started getting into productivity a couple of years ago and reading some books on the, on the subject. One of my favorite ones, um, was the perfect day formula by Craig Ballantine. Um, show notes for sure. Yeah. Yeah. He’s a business coach. He mainly works with like fitness coaches and stuff, but he also works with marketers. But one of his tips was to create this thing called magictime. Magictime is real a similar concept to Cal Newport’s Deepwork and creating these focus blocks of time. Basically, productivity for me starts with intention. So, I like to plan my day on the evening before so that when I get up and get into my, into my work, that it’s already scaffolded for me planned out for me so that I know I like to start with the highest value tasks first.
Daniel Lamb: (27:09)
So working on the things, you know, if it’s, if you’re a business owner it’s working on those income producing activities, like prospecting building content, um, you know, reaching out to people for sales stuff, if you’re an employee and you’re trying to uplevel, I would say focus on the things that will make you better in your craft. Like working on, you know, your, your learnings, um, but then there’s also a rule that I like to follow. It’s called ten-three-two-one-zero. This is more about like mind body, but 10 hours before bed don’t drink any more caffeine or any stimulating, um, drinks, uh, three hours before bed, no food, no alcohol, two hours before bed, no work one hour before bed, no more screen time.Then zero, zero is zero times.
Daniel Lamb: (28:11)
We press the snooze button. So no snooze button. That ten-three-two-one-zero is another thing I learned from Craig Valentine, but those things just the magictime or the deepwork. And then following that, that structure for, backing out of things in the day has been really helpful in terms of systematizing the way I go about my work and about my, you know, my own habits. Outside of that, I think it’s really important to have systems and processes. So, one of the things that I’ve invested in is simplifying that stuff down. Rather than having a billion different places where I have things written down and tools and stuff, I’ve simplified it down to three. Um, my project management is all in Asana. So, I have built out a system for myself where I track all my deliverables and communications about deliverables there.
Daniel Lamb: (29:10)
Instead of using paper, I got myself one of these RocketBook things. So if you’re not familiar with Rocketbook, it’s basically reusable paper that you can then scan into an app. That will let you put it wherever you want it, and you can also use it to, whiteboard in real-time. So, there’s like these little beacons you can hook up and do, um, lessons on, um, you know, in real-time with that. Um, so that’s been helpful in terms of cutting down the paper and, and not having so many notebooks and random things hanging out. Um, and then the other thing is, is really blocking out time on my calendar for different things. So there, I have a theme for each day in my business. I like to stack client meetings on Mondays and some times on Tuesdays if there were a lot of them. Wednesdays are completely blocked out for execution focus, work, basically content delivery, client delivery. Fridays are usually reserved for doing podcast interviews like this, and then working on business systems. So, you know, my onboarding processes, my, you know, email swipes, uh, finance, that kind of stuff. So basically just kind of carving up my week into different sections so that, um, I am more able to focus on the things that are important when I need to.
Chris Craft: (30:37)
We’re on with Daniel Lamb of Holland creative follow up question about that. I have children. Do you have dogs? They’re needy distractions happen? How do you handle or manage the distractions?
Daniel Lamb: (30:51)
Well, it’s always a work in progress and it’s not about perfection. It’s about, it’s about, I think, first being, being gentle with your children and gentle with your dogs and gentle with yourself and understanding that, you know, what, we’re in a situation now where we can’t always escape. Um, we can’t always escape distractions and we can’t always escape disruptions. So, one of the things that I do is I get up very early, uh, earlier than most. And so having that early morning time is really helpful for my productivity. Um, so I get up at 3:57 AM every day, which might sound extreme, but I also go to bed early. And so it works out. I get enough sleep, but getting up early helps me knock out those main important things that really have to get done right away. Um, but in terms of actually managing, you know, those distractions in real time, I think, I think having a few tactics lined up are helpful.
Daniel Lamb: (31:53)
One, I have my office in a separate room, you know, I don’t, I don’t do work in their living room or the dining room or the bedroom. I haven’t, I have a home office, um, obviously today, uh, because of the dogs, I am recording this interview on my patio. Being flexible is a big part of that as well. And, I think in terms of being flexible, it’s also important to, to not be too, too hard on yourself, if things did go wrong, you know, tomorrow’s another day. Then in terms of like working with clients and working with, with colleagues, we’re all in this boat. So, with my students, with my colleagues, if dogs are being bad, I’ll tell them up front on the call, Hey, I’m going to do my best to keep my mic off when you’re talking. Uh, but I can’t, you know, I can’t help that my dogs have been, um, you know, cooped up because we just got them fixed last week. So they’ve been incredibly, incredibly, um, incredibly cagey this week because of that. So, um, just being upfront with people and setting those expectations, um, I think that people don’t like disruption, but if they expect it, it’s not really disruption. It’s just, you know, it’s just, um, you know, by-product background noise
Chris Craft: (33:10)
To be fair. Uh, I will be irritable if I got fixed too, so.
Daniel Lamb: (33:14)
Yeah. Yeah. If you got fixed and then you had to stay inside and not do anything fun, I think, I think dogs are kind of like kids too. Like this concept of time is much more, much more visceral for a dog or a small child than it is for an adult. You know, that framing of, uh, an hour to a two year old an hour is a really long expansive time since you’ve only been on the world for two years. Um, and for a dog as well, uh, for us two hours is like, you know, it’s a matinee.
Chris Craft: (33:45)
It is it’s, it’s nothing. You work a lot with coaches and course creators. Why that niche? Why is that appealing to you?
Daniel Lamb: (33:56)
Yeah, so, so for me, um, obviously I’m naturally a teacher and I’m naturally a helper. I’m always been one of those people who maybe even to a fault and against his own better judgment will go out of his way to help other people, even if it’s inconvenient or maybe not even smart. Um, but you know, in marketing, we have this power to persuade people and to influence behavior. And, you know, obviously marketing gets a bad rap in a lot of circles for pushing agendas, products, and people that are necessarily aligned with the greatest good. But the reason I work with copy, I mean, I’m not copywriters, but, uh, content creators, or course creators and coaches is because it’s about a mission. It’s about a mission to create a better world through, you know, educating people, helping people overcome their struggles and, um, you know, leading, leading the charge on, you know, being healthier, being smarter, being more equipped to deal with what’s going on in the world around us. And so, um, that’s why I love working with fitness coaches, mindset coaches, course creators, um, who are, you know, driven to help other people, um, you know, take their life in the right direction.
Chris Craft: (35:25)
I love it. What is your favorite marketing strategy or tactic that leads to growth for your clients? I know, I know the tactic, tactic, tactic, but the listeners love to hear this type of stuff. And, uh, you know, I’d like to learn too. So, I was just wondering, you know, what stands out to you from your experiences?
Daniel Lamb: (35:47)
So, I think that for a lot of clients, it starts out with this question of, we need to get more customers or we need to spend less money on paid advertising or whatever the pain point is. Um, invariably what I almost always find is that it’s not a marketing tactic that they lack because they’re already doing all the things. It seems like we’re always doing all the things all the time. And so the biggest thing is to create a, is it create a process, really, um, a process that will allow all these tactics to come into concert with one another. I think another word for this, a buzzword for this is a funnel. If you’ve read any of Russell Brunson’s books like Traffic Secrets or Expert Secrets or Dot Com Secrets, it’s all about creating, um, mechanisms by which people can get to know you and buy from you and then how to ascend them through your value ladder or, you know, basically create more value for those customers and keep them engaged.
Daniel Lamb: (37:05)
One way to interpret that would be to create a funnel. If you don’t have a funnel in your business, I think the first step is to start by asking yourself the question, like, who am I serving and what am I giving them? I think then the second question is how can I deliver more value? And so the transition, um, and the translation from those questions would be something that looks more like a traditional funnel. Step one is giving away something for free, like a piece of content right now, translating content into a funnel means, you know, creating, an opt in or somehow, you know, a way to keep someone engaged after they read that one piece of content or download that one, you know, um, resource for them. And then from there, you know, that one thing solves a problem.
Daniel Lamb: (38:01)
And then the next lead in is a, is to solve a bigger problem that maybe is a paid product. I paid workshop or, um, some sort of memberships, some sort of, you know, tangible paid offering that is an entry level buy. Then from there, you know, you can ascend to more higher value, higher complexity problems that he saw, whether that’s an actual product or a done for you service. Um, but looking at that through the lens of the funnel, um, and the value ladder, I think the is one of the big missing pieces for a lot of businesses. The cool thing about that is it really frees you up to think about goals and a little bit less about, okay, should we be running Facebook ads or should we be doing SEO or should we be creating landing pages. Because chances are you kind of need a little bit of everything.
Chris Craft: (38:55)
Yep. That’s right.
Daniel Lamb: (38:56)
So like looking at it through the lens of a funnel helps sort of tap down some of the noise of which tactics do we need and focus on a bigger goal and a bigger, um, a bigger idea.
Chris Craft: (39:10)
Great, great answer. Well, Daniel Lamb, one of my favorite names, by the way, Daniel Lamb, your, your name is cool man, uh, of Holland creatives. Um, we were talking about this the other day, dude, you have a rare combination of talents, you, right? You design and you develop, how do you balance it all?
Daniel Lamb: (39:30)
I think the balance comes from looking at the sort of the 80-20 rule, which is 20% of my activities produce 80% of my results. While I do know how to do a lot of things, the decision then comes down to what should I be doing? So, you know, I’ve had to learn how to take some of the focus off of low-value activities and, and, and, um, you know, hire developers, hire other writers, and hire designers where it makes sense so that I can focus on the things that you know, are inside my zone of genius as it were. But you know, I think back into the idea of creating those daily themes or time blocks to focus on different things. I think that you know, the biggest, the biggest, advantage that I’ve found is to limit task switching because each one of those, you know, each one of those focuses writing, developing, and designing sort of tap into different, um, different brain frequencies, different, you know, different types of focus. So, isolating them and working on them one at a time is really, I’d say the biggest thing that I would recommend if you’re a multidisciplinary practitioner
Chris Craft: (40:59)
And follow up question, um, you kinda talked about this with your, your weekly blocks. How do you, cause you’re a solopreneur essentially. I think you have a couple of VA’s, but how do you balance the, the, your creative responsibility and the more administrative things like sending invoices and receiving invoices from your VA’s processing them, et cetera.
Daniel Lamb: (41:22)
Yeah. Um, so two things on that one. I invested in, um, a resource called HoneyBook. Before I was in HoneyBook, I was using one invoice software, different emails to, you know, do prospecting and client communications, uh, and then Asana to project manage. Um, and then there’s the question of how to project manage between myself and the client? Well, one of the people that I mentioned earlier turned me on to HoneyBook and, basically that will allow me to invoice, allow me to take pay minutes, allow me to do onboarding, offboarding, and project management on the client facing side, all in one place and manage my sales pipeline. So, that has been really helpful. It was not as expensive as I thought it would be, I think like a year subscriptions, only a couple hundred bucks, but, in terms of time savings, like having that tool has cut down on a lot of, uh, of the piecemeal work that goes into that.
Daniel Lamb: (42:31)
Then in terms of processing all these different things, uh, you know, and communicating, it comes down to blocking off the calendar and picking when I’m going to do those things. Um, I generally will process like payout invoices on a net 30 basis. So once a month I pay all my BAS and subcontractors that are working for me. That also makes it easier to, uh, you know, plan for cashflow and things like that. So having a process, whether that’s net 15, that 30 or whatever, you know, works for your business, I think figuring out how to, how to manage cashflow and how to manage your time around that stuff is essential to maintain your sanity and, creating some efficiencies that will allow you to then replicate scale if that’s what you want.
Chris Craft: (43:24)
I love it. Um, you mentioned some good books, um, during our talks a day. Uh, but what are you reading right now? Or what are you listening to right now in terms of books or podcasts?
Daniel Lamb: (43:34)
Man, I listened to so many podcasts and it’s hard to, it’s hard to whittle it down, but I would say
Chris Craft: (43:42)
Before you answer, when do you consume content? Right? Um, yeah.
Daniel Lamb: (43:49)
Um, so I listened to podcasts, usually when I am doing things that require my hands. So if I’m washing dishes, cooking out on walks with my dogs, or, you know, if I’m exercising, um, you know, driving any time that I, that I need to be doing something that isn’t, work-related, I’ll usually listen to podcasts because I like to, you know, I like to make the best of my time. Um, but I also can’t listen to them when I’m working, because then I just get distracted by the podcast. And I can’t. Um, so that’s actually, that actually brings up another productivity hack that I didn’t before, but I listened to instrumental music while I play while I work, not play, I guess it’s kind of like play sometimes, but, you know, while I’m working, I like to listen to instrumental music because, um, it, it helps me focus and then I don’t get distracted by the lyrics. Um, and so it also helps me keep like my energy level in the right place. So my vibes and the good place, sometimes music with lyrics skin, like push me in one direction or the other. So I listened to instrumental music when I, when I write. Um, and I don’t listen to podcasts or audio books when I write, because it’s distracting.
Chris Craft: (45:07)
One of my hacks, yeah. One of my hacks is I’m a big Radiohead fan.
Daniel Lamb: (45:11)
Oh, me too. I didn’t know that about you. Yeah.
Chris Craft: (45:13)
Yeah. So I think kid a is the best album with vocals
Daniel Lamb: (45:21)
For writing. Oh yeah. Yeah. It’s great. That both kid a and Amnesiac are like fantastic records for writing. If you want, I don’t know if you know about this guy, but Christopher O’Reilly plays Radiohead on piano. And so it’s all radio. He does a lot of different artists, but his radio had, um, performances are amazing and it’s all instrumental piano music. And so it’s really intense and complex if you’re into piano music, but Christopher Wiley is a killer pianist. His Radiohead stuff is fantastic.
Chris Craft: (45:56)
Yeah, we’re definitely gonna, I’m definitely gonna look that up and listeners look out for our, um, instrumental only, uh, inspire first Spotify playlist here, coming up soon, we’re going to be marketing that and putting it out there for our writing community, but I totally took you down a rabbit hole, man, your podcast and your books that you love to listen to. Oh, sorry about that.
Daniel Lamb: (46:18)
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So a couple of go-to podcasts. So two of my mentors, um, Rob Marsh and Kira Hug, they are great copywriters and good friends. They have a podcast called the Copywriter Club podcast, um, and that comes out every Tuesday. They have a really rich library of great interviews with copywriters and business experts. I definitely recommend checking that out. Let’s see, other than that, um, I really liked the Minimalists podcast. Josh Fields, Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. They, they have some great conversations on there about, about like intentional living. That one’s more for inspiration. In terms of books that I, that I’ve been reading lately, um, goodness, um, I’d say right now I’m focusing on reading Mike McCallowitz’s Profit First book, which any of anybody who’s in business for themselves should probably read that book. It’s got a lot of great insights on how to structure your business and how to prioritize your business finances. What else… Atomic Habits by James Clear. That’s really great on being intentional about cultivating practices and habits in your life and sort of how to structure your approach to that. Creating habits that stick.
Chris Craft: (47:49)
I love it. Daniel, you have been a rich resource to me and to our listeners and to our community. I really, really appreciate you, man. Um, so thank you for joining us. Where can our listeners learn more about you and Holland Creative and all that you’re doing?
Daniel Lamb: (48:09)
Yeah, absolutely. So, my website is Hollandcreative.io and, uh, for people who are tuning in today, I do have a special little thing for you. So, a lot of the tools and things we mentioned, I’ve put together a resource. Um, and so I’d like to offer that to you. Um, if you go to, hollandcreative.io/inspirefirst, you’ll see a page there where you can download a guide that will help you plan your content better. It’ll show you some of the tools we’ve been talking about for research planning and SEO and, and productivity. There’ll be a video in there as well. That will kind of walk you through the whole process. Um, if you want to use that and how to integrate it in your business.
Chris Craft: (48:54)
Hey, I have a strong feeling that this won’t be the last time, uh, Lord willing that we’ll have you on the show, but until then be blessed and have a great weekend. We’re recording this on a Friday. We’re right up against the weekend, man.
Daniel Lamb: (49:08)
Yeah, absolutely. It is going to be nice tomorrow. I’m hoping to get out for a hike. Thank you so much for having me today, Chris, this has been fantastic.
Chris Craft: (49:17)
I appreciate you. All right. Thank you for listening to the Inspirefirst podcast until next time. I hope you enjoy today’s episode of the Inspirefirst Podcast. If you like what you heard, please be sure to give us a good review and give us a good rating wherever you’re listening to the podcast. If you want to learn more about Inspirefirst, check us out email@example.com. That’s inspirefirst.com and send us a tweet. Hit us on Twitter @inspire_first, until next time.