[Intersection Podcast] Episode 009: Master Re-Builder

Hosted by Bobby Rettew, MA

Marty Boardman HeadshotIn 1998 I was recruited by the Chief Photojournalist of KPHO-TV to join one of the best broadcast television visual storytelling teams in the United States. The moment I stepped off the plane in my black suit on a hot summer day in Phoenix, Arizona; Marty Boardman not only welcomed me in style but became one of my closest mentors and ultimately best man in my wedding.

As Chief Photojournalist, Marty Boardman taught me more in 3 years about storytelling, life, friendship, empathy, and ultimately business; more than I could have ever imagined. After leaving Phoenix and KPHO-TV for graduate school at Clemson University, Marty left the broadcast television business to tackle a new industry. He converted his journalistic style into a business acumen that ultimately helped him build a huge real estate business.

One of the most fascinating intersections in Marty’s path was his ability to transfer his visual storytelling and journalistic skills into relationship building mechanism. One that helped him raise capital, buy and sell homes, expand to other cities across the country, and ultimately launch a training business. He moved from behind the camera to the featured personality, writing books and creating how-to videos dominating social media. Ladies and Gentleman…Marty Boardman.

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Bobby Rettew: Intersection is brought to you by Social Health Institute. Exploring new and innovative ways for hospitals and healthcare organizations to develop and enhance their social media and digital marketing strategies. Learn more at socialhealthinstitute.com.

Marty Boardman: We like to say facts tell, stories sell.

Bobby Rettew: Welcome to Intersection. I am Bobby Rettew, storyteller. So introduce yourself. “My name is …” And tell us who you are and a little bit about yourself.

Marty Boardman: Sure, my name is Marty Boardman, and I am with Fix and Flip Hub. And my business partner and I, Manny Romero, we fix and flip houses in Phoenix, Arizona and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I live in Phoenix. People ask me all the time why I fix and flip in Milwaukee. I tell them it’s ’cause I like beer, brats, and cheese.

Marty Boardman: But the truth is, is we felt like there was some great opportunities. We were looking to expand our fix-and-flip business outside of Phoenix. And Milwaukee was a great market for us and why we chose that.

Marty Boardman: I’ve been fixing and flipping houses since 2002. Yeah, we not only fix and flip houses and own investment properties ourselves, but we also teach people how to do it. We’re coaches as well and instructors.

Bobby Rettew: In 1998, I was recruited by the chief photo journalist of KPHO-TV to join one of the best broadcast television visual storytelling teams in the United States. The moment I stepped off the plane in my black suit on a hot summer day in Phoenix, Arizona, Marty Boardman, not only welcomed me in style, but became one of my closest mentors, and ultimately, best man in my wedding.

Bobby Rettew: As Chief Photo Journalist Marty Boardman taught me more in three years about storytelling, life, friendship, empathy, and ultimately business more than I could have ever imagined. After leaving Phoenix and KPHO-TV for graduate school at Clemson University, Marty left the broadcast television business to tackle a new industry. He converted his journalistic style into a business acumen that ultimately helped him build a huge real estate business.

Bobby Rettew: One of the most fascinating intersections in Marty’s path was his ability to transfer his visual storytelling and journalistic skills into a relationship-building mechanism, one that helped him raise capital, buy and sell homes, expand to other cities across the country, and ultimately launch a training business.

Bobby Rettew: He moved from behind the camera to the feature personality, writing books and creating how-to videos, dominating social media. Ladies and gentlemen, Marty Boardman.

Bobby Rettew: How did a broadcast television news photojournalist who has traveled the country, traveled internationally, told stories of legislators, so the top stories in the world, was at Columbine, was at some big national stories, turn into a guy that is now flipping houses and doing well? How did that happen?

Marty Boardman: Well, let’s see. Where do I start? So as you mentioned, I was a TV news photojournalist for the CBS affiliate in Phoenix, where I currently live, and have lived since 1991, so a long time, so consider Arizona my home, Phoenix my home. And yeah, started out, out of high school really. Got a job at a TV station in Yuma, Arizona, then eventually made my way to Phoenix.

Marty Boardman: And so I worked in the TV news industry for 15 years and obviously was trained to be a visual storyteller, like you were just talking about. I was a member of the National Press Photographers Association for many years, attended their workshop, and learned how to tell stories with video and with sound, and was very passionate about it for a very long time. And I was Regional Photographer of the Year in 1996 for Region 10, which is, I think, Arizona and California and Nevada.

Marty Boardman: But, yeah, just eventually, I think, like a lot of people, even if you’re passionate about what you do and you love what you do, eventually you start to run out of stories to tell. And you kinda have started telling the same stories over and over again. And I was just looking for a new challenge, really. And frankly, I was looking to make more money.

Marty Boardman: And so when I turned 30 years old, I kinda decided that … I’d been in TV since I was 16, almost 15 years, and I needed to do something else. I was looking for a way to make more money. I was looking for just a new challenge.

Marty Boardman: And right around that time, I read a book by Robert Kiyosaki. It’s called Rich Dad Poor Dad. And in this book, Robert Kiyosaki talks about … he uses kind of his own life story about how he had a rich dad and a poor dad. His poor dad was his biological father. And his rich dad was a close friend of his father, who was very wealthy, business owner, real estate investor.

Marty Boardman: And he kinda just basically just told this story of the two of them and how his poor dad, his biological father, who was a school teacher and, I think, a principal, just invested his money very poorly and invested his time very poorly. He bought liabilities, not assets, so he was constantly in debt. And his rich dad was investing in businesses and buying real estate and created passive income through these different business ventures. And so, yeah, he was buying assets, his rich dad. His poor dad was buying liabilities is kind of the basics of the book.

Marty Boardman: And he also went into detail about how most people trade time for money. They work at a job 40, 50, 60 hours a week, and they get a paycheck. Business owners don’t do that. They invest in businesses, and they make their money through passive types of investments and through the income that their businesses make.

Marty Boardman: So that whole concept I’d never really … I didn’t study business in school. My major was in political science. I knew very little about business and very little about real estate. But that whole concept of creating a business and creating or owning investments that put money in my pocket every month without really having to do anything really appealed to me.

Marty Boardman: And frankly, Bobby, being in the TV news industry for 14, 15 years, I didn’t really know how to do anything else. I had tried applying for jobs at corporations that made … Well I’m here in Arizona. Intel’s really big. And there’s corporations that … a lot of tech companies here. I didn’t know how to do any of that stuff. So I just didn’t have a skillset that would make me very valuable to a corporation like that.

Marty Boardman: So really, real estate was my only real hope for creating an income for myself outside of the TV news industry. So that’s what I did. 2002, I quit my job as a TV news cameraman, and I somehow convinced my wife to let me do that. And my first year in real estate I made about $24,000. The second year, I think I made about $75,000, which was good, ’cause that’s about what I was making in TV news. And then from there, it just kinda exploded.

Marty Boardman: But for about a decade, from 2002 to 2012, I was just doing real estate. And I didn’t do anything, as far as marketing goes, with camera, with podcasting, any of those things. I didn’t have an email list. I didn’t do any of that stuff. I just focused on real estate investing.

Marty Boardman: And then about five, six years ago, I realized the whole world is moving towards this. And this is kinda what sealed it for me, Bobby, is people buy things and invest with people who they know, like, and trust. And video, to me, was the very best way to get people to know us, like us, and trust us, and through storytelling, through visual storytelling.

Marty Boardman: So it’s something that came pretty naturally to me, ’cause I’d done it for so long. However, it was like dusting off an old set of shoes or … I mean, I was pretty rusty when I got back into it. I hadn’t picked up a camera or done any type of editing in over a decade. But the whole premise or the whole foundation behind visual storytelling hasn’t changed really at all in many, many years. So it just came naturally to me and came back to me pretty quickly.

Marty Boardman: So that’s when we started shooting and recording videos at our projects, at our investment projects. We fix and flip houses and owned investment properties in Phoenix, Arizona and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And so my business partner and I … Initially, I was just putting my business partner on camera, and I was staying behind the camera. And then we realized that there’s just a lot more chemistry, and it was easier to tell stories when it was the two of us together. So we started doing stuff together on camera a couple years ago.

Marty Boardman: And, yeah, I mean, things have just exploded for us, our YouTube channel following, our Facebook following, and on Instagram. And we’re constantly approached. And I can’t tell you how many different opportunities, business-wise, that being able to tell stories and to show people what we do on video, what a huge difference that makes. And the competitive advantage that we gain by having that type of media in our business, it’s just been tremendous.

Bobby Rettew: So for people don’t realize this, Marty Boardman was my boss. He hired me back in 1998. And I came to work for him, well, in 1999. And we worked together for two or three years before I left Phoenix to come back and go to grad school. And you have a wonderful family. And you taught me everything there is to know about Arizona. My time there was awesome. I mean, it was fun. We had a great time telling stories in Arizona for those two to three years. I mean, you built a great team.

Marty Boardman: Yeah, it was kind of the golden age of TV news photojournalism. And one of the things I learned assembling the type of team that we had there, when we worked together, Bobby, was one of the things I’ve actually kinda been able to apply also in my new business … so not new, I’ve been doing this.

Marty Boardman: Well I’ve been doing real estate longer than I did TV now, but one of the things that I learned is how to build a team through that experience, surrounding myself with like-minded people, people who have the same passion and energy for the job as I do. So yeah, that was some good times. We had a lot of fun. We worked hard, and we played hard, didn’t we?

Bobby Rettew: We did. We worked really hard. We played hard. We traveled a lot. We spent a lot of time on the lake. We got to know each other, and we really all had a passion for this thing about storytelling and just having fun and a good ol’ time.

Bobby Rettew: One of the things I think is interesting that I was looking forward to chatting with you about … you and I have talked about this a lot, is transitioning, using that institutional knowledge that we gained in television and translated into business, into the business world.

Bobby Rettew: One of the things, I think, that you’ve done really well, which you kinda alluded to earlier, was taking that journalistic business, that journalistic acumen, storytelling acumen, and translate it into your business. And talk about the things that you learned on the streets with a camera and how that related to the business world, not just making stories, but interacting with people.

Marty Boardman: So I think the biggest thing that I learned, and it isn’t really something that I’ve entirely figured out until just a few years ago, if you have a passion for … well it’s a couple of things. Number one, it’s having a passion for what it is you do, okay? It’s easy.

Marty Boardman: One thing that comes very simple to me, and comes very naturally to me, is raising money. We’ve raised, for our real estate investment company over the years, we’ve raised millions of dollars, probably, I’d say, close to 10 to $15 million dollars in private capital to use to invest in our real estate investment projects between Phoenix and Wisconsin. And as a matter of fact, as we speak, I’m in the middle of, with my business partner, putting a $10 million private equity fund together for our acquisitions in Wisconsin.

Marty Boardman: But I think the reason why people invest with us is because of my passion for the business. I love real estate investing. I think one of my favorite parts about it is just transforming properties and buying homes and seeing them go from kind of the eyesore on the block to the gem of the neighborhood.

Marty Boardman: And I can explain how that process works to a potential investor in a very simple, easy-to-understand language. And I can communicate that to them in a way that’s simple and easy to understand. But because there’s a passion behind it, they recognize that I know what I’m talking about, and I’m gonna see it through to the end.

Marty Boardman: It’s interesting. When you work in TV news, when you work in the news business, each day when you come into work, you’re just given an idea, basically. The higher-ups have a story concept for you, and they ask you to tell a story around that concept or idea or whatever happens to be going on. And then you work all day. And by the end of the day, you have something, right, that’s tangible, that goes on the air, that people get to watch and learn from.

Marty Boardman: And I look at what I do in real estate investing is very similar. We start out with a house that’s practically falling down and is in poor condition. We don’t get it done in a day, but in six to eight weeks, we have a completely finished project. And I have to be able to communicate my vision for that property with the people on my team along the way and also to our investors.

Marty Boardman: And I had a passion for storytelling and for video and for producing and editing when I was in TV that was, I think, infectious. It got other people excited about it. And now I’ve kinda translated all that into my real estate business. And I’m just as passionate about that.

Marty Boardman: And I get just as excited about finishing a home and either selling it to a family or if it’s a rental property, renting it to a nice family, and having that pride in knowing that we cleaned up a neighborhood or that we helped to raise property values. We provided jobs to people. I mean, all of those things gets me really excited.

Marty Boardman: And I think when you are … no matter what type of business you’re in, if you were to try to start a bakery or a bank, or you’re starting a digital ad agency, whatever it is, if you can communicate your vision for that business or that opportunity clearly and concisely and have passion to go alongside it, it becomes very easy to raise capital. It becomes very easy to find funding for your projects.

Bobby Rettew: Tell me about how you were able to leverage. And you kinda talked about it earlier. But how do you …? What are some of the things that you started using, from a storytelling standpoint, to really expand your business? You started talking about using video. You started talking about some of those pieces, but that, for a lot of people that’s like, okay, I don’t know how to apply that. What are some of the things that you started doing that, from your days in television, to literally go out and, on a daily basis or weekly basis, tell stories and communicate using certain tactics that really has led to business?

Marty Boardman: It’s important, for example, when I explain to somebody how to fix and flip a house, so it’s important that we keep things as simple as possible. I had this concept taught to me by a very successful fix and flip investor back in 2009. A fix and flip business, and you know people love HGTV. They love watching the reality shows, and it’s all because people like to see the home transformed. They love to see the before and after.

Marty Boardman: When you’re building a fix and flip business, whether you’re going to fix and flip one house, or 100 houses at once, there’s really just four compartments, or divisions, of a fix and flip business. The first component is acquisition, you have to go out and find the houses to fix and flip. Division one is acquisition. Division two is rehab. Once you buy the house, find it and buy it, you’ve got to get it rehabbed, so that’s division two. Division three is just sales. Once you have the house finished, you’ve got to sell it. Then the fourth box or division is money, or capital. You have to have capital to fund the acquisition and the rehab.

Marty Boardman: What I try to do is, in every phase of our business just keep it simple when I’m explaining it to, if it’s our coaching clients, or if it’s potential investors, just keeping things very simple. Just like in TV news, I’m given a story, and it’s typically, hey, whatever is going on in the news that day, we’re building a minute 30 to two minute long story around this one basic concept. That’s what we try to do.

Marty Boardman: If I have a potential coaching client who I want to teach how to fix and flip houses, I want to teach them just in box one, which is acquisition, let’s just say, we were talking about that a few minutes ago. I want to just present to them a very simple, easy to understand, kind of step by step on how to find a deal. Whether it’s on our blog, on our YouTube channel, whatever it is, we try to create a linear experience where it’s just kind of like, you do this, then you do this. Depending upon what part of the journey, or what part of the business that client or that student’s working on, we’ve got a video we can show them.

Marty Boardman: For example, we have a private Facebook group for our coaching program students. What usually happens, Bobby, is someone will go on there and just ask a question, “Hey, you know, I’m trying to figure out what color I want to paint this house. Can you guys give me any advice?” Well, guess what? I have a three minute video on how to choose just the right color for your house. I’m like, “Oh, yeah, as a matter of fact, here’s a video on how to do that.”

Marty Boardman: We created a series of videos around every step in the process so that when we have questions, we can show people, “Hey listen, this is how we do it.” Maybe it’s not a question, maybe it’s a blog post, or maybe it’s not a video, but it’s a blog post we wrote. You know, we started creating this content back in 2012, like I said. When I started shooting video, we started writing blog posts and YouTube posts, so we can use the information, the content we’ve created, to answer questions. Of course, all of that content, whether it’s a blog post, or it’s a YouTube video, or it’s a Facebook post, all of that circles back into a funnel that we created for our coaching program, or for how to invest money with us.

Bobby Rettew: What I love, if people just go follow you on social, Instagram, Facebook, you can check out Fix and Flip. We’re going to have links in the show notes for people to check it out. What you’ll notice is that he is constantly posting video content of the projects he’s working on. A couple things that I think you’ll notice from my perspective is one, you’re always putting out fresh stuff, first of all. You’re staying top of mind, so you’re trying to keep in front of people.

Bobby Rettew: Two, let’s go back to the passion. There is something about translatable passion is when you see someone’s face talking about something they love. That is the part of the equation I think is important, don’t you think? That the people that want to work with you, or buy your products, need to see you and see your passion for what you’re doing. Would you agree?

Marty Boardman: Oh absolutely. Believe me, this isn’t something I learned overnight, and I’m getting better at this. I mean, I’ve been fixing and flipping, I’ve been in real estate for a long time. Like I said, since 2002, longer than I worked in television news. I think sometimes if you’re … I hate to every say or claim I’m an expert, but if you’re an expert in your field, or if you’re somebody who’s generally respected in your industry, or thought of as an expert, it’s really easy to become proud of, or I don’t know, it’s real easy to kind of just throw up all over people with all of your knowledge to try to impress them. I’m guilty of that, for sure.

Marty Boardman: I’ve noticed, and Bobby before you and I started recording this, I started telling you about how we’re going back now through all of our marketing, through our blog posts and emails and videos, and really analyzing the content that we have provided. Because some of it frankly is just we’re making what we do sound a little too complicated, and there’s a lot of tech speak and so on and so forth. It’s important that, A, yeah, you be passionate about what it is you do. B, that you try to create the content based on either clients who don’t know anything about you or your content, or anything about the subject matter. If you can do those two things, then I think it becomes very easy to convert clients into customers. Convert people into customers.

Marty Boardman: For me it’s important that we communicate what it is we do in a very simple and easy to understand way. A few years ago we were raising capital for … We only have two different types of customers or clients. We have investors. We have investors who invest money with us, in our projects. That’s our investment company. Then we have our coaching company. We have people who pay us to teach them how to fix and flip.

Marty Boardman: It’s interesting how the marketing for one or the other helps us with both. Like I have a student in our coaching program right now who has decided she doesn’t really want to learn how to fix and flip houses on her own, she just wants to take the money she has and invest it with somebody who does. Well guess what? We know how. We love taking investor capital and plugging it into our projects. There’s great synergy there between those two companies, between our investment company and our coaching company.

Marty Boardman: We had an investor, a very wealthy investor, he had about $2 million he was looking to invest with us. This was several years ago, really after I first started fixing and flipping houses, and trying to figure out how to raise capital. I sat down with the guy, and I explained over 45 minutes, I sat down face to face with him over lunch, and kind of walked him through every single phase of our business and how it all worked. At the end of the day, even though I was passionate about it, he didn’t invest with us because I gave him way too much information, and made it sound way too complicated.

Marty Boardman: He just didn’t understand it. From where I was sitting, it was very simple and easy to understand, and I thought I was impressing him with all my knowledge of the market, and how to structure deals, and how to acquire properties, and how to sell them, and all these different things. In the end I just confused the guy, you know.

Marty Boardman: You run the risk of sometimes having this passion for what it is you do, and kind of over explaining, or just scaring people away because not everybody wants to know how the sausage is made. Not everybody needs to know how the sausage is made. You have to keep your message, whether it’s video and/or blog posts, whatever it is, just keep your message simple, and the things that you’re trying to share with them easy to understand and easy to follow, so you don’t just turn them away completely.

Bobby Rettew: Now a quick break to ask you for your help. Did you know Intersection Podcast is part of a network of shows, and we’re looking for your feedback. We would appreciate your help if you could take a few minutes to fill out a short listener’s survey. Go to survey.intersectionpodcast.com. That is survey.intersectionpodcast.com. We hope you’ll share your experience.

Bobby Rettew: Hi there, this is Bobby again. We need your help. If you like Intersection, we’d really appreciate you taking a moment to leave us a review. Whether you listen to us on Apple Podcast, Google Play or Stitcher, please take a moment to leave a review. This is important because it helps others find our show. Thank you so much for your help.

Bobby Rettew: One of the things I think was interesting that you did was you decided to create a closed Facebook group so that you could interact directly with people that are students that are buying in to that process. They pay you, and then you allow them into this Facebook group. Talk about the concept of leveraging that opportunity, where you could use a platform like Facebook as a means to build rapport and community within a group of people that you have sold something to.

Marty Boardman: With a coaching program, when you’re working as a coach, obviously time is precious, especially with us, my business partner and I, operating a full time investment company, we wanted to have this medium. We wanted to have an outlet where people in our coaching program could have access to us but not direct access to us. We wanted to be able to create, like you said, a sense of community amongst the students in our coaching program virtually.

Marty Boardman: Certainly we’re not reinventing the wheel here. I mean, there are lots of successful coaches and businesses that have created private, or closed, Facebook groups to create that sense of community and exclusivity. We weren’t certainly trailblazers with this.

Marty Boardman: What we’ve done with our coaching group on Facebook, is this closed group is, what we’ve created is a very interactive type of community, where people can ask questions, share ideas. What’s neat about it is it’s kind of taken on a life of its own now, that we’ve had this for about a year and a half. We’re up to, it’s not a lot of members, I think not quite 100 members in the coaching group.

Marty Boardman: What happens is our students will go into this group and ask questions about a house, or a fix and flip project they’ve purchased, or are in the middle of, or maybe a house they’re looking at buying. Then can ask questions, but there are so many people in the community now that are doing their own fix and flips, that have learned so much from us, they kind of become the facilitators of this group. Manny and I, my business partner, we don’t even have to really interact. Our students do the coaching for us, our successful students do.

Marty Boardman: What that does is the students that are just getting started see, wow, this stuff really works. Not only are Marty and Manny in here helping students, their successful students are as well. It really gives you a lot of credibility, and it makes people feel very good about the money they spent on your program, and you’ve just created testimonials that you can use in your other marketing.

Marty Boardman: If I have a coaching client on a phone call, I typically don’t do phone calls, I do like Zoom conference calls with them, a video conference call. What I’ll do is if I have somebody who’s considering signing up, I’ll share the Facebook page with them and I’ll say, “Look at all the interaction that’s happening in our community?” We have students who are in the middle of their first, second, third fix and flip, made $25,000, $30,000, $35,000 on this project.

Marty Boardman: I’ll show them, “Hey, here’s a student who hasn’t done a fix and flip yet, but they uploaded this video of the house, and as you can see here, we’ve all given them our input and guidance on what we believe the rehab estimates are going to be, or what type of finishes and colors they should use at this house once they buy it, or how much they should offer for the property.”

Marty Boardman: I can use it to build not only trust and credibility with the students who have already paid to be in the program. I can use it for prospects as well.

Bobby Rettew: Yeah. This is something that we use in healthcare. We use it with hospitals, with specifically cancer patients, these closed Facebook groups, because it allows patients to interact with each other, and also have a sense of privacy for HIPPA. Then also connect with providers to ask questions. A lot of hospitals are in this mode of, well let’s just use outbound communication. Let’s just post it on Facebook and let it be done. Let’s put it on a billboard. Let’s tweet it. Let’s do these things to market.

Bobby Rettew: These closed groups, and I love your application, I’ve been fascinated by it, is that this is a place where you can use a platform to build community, and build trust. Then at the same time re-market products in a way that you can sell them on other stuff. It’s kind of a unique position that even a lot of hospitals haven’t figured out yet. Because they’re scared to moderate something like that, because it takes time and energy, you know. That’s what I love about what you’re doing with this, is that it seems so simple, but it is, to your point, a very powerful piece, even in the area of real estate.

Marty Boardman: It is. You know, I’ll give you an example. Our business page, we have I mean close to, I think we’re well over 4000 people follow our business page. It’s like 4200, 4300 people. I started to notice about a year and a half ago that engagement on that business page really dropping off. Facebook has changed its algorithms, and so what happens is as people just they don’t even see what you’re posting on your normal business page. It’s almost, it’s really a waste of time anymore for us to post content there.

Marty Boardman: What I started doing is we created a free closed group, which we call a mastermind group. It’s a sales free zone where people can just ask us general questions about real estate investing. That’s one group, that’s our free group. Then we have our paid coaching group, where we give them all kinds of content. Like last night we did a hour long just Q&A webinar for the students in our coaching program. Of course, not everybody can attend those, so we repost those webinars on that paid coaching group site. We put new content on that, and it’s valuable content on that paid site all the time, on the free group, we just answered questions. But the engagement on both of those is quadruple what we get on our normal business page. Because in these closed groups, people get notified when new content is posted. Right? So if I post something on my regular business page, if somebody doesn’t have to be on Facebook at that very moment. It’s like it was never posted it at all. Whereas somebody in my close group, whether free or paid, they actually asked to be part of it. So clearly they’re engaged. They want the information they want that community feel. Not only have they opted in so they feel like they have some kind of vested interest in what the discussion is all about. But they get notified that a new content is waiting for you to look at. So to me, heck, if I was just starting out in the social media space and with Facebook I’d pretty much just completely abandoned creating a normal business page and start out right out of the gate with a closed free closed group. And that gives people that sense of exclusivity. Right? So.

Bobby Rettew: And what I love with this, you’re using tools that we use every day as communicators that we try to encourage people to use just with some simple things. For instance, I love how you use and create video content. You’re using some very basic tools. Some of is expensive, but some of it’s inexpensive to do very simple things. For instance, like I love how you explain inside of a house what you’ve done and you’re using pictures and all you’re doing is setting the camera up and talking to it and showing. Very simple tactics that anybody with a big camera or an iPhone could do, wouldn’t you say?

Marty Boardman: Oh, absolutely. I mean, we’re fortunate in that what we do is visual, but you can do this really in any business. For example, my brother in law, him and his wife own an insurance company. And I was explaining to him last time him and I got together, he lives in Texas. I said, think of all the visual things you could do as an insurance agent to market your business just from to get people to know you like you and trust you. Like I was telling him, I said, you know, one of the things like I always think about, especially with my wife and I’ve told her many times. I said, listen, if you get in an accident on the interstate, right? I said, “Pull off the road.” I mean not just to the shoulder of the interstate. I said, get off the freeway completely because people are going 70, 80, 90 miles hour and they’re not generally paying attention anyway.

Marty Boardman: And I said I had this experience myself. I got into a kind of a … I got rear ended on the interstate as during a traffic jam several years ago. And I told and as I was sitting there on the shoulder of the highway, like two other accidents happened right next to us because they were rubbernecking right there were looking over at us, slamming into each other. So I told the lady that rear ended me. I said, listen, I’m not comfortable being out here on this interstate, said we’re going to go to the next exit and just pull into a gas station. Then we’ll call the highway patrol. So that’s what we did. And the highway patrolman said, “Hey, you guys did a smart thing here. You got completely off the highway. So he didn’t, bottle up traffic miles and miles behind you. And it’s safer.” And so I was telling my brother in law this, I said, “You could create a little video for your clients and potential clients.”

Marty Boardman: Hey, what do you do when you get in an accident on the freeway? And here’s the safest thing to do. And here’s what highway patrolman recommend you do, right? So it can be a two to three minute video with you standing next to your car or, and then maybe you show a few shots on the highway, right? And I proceeded to give him three or four more examples of when you rent a car, when you go out of town and you rent a car, they’re always trying to sell you on the insurance. Right? I’m like, you could do a little video about that. I was like, there’s so many different little informative free tips you could give people. They’re gonna Think of you and you can put these little videos on your Facebook page on Youtube. They’re going to think of you first when they get ready to buy their insurance. Right?

Marty Boardman: So, any business you just have to be creative and think about, “Hey, what questions are people asking about in my business?” Like for us, people are always wanting to know bobby, “Hey, what color did you paint these walls?” Or “How did you come up with this design concept for this kitchen?” I mean and so we just try to take these tips and boil them down to a little Instagram post with a picture or a tiny 30, 45 seconds how to video on our Facebook page. Right? And these things are evergreen, right? They will, they last forever.

Bobby Rettew: So one of the things too that you and I’ve talked about is there is a fine line between telling them everything they need to know and given away all your business and also the fine line on that with telling them just enough so that they get interested in what to do business. Talk about the balance that you play here with using video and storytelling. Not to tell too much, but tell them enough to get them fired up?

Marty Boardman: I tell Ya, by no means an expert at that and I have a coach, a marketing coach, and he likes to say that the best teachers typically aren’t the best marketers. The best marketers aren’t typically the best teachers. So it’s a very fine line and I’ll be honest, it’s one I haven’t quite solved yet. I tend to teach too much. Okay. And that has a negative effect on my sales of my coaching program. And I think when you teach too much, you risk doing one of two things. And you and I, again, we’re talking about this before we hopped on live here. But if you teach too much, you can explain so much about your business. They can figure it out on their own and then never buy your product or service. So there’s that risk.

Marty Boardman: Number two, if you teach too much, you risk making what you do sound really difficult and time consuming and people just decide not to do it. And of course, either way it’s bad because you don’t make sales. So, what I’ve been taught in a way I’ve been told to do it is you don’t necessarily teach people how to do it. You just want to teach them what’s possible with the knowledge and the information that you’re providing. So it’s really a paradigm shift where you’re teaching them, hey, this is possible. You can … With this information, you can do this. Right? So and that’s where it becomes difficult because at the same time you got to give them some type of value. You have to give them something they can kind of sink their teeth into so that they can feel like, hey, this person is knowledgeable and they’ve given me something valuable for a very small cost or no cost.

Marty Boardman: Really could just be giving them my email address and they’d given me something valuable so what I’m going to buy from them moving forward and what the space I’m in the coaching space, that’s a, it’s a difficult nut to crack, right? I mean there’s a lot of real estate coaches and instructors and investors out there teaching people how to do this stuff. So it’s a competitive space. It’s a competitive industry coaching in general. So, it’s a fine line, I’ll say that, but I would just say you want to focus on teaching people more what’s possible and less of how to do it step by step. Because when you’re teaching people how to do it step by step, like I said, you either show them, you give them the exact blueprint and they go figure it out on their own without you. Without them paying you for your service or your product or your course and or you scare them away because they realize it’s going to be really hard and time consuming. And so they just don’t buy.

Bobby Rettew: And this is the place that third party testimonials is key, right? Because when you have someone else share about you, what you’ve done to help them, whether it’s a customer of a house that they’ve purchased or invested, or if it’s a customer of your coaching, they’re not really given away what you’ve sold, what they’re talking about is how awesome you are. And what the possibilities are. Wouldn’t you agree? That kinda goes back to our days of television is that that third party testimonials these sound bites that really bring subjective information to the table is something you can’t say yourself, but when someone else does, it’s amazing.

Marty Boardman: Absolutely. I mean, and I think here’s what you may find this surprising Bobby, and maybe for those of you listening, you may find this surprising. I have found that raising capital is much, much easier to do than selling somebody coaching or selling them a product or service. It’s actually much easier, I believe, to raise money. And the reason why is when, if you have an opportunity, a business opportunity or an investment opportunity and you can prove it to somebody on paper, and a potential investor on paper, whether it’s a high net worth individual or a private equity fund or an investment group. If you can show them on paper that the deal makes sense, they’re going to invest with you. I mean, if you’ve shown that you’ve done your due diligence, the numbers all add up and you’ve got a bit of a track record in doing deals like that. It’s very easy to raise money and people think that that’s like the hardest thing in the world to do.

Marty Boardman: You see shark tank and you see these shows and people are trying to get funding for their business or their projects and it seems like it’s really hard, but it’s not. Again, if on paper the numbers add up and you have even a short track record of doing it, it’s actually very easy to raise capital. What’s really difficult, I believe is selling somebody a product or a service coaching, whatever it may be, because the person that you’re selling it to not only has to be convinced that it works for somebody else, which that’s where your testimonials come in like you’re talking about. Yeah. It’s a very important that you have people who have used your product or service and are willing to say that, “Hey, it worked for me and I was successful with it.”

Marty Boardman: You have to not only have that component, but you also have to make them believe that they can do it. Right? That, that prospect can do it too. So they can watch a dozen different testimonials on your website. And on Facebook, and if you’re doing retargeting, whatever the case may be. So it’s great that they can see other people have used the content and your services and have had success. But the next step in that or equally important I should say, is making them believe they can do it too. Because you know what happens, people will go, Oh yeah, well that guy did it, but, I mean, he’s, he seems like he’s a lot smarter than I am or he’s got more money than me or I don’t know, he just, he seemed smarter or that opportunity fell into his lap because of … Whatever the case may be.

Marty Boardman: So what you’ve got to do and what we do a lot in our marketing that’s definitely helped and we’ve learned here just recently is we call it the … And I’ve heard of it in marketing before, but it’s you basically just say, “Hey, I’m nothing special.” Right? I can’t think of the exact term for it off the top of my head, but you got to make people realize that, hey, you’re doing this and you’re nothing special like me. I tell people all the time, I was a TV news cameraman for 15 years.

Marty Boardman: All I knew how to do was point a camera and chase people around with my camera and record video and do some editing. I mean, I didn’t, I was nothing. I think they call it the anti- hero approach is what they call it and just make people understand hey listened, If I can do this, whatever it is, if I can fix and flip a house and I don’t have any construction experience, I don’t know how to home remodel. I don’t, I’m not an interior designer or decorator and I’m nothing special. And I did this in my spare time. If you can make people believe whatever it is you’re trying to sell them a product or service that they can use that product or service in their own life, you can get them to believe that, and then you’ve got the testimonials on top of it, then I think converting somebody into a customer becomes a lot easier.

Bobby Rettew: Are you still ultimately a storyteller?

Marty Boardman: Oh, absolutely. I mean, we like to say facts tell stories sell. So like for example, like I just used this story the other day to convert somebody into a customer, somebody who’s got a very busy life I had on the phone and they were thinking about signing up for a coaching program.

Marty Boardman: I said, listen, I said, “I got a student in our coaching program right now just like you, he works at a full time job. He’s an outside sales rep for a software company. He is married with a three year old and a baby on the way and he just successfully fixed and flipped his first house in his spare time, with a wife and a three year old. And a baby on the way he did it all in his spare time. He made $30,000 in profit and he knows nothing about construction or home remodeling. So if he can do it, you can do it too.” Right? And then of course I sent this prospect a little video testimonial that this student did for us at his property. And It was a pretty easy sale at that point. It was really easy to convert that person into a customer because they saw that somebody else can do it. And I helped them to believe or made them believe that they can do it too. So when you combine those two things, it becomes a lot easier.

Bobby Rettew: [inaudible 00:48:51] Storyteller, husband to a wonderful wife, Linda, who is just awesome. Two beautiful children who are growing up. Oh my gosh, I saw the picture of y’all and the jeep. It is an amazing honor to be on the phone with my mentor, my friend, best man in my wedding, Awesome businessperson who even lost it all and rebuilt it again. It is a pleasure to have you tonight.

Marty Boardman: I certainly appreciate you thinking of me and allowing me all this time to talk about what I do, which I love what I do and I know you love what you do, so I appreciate everything you do for your customers, your clients, and your following as well. So it’s great catching up with you today.

Bobby Rettew: Thank you for joining us. We hope you enjoyed the conversation and exploration. Most importantly, the many intersections inside the world of storytelling intersection is power by The Touchpoint Media Network podcast dedicated to discussions on all things healthcare. Go to touchpoint.health for many other podcast, exploring digital marketing and online patient engagement strategies, CIO and technology strategies, the challenges of the online physician, the power of the E-patient, and most importantly, the power of storytelling. To learn more, go touchpoint.health . That is touchpoint.health .

 

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