Descriptive Content & Authentic Marketing with Matt Giovanisci

Matt Giovanisci is a jack of all trades with a broad knowledge of all aspects of marketing. He founded Swim University, co-founded a personal finance brand and podcast called Listen Money Matters, and started a coffee education website called Roasty (which he has since sold). In 2016 he created Money Lab so he could build more brands, make more money, and write off his homebrewing hobby.

Money Lab focuses on No B.S. Marketing – it’s honest, straight forward and cuts to the chase. Which is exactly what my conversation with Matt was like for Data Beats Opinion.

During our interview Matt and I talked about:

  • Honesty and authenticity in marketing
  • Descriptive content over prescriptive content
  • Jack of all trades vs specialization
  • Refining processes through meticulous note keeping and data analysis
  • The moonshot technique

Find Matt at:

Transcript:

Keith Perhac:

Hey, this is Keith from Data Beats Opinion. Thanks again for joining us. My guest today is Matt Giovanisci. He is from Money Lab and focuses really on the side of marketing that I think a lot of people don’t pay attention to, or just don’t look at as much. And really what that is, is this No B.S. Marketing. And I know that people throw around the No B.S. Marketing a lot. And they’re like, “Oh, we’re not B.S. marketers. Download our PDF to see how we’re not a B.S. marketer.”

Matt Giovanisci:

Right.

Keith Perhac:

And it’s self-defeating at that point. And Matt has talked a lot about how he is … Well, I guess Matt, I’ll let you go into it. How do you define yourself as a no B.S. marketer in honestly an area that’s so filled with B.S.?

Matt Giovanisci:

I don’t know. What is B.S., right? I think what you just mentioned is we’re honest, we’re straightforward, we cut to the chase, we’re no B.S. Download our PDF. Yes, I think there’s this weird balance about honesty, right? There’s this honest marketing approach. And I think there’s a lot of companies that do honest marketing and it works very, very well. But some of that can be faked, right? You can’t fake this honesty like, “Oh, we’re this humble company or I’m just humble blogger.” And what I do is, it’s not that I’m not doing it on purpose. It’s just, I’m just that way as a person.

Matt Giovanisci:

I wear my thoughts and opinions and emotions on my sleeve. If you hung out with me, and you came over, you’re like, “Hey, how are you doing?” I literally answer. I’m like, “You know what? My back hurts-

Keith Perhac:

I’ve got this thing on my foot, you got to see this thing.

Matt Giovanisci:

… you got to see it. I’m really in a lot of pain right now. But hey, let’s crack a beer. I don’t give a shit.” People are like, “Well, that was too much information. I didn’t need all that.” I have other brands, I have this brand called swimuniversity.com. I have a brand called brewcarbin.com, I used to have a brand called roastycoffee.com. I run a podcast called Listen Money Matters, that’s listenmoneymatters.com, which is a personal finance show.

Matt Giovanisci:

And all of these things combined birthed Money Lab and Money Lab is like my home base where I can … I have these hypotheses about online business, and I have these thoughts that I want to put to the test. And I do it in a very extreme way. My most recent experiment as an example of what I do at Money Lab. I have two of them. One is, I have this idea. So somebody sent me this post that was like if you … on Apple Podcasts like the whole podcasting network in Apple, there are a handful of categories, they just came up with these new categories. And there’s a handful of them that have very low competition. And if you want to start a podcast, maybe get into these low competition categories.

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

And one of them was swimming, and the other one was chemistry, there were the two lowest.

Keith Perhac:

Okay.

Matt Giovanisci:

And so my buddy was like, “Hey, maybe you should start a swimming university podcast since I run a pool site, related to swimming but not to the sport of swimming.” But I was like, “Huh,” and I was like, “That’s not a bad idea.” And I read all these articles about this whole low competition category thing on Apple and I’m like, “You know what? All right. I have the ripe brand. And I know how to podcast, it’s definitely within my wheelhouse.”

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

And so I’m like, “I’m going to create a podcast and I’m going to do this and I’m going to document the whole thing.” And I have this three stage test to see if this is a viable marketing channel for my brand. And I give all the stats and I give all the money and I give every little freaking thought and step that I did to create this podcast and I film videos on how I edit the show, how I publish it, just almost oversharing.

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

And I don’t say to people on the … I know on Money Lab, I don’t go, “I’m doing this and this is the way it should be done. This is how you make more money on the internet.” No, I’m not. I’m not an advice giver. I don’t giving advice because what the hell do I know? I’m just out there doing this stuff in public. And sometimes it works out and it’s great and sometimes it fails miserably and that sucks. And that’s the thing that I’m willing to say that most people aren’t which is, as an online entrepreneur who fails a lot. I don’t say, “Oh, failing is good because what I learned from this was X and now a better person.” No, at the time of failing, it freaking sucks.

Keith Perhac:

It sucks.

Matt Giovanisci:

And I don’t pull that. It’s like, “Yeah, maybe I learned something but that’s not what’s going on in my head.

Keith Perhac:

Other than do that again, right?

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, don’t. Okay. Learned your lesson, you touch the stove, it’s hot. Avoid the stove. So that’s something I’m working on now. I’m also working on a Pinterest experiment or a challenge really where I want to test this new marketing channel. Will it get me more traffic, will it make me more money? And so I’m bulk creating 100 Pins all by myself and then scheduling them out and then documenting that process plus the results of that experiment or challenge.

Keith Perhac:

And this is something, this is really the whole reason I started the podcast as well. The whole Data Beats Opinion idea Because you’re exactly right. There are a lot of people out there that are I feel that they have an idea. And they say, “This is how the world works. And then they promote it as fact.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yes.

Keith Perhac:

Right? And especially in marketing, right? It’s like, “Well, this is obvious. This is how people work.” But if you actually do the test, and you do what they say, it doesn’t work out the same, right? Maybe they did do it, maybe they didn’t. But having the transparency in that clarity of, “Hey, I don’t know if this is going to work or not, but here’s the things I’m doing,” and walking through that structure and that that flow with you, I think is 1000 times more valuable because it’s not just the end result.

Keith Perhac:

I don’t know if you remember, I think it was eight or 10 years ago, when split testing was really becoming a thing. There was this PDF you could buy and it was the top 50 split tests you should do right now and one of them was make the background of your sales page eggshell blue and it’s like it will increase conversion by 10%. I’m like, “I don’t think it will.”

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah. No.

Keith Perhac:

Maybe it did for the one person.

Matt Giovanisci:

Right, for that person. Right. You talked about that and specifically this podcasting experiment that I’m doing. I have a website that teaches people how to take care of their pools and hot tubs, and the lowest category, the lowest competition category happens to be swimming. So that’s why this experiment really only works for this very specific thing that I have.

Keith Perhac:

Right. But now what you should do is start tweeting on Twitter. Everyone needs to jump into the swimming category.

Matt Giovanisci:

Oh, yeah.

Keith Perhac:

You have to have a swimming podcast, right? I converted 400% by getting a swimming podcast.

Matt Giovanisci:

Or just saying a more general fact, which is, podcasting is how you make money this is how it’s done. Listen Money Matters is a very, “Successful podcast,” we’re talking 80,000 downloads an episode. This is a big one. This is a big show. It is still hard to make money on that show. It’s a very difficult show to grow. It’s even on its own ecosphere. And it’s very difficult to make money on.

Matt Giovanisci:

So podcasting is just like for my … and even from the experiments that I’m doing, it’s just a really challenging EDM to get into but for me as a podcaster, and somebody who I studied broadcasting and in high school, and so and I’ve always had, I guess a passion for it. This is, I could podcast literally all day and not feel fatigued. It’s something I-

Keith Perhac:

That’s amazing.

Matt Giovanisci:

I wish I could do more with this.

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

But, yeah.

Keith Perhac:

And it has become a harder channel to do because it has gotten so much easier to do podcasting, the equipment has gotten much more affordable, the editing has gotten much easier. It’s getting more-

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, and it’s getting more saturated by the day.

Keith Perhac:

Yeah.

Matt Giovanisci:

And then, there’s not a lot of discovery engines. Apple Podcast is not a discovery engine the same way YouTube would be or Google even. But there’s people that are trying. Spotify is certainly trying to be a discovery engine for podcasts. And so we’ll see. We’ll see what happens.

Keith Perhac:

And going back to the whole idea of sharing the process, I really see the marketers that I know and respect and that I see very well respected in the industry are the ones who share everything. So I’m thinking of people like Pat Flynn or John Lee Dumas or Patrick McKenzie, people who honestly said, “Hey, here’s all my stuff. I’m sharing the process with you. It’s all free. And then what they monetize is let’s do this for your company either through consultancy like Patrick was doing or products that really dive into the one, two, threes for a specific niche within that overall advice.

Keith Perhac:

But all of them. It’s interesting because I work with a lot of marketers and there’s a lot that are flash in the pan of, “Hey, we’re just going to make a lot of money.” But then there’s also these that are like, “It doesn’t matter to make the money in the short run because we’re building that base, we’re stacking those bricks of when people think of this problem, they come to me because they know I have everything and I’m not B.S.ing them because you see every bit of the process.”

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah.

Keith Perhac:

There’s never a point where you’re like, “Oh, I don’t know if John Lee Dumas is telling me the right stuff about pockets because he tells you every single thing.” There is no behind the kimono, there is no hidden part of that.

Matt Giovanisci:

True and that in it. It actually really is a difficult space to be in. I personally find it difficult. I guess I shouldn’t generalize since we’ve talked about that earlier. Money Lab is going to be four years old. I think it is four years old this month.

Keith Perhac:

Well, congrats.

Matt Giovanisci:

Thank you. And you’d be surprised to learn, I guess, the site gets … I only have about 1400 subscribers. Most of those people came in when I had a viral moment. My first year, I had a page that was called Give me your email address. And if you go to moneylab.co/email, you can still see it, it’s still up. And basically what it was, it was a satirical blog post on the pop up culture of grabbing people’s email addresses and stuff. And I got about 1600 email addresses in a day from that.

Keith Perhac:

Oh, the irony.

Matt Giovanisci:

Right, exactly. But it’s been that same, 14 to 1600 people that have been just rotating, Either on and off the list or they’ve been with me the last four years because I constantly trim and clean the list. And I haven’t really grown as far as the traffic to the site because none of my articles are really SEO driven, even though that’s my wheelhouse, SEO is what I do. But I don’t do it at Money Lab because I’m not a how-to company.

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

I’m not a brand that’s like, “Hey, I’m going to show you how to podcast. I’m going to show you how to do this.” My products certainly are because I do have courses where the course that I just launched was about PageSpeed. And I talk about PageSpeed constantly throughout my products and throughout my just being on Twitter and whatever and videos, but I’ve never done a really technical, how-to guide. But I’m not going to publish a how-to guide because again, that’s the behind the scenes of what I do.

Matt Giovanisci:

I do talk about it publicly and I will share those experiments. I think I did a public experiment about PageSpeed and then it’s like oh, everyone was like, “You need to make a course on this,” and I basically just bend to their will. If the audience says, “Please make something about this.” I will.

Matt Giovanisci:

And it’s like you do it enough times, you show people that you’re capable of doing it, and then you can build the product behind it. But I find it difficult to grow Money Lab because of what you just said is like I pretty much just show everybody everything. And there’s no again, no SEO, there’s really no discovery engine besides, most of my audience comes from doing things like this, being on other people’s shows.

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

Or social media, or even better, or I guess even worse for me, Slack channels. Because people go, “Look at what this guy is doing.” I don’t see that. No one praises, they share it privately. It’s all really worried about organic. And what’s great about that is I have a really awesome audience it’s so, so, so good, right?

Keith Perhac:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt Giovanisci:

But it’s so small and it doesn’t grow. But I guess everybody that I think is in, and that was who I was going for. I wasn’t trying to go for entrepreneurs and newbies in the industry. I was going for people who have been doing this and go, “Hey, I like this guy.”

Keith Perhac:

Right. I was having this discussion, I think, a day or so ago. But I was talking about the fact that probably eight, 10 years ago, you wanted a huge list.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah.

Keith Perhac:

Everyone’s just like get the list. It doesn’t matter where they’re from, because there’s low competition, and you’re going to get them to convert eventually.

Matt Giovanisci:

And same with traffic.

Keith Perhac:

It was the same with traffic. And it’s really changed and I see people with smaller curated fanatical lists outperforming people who have a million person list, definitely have on the lead value. But even sometimes on the revenue value, because there are people that when you say, “Hey, I have this new course,” that it’s an Instant Buy, there’s no thought process that goes into it.

Matt Giovanisci:

Right?

Keith Perhac:

It’s like, “Matt just put out something that I want to see. Now I’m going to purchase it.” Right, they’re-

Matt Giovanisci:

And that’s exactly what happens. It’s real. It’s like that thousand true fans thing. Oh, it’s really what I’m building. But everyone says, “You should do SEO for Money Lab.” And honestly, I won’t, because I tried. One day, I sat down and I was like, “Okay, I did this whole pod. What was it podcasting? It was some process. So I’ve done on Money Lab, there’s probably three or four, I’ll call them challenges where I built a digital product, a course, within three to seven days. Something like that, there’s different ones. And I was like, “You know what, I have this idea, I’m going to create a method.” Because that’s Money Lab, I want this to be scientific. Okay, it’s a branding thing. So I’m going to create a method where I basically take all four of these articles that I’ve done this process that I’ve repeated four times and distill it down into a recipe of some sort.

Matt Giovanisci:

It was pulling teeth for me, just to create that and I go, “Oh, this doesn’t feel right. This feels weird to put this out on Money Lab. I’m sure people would love it but I still have it. I just send the document and I have some ideas for it but to put that on Money Lab as a how-to to get search engine traffic just feels wrong.

Keith Perhac:

Icky?

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, just for what? And I want to control the Money Lab brand. I love the fact that somebody, even somebody like yourself who comes on and says, “I think what you’re doing is refreshing.” In this space, you don’t hear that very often.

Keith Perhac:

No, you don’t.

Matt Giovanisci:

And hearing that is like, “You’re cool, man.” It is brand and I say this as, I want to call myself a “creative,” I want to call myself an “artist.” I think I am a person who creates, I don’t necessarily think to call myself an artist. However, Money Lab is that blend between business and art, where I can really be myself. One of my challenges was to create a rap album in 30 days. And one of them I still say, that it’s the proudest I am of any experiment, and even though it failed, it’s a failed experiment, or it was a failed challenge because I think I lost 20 bucks on the whole thing.

Matt Giovanisci:

But I still referenced that as my favorite thing I ever did, because it was just super fun. It was very much me. But those things, my friend called it a list burner. He’s like, “No one is going to follow you while you make a rap album. All these online business people don’t give a shit that you’re making a rap album in 30 days.” And I go, “Well, that’s me.” People followed me through it and then moved on to a Pinterest challenge or a podcasting one or a who knows, whatever the next one will be.

Keith Perhac:

Right. And there’s something about that authenticity, that I think even if they’re not going to follow you through that particular process, it creates a more authentic connection to you. It’s like, “Oh, Matt’s doing this weird rap thing. I’m not really interested in it, but he’s doing a weird rap thing.”

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, that word authenticity, right. I feel like authenticity and honesty are different.

Keith Perhac:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt Giovanisci:

Would you agree, right? So people can be, “Honest in their marketing,” right where they go. I think Spirit Airlines is pretty good with this. And there’s a bunch of bigger companies that explore this like, “Hey, we’re self-aware. We know who we are and we say this blah, blah, blah.” But that in and of itself isn’t authentic. That’s being-

Keith Perhac:

That’s a crafted message.

Matt Giovanisci:

It’s a crafted message, right? I think that the Wendy’s Twitter account is, everyone loves the Wendy’s Twitter account?

Keith Perhac:

The [praise 00:19:16] Twitter account.

Matt Giovanisci:

It’s not authentic. No, it’s right?

Keith Perhac:

It’s honest.

Matt Giovanisci:

It’s honest.

Keith Perhac:

It’s snarky.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah.

Keith Perhac:

But it’s not authentic.

Matt Giovanisci:

It’s not authentic. And so, one of the things that happened to me and it’s just a trajectory that I don’t know if it could be replicated but I don’t have a college education. And when I was in high school, I graduated Ds and Cs, skin on my teeth kind of person. I mostly failed English classes. The classes I failed the most were English and graphic design, which ironically are-

Keith Perhac:

Which is exactly what you do.

Matt Giovanisci:

It’s exactly what I do now. And so but I think what that did, weirdly, as a byproduct, is I really never learned how to write formally. I never, I was obviously taught it- but I couldn’t write.

Keith Perhac:

You were taught.

Matt Giovanisci:

… but I couldn’t write. I was taught but I just ignored it. Grammar, semi colons. No, thank you.

Keith Perhac:

Especially high school grammar.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, and then moving into college. I went for two weeks in a community college and an English teacher and I got into an argument. And I dropped out. I was like, “Screw this, this is stupid.” I was doing creative writing in an English composition class that was getting graded on how much my humor wasn’t funny to her. So to me, I’m like, “Well, hold on a second.” So I know at this point that my writing at least I’m writing something that’s interesting, right? I just didn’t know grammar. And so when I write I get it a lot of praise for my writing, even though I’m incredibly self conscious about it, because I’ve failed so much at it. And I’ve been told by many people that I’m a terrible writer. I don’t think they meant that as a, “You’re not good at conveying your thoughts and feelings.” It’s, “You’re bad at using semi colons.” So I learned-

Keith Perhac:

You don’t have the technical skills, but you are communicating in a way that conveys emotion, conveys the desire, and what you want to accomplish with it.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, and I only know how to be myself. And so I’ve always written stream of consciously. As I got older, I’m like, “You know what, I should probably learn grammar and I just picked up how to use periods more often.” Hey, if you don’t know how to use the semicolon, and you barely know how to use a comma, maybe just short sentences, maybe do the-

Keith Perhac:

But you want to learn-

Matt Giovanisci:

The old man in the sea.

Keith Perhac:

… which is ironically perfect for marketing.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, really. And so I was like, “Oh, I could use only …” I challenge myself to only use periods. And then as I started doing that, my writing became what I could do in stream of consciousness where my sentences were run-ons and awful, I was able to now taking a sentence that was no multiple lines and condense it down into a single line or less, and all of a sudden, it was much more punchier. And I was still being funny. I was still being myself.

Matt Giovanisci:

And so I think the authenticity that maybe comes through it Money Lab is has a lot to do with the lack of formal education in writing that I’ve had that morphed into, “Oh, he only knows how to write as he talks because that’s the only way.” I do have it and I know that I’m a talker and I’m an extrovert, so that’s helpful too. And then it’s just now that I have this grammar education, the slight grammar education that I just taught myself. Now I go back and I clean it up and it’s just, “Oh, now it reads he’s not an idiot.” So it’s like he’s authentic and also not an idiot.

Keith Perhac:

It’s interesting because when I went to college, the first thing that my English teacher said is that the first six months, we are going to be unlearning every single thing you learned in high school, because it was all B.S..

Matt Giovanisci:

That’s awesome.

Keith Perhac:

And because I remember I was in English class in high school senior year, and we had to write. I forget where we had to write, but I put a quote from Star Wars and I said, “Luke, I am your father.” And there was a rule that you could not use first person in your essay, even in a quote, and she had crossed it out and said, “Luke, I am one’s father.” And I got an F on it, because I had used the word I in a quote.

Matt Giovanisci:

And that was in high school?

Keith Perhac:

That’s senior year of high school, that just sums up-

Matt Giovanisci:

How bad it is.

Keith Perhac:

It’s true and it all depends on the teacher but-

Matt Giovanisci:

Sure.

Keith Perhac:

But, man. I get it. It’s like I understand. It doesn’t teach you how to write, it teaches you how to be pedantic with the technical parts of writing, which are very important but it’s missing the forest for the trees.

Matt Giovanisci:

I’ve heard Tim Ferriss talk about how he was, when he was writing his book, he was writing to sound smart. And then when he ended up writing to a friend, which was more casual, it ended up his writing got a lot better and, “He found his voice.”

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

I don’t think I’ve ever had that moment of finding my voice. I think I’ve always just had it and I actually worked in reverse where I learned grammar to contain my voice, and to make my voice a lot easier to digest as you’re reading it instead of reading again, sentences with multiple commas and it’s like, “Oh, he’s very succinct.”

Keith Perhac:

It’s just Hemingway cost with you.

Matt Giovanisci:

It’s Hemingway.

Keith Perhac:

Right?

Matt Giovanisci:

Right, yeah.

Keith Perhac:

No punctuation, short sentences.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah. It’s like Hemingway with terrible prose, with more childish prose, I guess. But I think that authenticity is really difficult. I don’t really see it a lot. I’ve looked for it, because I have a B.S. meter for sure. Everything that we’re going through right now to be topical. I’m just, I can’t be on Twitter. I’m just like-

Keith Perhac:

It’s horrible.

Matt Giovanisci:

… you’re not a doctor. And I’m not a doctor. But if Google has a core update, and that’s the crisis that everyone’s going through. Maybe I have something to say on that. And I’ll be public. But this is not one of those things.

Keith Perhac:

Can you imagine if Google did a core update right now in just everyone will just melt.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah. Thankfully, they did it in January, not now. That’s a tangent for sure. And it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about. But I don’t want to-

Keith Perhac:

But it is a tangent. I think it goes back to the authenticity because there’s a very clear or not clear, it’s a very unclear divide of what you see as well as how you are perceived. Right?

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah.

Keith Perhac:

And I think there are companies who are like, “Let’s take advantage of this.” There are definitely companies that are like, “We want to do something to help, but we’re not sure how.”

Matt Giovanisci:

Right.

Keith Perhac:

And then there’s companies like, “Let’s try something but then you have to weigh. Okay, are we seeing.” Like for example, Disney released I think, three movies, including Frozen 2 three months early.

Matt Giovanisci:

Right.

Keith Perhac:

It’s still in theaters, and they were like, “There’s kids at home, let’s release it.” And it’s like, where does that fall?

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah. I know that everyone wants to be helpful, right? That’s the thing but no, I don’t think anyone’s doing this with malicious intent. Except for that one guy in Tennessee, who hoarded all the [crosstalk 00:26:57] data.

Keith Perhac:

Experiment.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, except for that guy. But I don’t think anybody’s being malicious. All these companies I mentioned, it’s an ethical dilemma that I’ve been sitting down with like, “Hey, if this was 2001, or if this was 2008.” One of the things that I did about all of this was a week ago, actually, two weeks ago, Andrew and I did an episode on Listen Money Matters about stock market fears, because this is when the stock market was dropping, and we did a whole, how are we? We did it this way, where we said, “Let’s not go out there and give advice,” because again, you shouldn’t give advice on what people should do in the stock market. Obviously, you have companies like Betterment, or Acorns, or whatever, who are all putting out these statements like, “Hey, just keep cool man, because this is all going to pass and just don’t pull your money out of our company.”

Matt Giovanisci:

Really, right. So they have an agenda. And our agenda was, “Well, what are we doing? I think people just want to hear what other people are doing without being told what they should do.”

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

If somebody said, “Hey, Matt.” If everyone on Twitter right now said, “Hey, Matt, what are you doing during all this?” I would tell them exactly what I was doing, because that’s honest, and it’s authentic. But I think that would be the end of it. I wouldn’t say, “And you should, too.”

Keith Perhac:

You need to jump all your stocks, except for this one. Put all your money.

Matt Giovanisci:

Tesla just got cut in half, throw all your money in that because it’s going to go back up. It’s like, “I don’t know, I don’t know the answer. But here’s what I’m doing.” I practice this exact same thing on Money Lab, where I basically do all of the beginning parts, like here’s what I’m doing. And then I stopped short of saying, “And you should too.”

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

And I have the same rule with emails. If somebody emails me and says, “Hey, I have this idea for this business, or this marketing strategy. What do you think?” My canned answer is this. And I literally write this out every time. I don’t actually have a canned answer. But my answer is, “I don’t know,” because I don’t, “Try it and then let me know how it works out,” because that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Right?

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

Because how am I supposed to know if your idea is going to work or not? I don’t even know if my ideas are going to work or not. And I would be an idiot and an asshole if I went on and said, “Oh, that’s a great idea, you should absolutely do it.” And then they fail.

Keith Perhac:

And then tell me.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, and then they fail miserably. Or I say, “That’s going to work,” and I give them this false hope, because I’ve been doing this for 15 years. So I’m some sort of like internet mentor to them that I don’t even realize I am. And all of a sudden they’re like, “Hey, this didn’t work out. Screw you.” And I’m like, “But I’m the guru. I know everything.” It’s like, no I don’t know anything, and neither does anyone else.

Matt Giovanisci:

And that’s my approach at Money Lab, which people find, again, refreshing. And I think that’s the way that I educate myself. So when I go and look for courses or something to educate myself in some way, I love behind the scenes stuff.

Keith Perhac:

Yeah.

Matt Giovanisci:

I don’t need you to talk. I just need you to show me how you’re doing it. And I’m smart enough, or at least I hope I’m smart enough to realize that by copying them, it’s not going to be the same because they have … if you’re Pat Flynn, when Pat Flynn tells you to do something, remember that it’s coming from a guy who teaches how to do this stuff. So when he does it, he’s talking to you, he’s talking to a different audience. He’s got a real B2B audience, and it’s huge, and it’s a make money online thing. It’s a circle jerk where, if when I tell you to do something, and I’m doing it at Swim University and you have a coffee website, well, those two things don’t necessarily fit together and they don’t work.

Matt Giovanisci:

It’s the same thing. That’s why I avoid that whole, “Hey, this worked for me. So it absolutely has to work for you.”

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

And even my courses are behind the scenes, they’re not really educational. They’re really just like, “Here’s how I make my website faster. Here’s how I do SEO.”

Keith Perhac:

And it’s descriptive, rather than prescriptive because you are explaining the process which means that if you see a part that doesn’t work for you, you can change it. And you understand the reasoning behind it. You’re not being told, “Do this because it’s the right thing.” And you’re like, “We’re doing this because these factors.”

Matt Giovanisci:

Right.

Keith Perhac:

And then you can extrapolate, “Okay, I don’t have those factors. I probably don’t need to do that.” Where if you’re following a course that is do A, B, C, D out the explanation of why, it might talk about the theory, but not the specifics, then it becomes much less valuable.

Matt Giovanisci:

And I think to give Pat Flynn credit. I’m not here to shit on anybody, I hope I’m not. But because I do. I admire all these people, all these people we’ve mentioned, they’re all cohorts of mine. Again, I’m constantly scrutinizing our own industry. But back in the day, when I started Swim University, I had nothing, I was just a kid in his bedroom, trying to figure out how to turn this site into a thing. And I was following Pat Flynn specifically. And a lot of what he was educating at the time was, “Hey, go on to forums. Find your people and promote to them or ask them questions and blah, blah, blah.” And that was a big one. Go to where your audience already is was the big message.

Matt Giovanisci:

And I’m sitting here at Swim University going like, “Where do pool owners hang out on the internet already?

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

There are no forums, there are no other blogs that are doing what I’m doing. So I was like, “Well, this is really unfair because he’s crushing it and I have to start everything from scratch.” And it was just that moment or series, not just that moment. Series and series of moments where I realized that swimming university was just so different than every other site out there. But then every other set I’ve created since then, I realized the same thing is that Money Lab is even though it’s like make money online kind of site. It’s very similar to what Pat Flynn does. It’s completely different than what Pat Flynn does.

Matt Giovanisci:

So every single site is unique. And I’ve learned that and realize that I can’t take pure formulaic advice from somebody.

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

I basically just have to sit there and go, “Man, just show me how you do your Pinterest. Don’t yell at me and tell me how to do it. I just want to see you do it.” And then I’ll go, “Oh, I like that.”

Keith Perhac:

I like that part, and I like this part.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, and I put my own strategy together from that.

Keith Perhac:

And you know Frank Kern’s Product Launch Formula?

Matt Giovanisci:

No, I don’t.

Keith Perhac:

Okay. So-

Matt Giovanisci:

I know about what’s his face? Who’s the other guy that does that? Walker?

Keith Perhac:

Everyone does it now.

Matt Giovanisci:

Jeff Walker?

Keith Perhac:

Who did I say?

Matt Giovanisci:

You said Kern.

Keith Perhac:

Sorry. I meant Walker.

Matt Giovanisci:

What’s his name? Paul Walker?

Keith Perhac:

Jeff Walker.

Matt Giovanisci:

Jeff Walker.

Keith Perhac:

I’m going to blame it on COVID.

Matt Giovanisci:

Okay.

Keith Perhac:

My brain is half somewhere else.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yes.

Keith Perhac:

But looking at the PLF formula, which I think is honestly, when he launched it, it was just a completely revolutionary new way of doing launches. And the whole idea was you are almost priming the pump and talking about the product. You’re giving away videos and he specifically said three weeks of videos in order to get people ready for this product that you’re then going to launch, right?

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah.

Keith Perhac:

You’re priming the pump for this. And it was brilliant. And I think the core of that is still a brilliant strategy and it’s what I recommend to everyone I talked to. The problem was that everyone saw this and they’re like, “Three videos. That’s it?”

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, right.

Keith Perhac:

They’re like, “One video, two video, three video sales pitch.”

Matt Giovanisci:

Yes.

Keith Perhac:

And you can tell a PLF launch coming from eight miles away now.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah.

Keith Perhac:

Because as soon as that first video comes up, and it has two more coming soon, you’re like, “Okay, I’m going to be sold something.”

Matt Giovanisci:

Right. And that’s only if you’re launching something, we at Swim University, it’s we just have a product for sale. Again, this is another example of I did all this, I follow these formulas because I’m like, “Which one’s going to work?” I don’t know. The one that worked for me was basically somebody signs up to your email list and immediately just get them a discount code and they’ll immediately buy it. They’re just impulse. It’s an impulse product.

Keith Perhac:

Yup.

Matt Giovanisci:

And it was just knowing like, “Oh, my audience.” One of the weirdest thing that I found out, so I was reading way back in the day Nathan Barry’s book before he had converted call authority. Right? [crosstalk 00:36:15] It was about writing ebooks, right? So I was cool. He got me to write my second ebook from it. And in the book, he was like, “You can charge $50, $60 $100 for an ebook.” And I was like, “Oh, wow! I’d never thought of that.” You price it according to value.

Matt Giovanisci:

So I go ahead and price my PDF, my ebook at $50 and put it on Swim University. And I have traffic I have people come in, I advertise it the same way I do now. No one bought it. The sales are so low and I go, “What the hell’s going on?” I just kept lowering the price until I hit the price of an actual book. And all of a sudden it took off because my audience happens to be 40, 50, 60-year-olds who understand what a book costs. They go to Barnes and Nobles, they remember bookstores. But as soon as you try to sell them a $60 to $70 book, they’re like, “No, what is this? I’m not in college anymore.” So it just it was just a disconnect.

Keith Perhac:

And in that audience as well as that positioning of it is so important. So 37 signals who did Basecamp, they have a book called … I’m just blanking on all these right now. Getting Started, I think.

Matt Giovanisci:

Getting Started is excellent.

Keith Perhac:

It is a wonderful book. It’s an actual book. You buy it in on Amazon. It’s I think, $17 or $25 bucks. I can’t remember.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah.

Keith Perhac:

It’s a nice book. They had released it on their website as a free PDF. And you would not believe the vitriol that went their way. They’re like, “Why do I have to give my email address for a PDF?” And I’m like, “Because they called it a PDF.” Because their audience is mainly techies.

Matt Giovanisci:

Right? Yep.

Keith Perhac:

… who when you position as a course or Nathan Barry’s also very targeted towards freelancers and techies able to sell a $1600 dollar book. But as soon as they called it a PDF, everyone’s like, “Why do I have to get my email address for a PDF?” Even though you’re getting a $25 book for free.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, and I have a problem with calling it a book, because everyone in my audience is I like, still haven’t gotten it. I’m like, “It’s a it’s a PDF, you download it.”

Keith Perhac:

A digital book, yeah.

Matt Giovanisci:

Right. They’re like, “Well, it’s not in the mail yet.” I’m like, “Well, you never entered your address. So how much does it send it to you?”

Keith Perhac:

Yeah.

Matt Giovanisci:

But no matter how many words I’ve tried to use-

Keith Perhac:

It’s rough.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, it’s still rough.

Keith Perhac:

There’s certain audiences, we worked with some clients who were in the frugality space.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yup.

Keith Perhac:

Oh my God, hard to sell to that.

Matt Giovanisci:

Oh, yeah.

Keith Perhac:

We were selling a $25 book that had a … if you did not make $400 from it, in six months you get the-

Matt Giovanisci:

Money back.

Keith Perhac:

… price money back.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah.

Keith Perhac:

Everyone’s number one complaint, too expensive.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yup.

Keith Perhac:

Literally free money.

Matt Giovanisci:

I have a friend who runs a site for college students, it’s like try selling to them.

Keith Perhac:

Yeah. It’s horrible.

Matt Giovanisci:

Tough one.

Keith Perhac:

The college student one reminds me of, back in the day I used to do the ware. I don’t know if people remember ware is, but essentially pirated versions Adobe and stuff. And it took forever. Right and this is late 90s. But it took forever because you had to find the crack, you had to do all this stuff. Maybe there’s viruses, you have to find the right place. You had to get the serial number, do all this stuff. And then it would update and then you have to find the new one and everything but I was a poor college kid. I didn’t have $1500 dollars to spend on Photoshop.

Matt Giovanisci:

Man, remember when it was that expensive?

Keith Perhac:

Yeah, I know. And then I need it for work. But then at some point once, and this is their strategy really. Once I graduated, I now know Photoshop, and in my work, I have to have Photoshop. I don’t have 30 hours to go into getting a cracked version of Photoshop. I’d rather just buy the $1500 version or now the $60 a month or whatever it is to get their subscription.

Matt Giovanisci:

I did the same thing. I learned, I had all the cracked versions of Photoshop, all growing up, Illustrator, all of those things and now I pay for it.

Keith Perhac:

Yep. And there are theories that that was an actual strategy. If that’s a myth.

Matt Giovanisci:

What? That’s-

Keith Perhac:

Kudos on that one.

Matt Giovanisci:

Brilliant. Yes.

Keith Perhac:

So smart. Not sure if it was or not, but yeah because now-

Matt Giovanisci:

I doubt it.

Keith Perhac:

I don’t know but I don’t use anything but Photoshop and they killed it. They’ve absolutely decimated. There’s so little else that works like Photoshop does and or Illustrator or geez even Premiere and After Effects. Premiere just killed, Avid.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah. I use Premiere, I use XD. XD is my favorite software ever right now.

Keith Perhac:

I just started getting into that. I like it a lot.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, I can just do things so much faster. I just love it. It’s like easy Illustrator.

Keith Perhac:

Yup. I want to go into a little bit about … so we’re starting to talk about video we’re starting to talk about design with XD, we’ve talked about copywriting. It seems like you can do everything. So I think there’s a lot of talk about jack of all trades versus specialization. And as we go into the part of that authenticity, trying to tamp down the things that as you’re trying to craft that who you are, tamping down the things that don’t fit that image but you seem to have taken the, “No I do everything, this is me. This is this jack of all trades.” I love to hear about that. And do you find that good, bad, a superpower?

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, so I do find it a superpower. I wish, weirdly that I was just very skilled at one thing.

Keith Perhac:

I get that a lot.

Matt Giovanisci:

I wish I could play piano with my eyes closed and impress thousands and thousands of people. I wish I could do that with a guitar or whatever. Pick one thing and go, “Wow! 10,000 hours virtuoso.” But I’m not that, I’ve never been that. I lose patience quick on things and some things I don’t, right? And I basically try new things all the time.

Matt Giovanisci:

And this is just in my personal life too. So for example, when I was a kid, I did art, I did drawing. I did karate. I did soccer. I did baseball. None of those really worked out. I did music. I play guitar. My dad’s like, “Hey, why don’t you try guitar?” I was like, “Okay.” I tried saxophone that didn’t work out for me, but I know how to play it. Let’s try guitar. Cool. All sudden, I’m like, “Hey, I like guitar. I feel cool. This is great.” I stuck with it and that eventually led to me being in a band and I didn’t know how to sing. So I tried to sing and I was really bad at it, but I liked doing it. I liked being the center of attention as you can tell probably.

Matt Giovanisci:

So that just all fit for me and I continue to do that to this day. And so I tried snowboarding. I still like that. One time I got really into it. I guess, what was it, 10 years ago. I really like, it’s a thing in my life. It’s one of the reasons I moved out here to Colorado because of beer and snowboarding. Not weed although people think it’s weed. I’m like, “No, I don’t know. I don’t do it.” I mean, every once in a while but not really my thing.

Matt Giovanisci:

So I got into homebrewing and that really was weird, there’s a lot of things I’ll get into and go like, “Oh, I can be good at this and dangerous enough to get it done.” That is a weird thing I got into where I was I like, “I am and it’s insatiable,” I cannot get enough information. Every magazine-

Keith Perhac:

Interesting.

Matt Giovanisci:

… every book that comes out, I will just sit there and read and brew and just drink. I can’t whet my appetite on that enough. Right? But with doing graphic design, I sucked at it when I was a kid and then I got better at it. And now I like it. And I’m good enough to where am I a true designer? Am I ever? No, but I can design. I know how to use other programs.

Keith Perhac:

You can get to that 90%

Matt Giovanisci:

Yup. Am I a brilliant editor? No, but I do love editing videos and I do love that whole thing. I understand how exposure works in a camera. I learn on demand and just enough to get the job done. And then because I have prior experience with broadcasting, I learned broadcasting in high school. I was on the actual real radio for a while. Why not college radio. And so I just got here. Obviously, not college radio. And I’ve got bit by that bug and I’m like, “Well, how do I?”

Matt Giovanisci:

I would make my own radio shows at home before podcasting was even invented. And learned, my dad owned a recording studio growing up. So I learned all about recording and audio engineering and that was … all these things were just like, yeah, I can’t be still.

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

I can’t stay still. Everything interests me, I’ll try it. Right now I’m baking sourdough. I just got into that two weeks ago.

Keith Perhac:

I’ve tried that. Haven’t succeeded yet but-

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, sometimes they don’t work. One of the things that didn’t work out for me was coding. I like coding. I can code, meaning in a programming language PHP or Python or Ruby or something that to make software. I can do it but man, it just doesn’t jive with me. I’m very proficient at HTML and CSS, but JavaScript and any database.

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

I can do it again, dangerous enough, but that’s pulling teeth for me. And so that’s a really rough thing for me to do.

Keith Perhac:

Do you find especially when working with other people on this stuff that that’s more of a benefit or a detriment? Because I know on my side, there’s two coins of it. Right?

Matt Giovanisci:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Keith Perhac:

So the benefit is, when you work with someone who is a coder, you’re knowledgeable enough to say, “Yeah, that looks right or this guy has no idea what he’s talking about.”

Matt Giovanisci:

Oh, I know what you mean.

Keith Perhac:

But with anything, with the graphic design, with the editing and stuff like that, because you have a base knowledge of it and you can get it to that 70 or even 90% by yourself. Then you know when someone’s not up to the task, but at the other side. You then have like, “Well, if I do it myself, I can get it to that 90%. I know, I shouldn’t spend my time on this and should give it to someone else. But are they going to deliver?” And that’s the balance.

Matt Giovanisci:

I have a story about that. The reason I am dangerous enough with code is for this exact reason. I was working at a company. And I was a part owner of a software because I was working at a regular company doing marketing. And in that company, it was a restoration company and my boss had internal software that we were working on. And he wanted to sell that internal software externally to other companies like his. He wanted me to be the marketing guy and do design for the software and hire anyone to hire a developer and then he had another guy just who was the knowledgeable person and project managers. It was a project management software, so a knowledgeable person in project management, and then he was the owner. And so we created a sub business. And I had part ownership along with another developer. And these two guys, there was four of us in this company. And the company was called Sim, which I believe now is a negative term.

Keith Perhac:

It is a negative term.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, so super glad that didn’t take off. But so what happened was, I kept … so I was doing the front end design, and I would do all the work. But they would tell you to do in the Getting Started book because it’s mostly about SAS, is I would do all the front end work. And then the developer would hook it all up, so it would work. And we were constantly giving these demonstrations to my boss, and the product kept failing. And my boss kept going, “Why does this product keep failing?” And yelling at me and I’m like, “You know what, I’m not sure. We’ll go look into it.” Being a diplomat. And I would go back to my developer and say, “Hey, this thing broke.” He’s like, “Well, what did you change? I was like, “I didn’t change anything. You are the one that had the code right before we went live with it.” He’s like, “No, you changed something.” And I’m like, “Ah.”

Matt Giovanisci:

And all of a sudden, the developer started to turn on me, go to my boss, and try to force me out of the company by saying that I was the one who was causing all these problems with the software. And he ended up hiring another designer under my nose. And then that designer came in thinking I was the asshole and treating me like shit. And I realized that I was getting forced out by this guy. And I knew it wasn’t my fault. So what I did was I started to learn code on my own time. Because I wanted to be able to look at his code and say, “Oh, well, here’s why.”

Keith Perhac:

Here’s why you have the issues is here.

Matt Giovanisci:

So that’s what happened. And that’s what-

Keith Perhac:

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yup. He was coding in Procedural PHP, which at the time there was a there was-

Keith Perhac:

Yeah, that’s what there was.

Matt Giovanisci:

Well, no, even at this time there was Object-Oriented PHP.

Keith Perhac:

All right.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yup. And I was like, “Okay, well, he’s doing it outdated.” And then I found out he was on drugs. And I found out there’s all this other stuff. And then all of a sudden designer started coming to me like, “Hey, man, this guy is a fuck up.” And I go, “Okay, well, I’ve been secretly learning code, so I know that.” So I basically ended up learning how to code and starting to take on development work, and doing it correctly. And then I ended up running the whole company, because I ended up getting fired, because nothing that I did. I didn’t expose him or whatever. I just knew-

Keith Perhac:

It’s a ticking time bomb.

Matt Giovanisci:

It’s ticking and I knew. And so then it was like, “Oh, let’s go find developers.” And at that point, I knew how to. I would send them code and go like, “Let me see what you can do.” And then they would send it back. I go, “Cool. All right. You’re Good.” And I got a team of three developers and I was the front end guy and that we ran the company for a year, until I left, or I got laid off, because the bigger company had struggles. So the whole project tanked. But it’s still up and running, I think.

Matt Giovanisci:

So that was the reason for that. And again, I would go home and code my own stuff, because I would just … that’s how I learned. At the time I was coding a social network for dogs was my side project. It was called dog barkz with a Z. It’s a terrible name. But that’s how I was learning PHP. I was doing Object-Oriented PHP, I was buying books on it, that was my homework. Just so that I knew because I don’t like being the dumbest person in the room.

Keith Perhac:

Yeah.

Matt Giovanisci:

I felt that way at that company. And then I was like, “No, I’m going to learn SAS marketing. I’m going to learn how to code. I want to know every piece of this because I need to be the most valuable employee.”

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

And so that’s what happened. And now I know it. And it’s definitely been a help. We’re doing software now. And I’ve done software projects for other people, I know when the code’s bad. And I know the best but I know how things are done. I know what an MPC is. I know how it all works. There’s actually stuff on Money Lab where you can … I tried to build software in Ruby in 60 days, and I drove myself insane. I had to learn Git, I had to learn all this other stuff.

Keith Perhac:

Right. [crosstalk 00:52:34] the ecosystem just keeps getting more complicated.

Matt Giovanisci:

It does and at the time, I had a 60 day timeline to do this software project with API’s and it was just like, “I am not, this is way out of my pay grade. I don’t understand this.” But again, got me to be very like I can read it. I think I feel like Steve Jobs could do this, because Steve Jobs wasn’t a programmer, but I think he could appreciate, if Wozniak was like, “Here’s how I programmed it.” It’s like, “Okay, that makes …” It’s like you understand how programming works.

Keith Perhac:

Yeah.

Matt Giovanisci:

I think it’s good to have in every aspect. And that’s the way I process things out in my company too, where I will do it first, right? So if we’re going to do a Pinterest strategy, or we’re going to do a podcasting strategy or a video production strategy, or a writing, whatever it is, I will do it soup to nuts.

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

And then I will write everything that I do down, and I will find the bottlenecks and I’ll know. I’ll look at it from a 10,000 foot view and say, “Well, Matt, you’re the bottleneck in the writing process, because you hate writing.” Okay, but this process or this part of the process, somebody else could do that or here’s a faster way to do it. And so I constantly look at the steps in every single process because I do it the whole thing all the way through sloppily, terribly, right?

Matt Giovanisci:

And then go, “Okay, well who can do this better? And where’s the bottlenecks? And how do we make this faster?” And that’s when you start looking for … That’s when software really comes into play when you have a process and you go, “Will software make this-

Keith Perhac:

How do we make this [crosstalk 00:54:20].

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah. Will it make it faster and better? Or it’s just another tool in the toolbox.

Keith Perhac:

And this is something I learned when I was working as a salary man back in the day is that, that’s the right way to do it, which is you create the process by doing it manually first.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah.

Keith Perhac:

If you create a process from the top down, that has no input on the actual doing of it, you’re not going to create a good process. And what happened at that company was that we had someone who really liked making SOPs and really making rules for other people. So what happened was, he would write out this SOP of how it should work and it didn’t work that way. Because that’s not how you talk to people or that’s not how the system works or all this stuff.

Keith Perhac:

And so, for us at SegMetrics, we actually do all our processes manually first, until we’re like, “Okay, we have this down, or you don’t want to do-

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, you beat it up so much that you know.

Keith Perhac:

And then we can start automating.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yup, and that’s the thing, somebody needs to see it all the way through, I think soup to nuts because I love that phrase-

Keith Perhac:

It’s a good phrase.

Matt Giovanisci:

… but I say all the time. And that’s the thing, I just happen to be able to do all those things. I’m trying to think of a thing that I don’t … Well, okay. I don’t know how to do Facebook Ads. I just completely I’m miffed by it. But if I sat down and did it, I’m sure with enough education, I’ll figure it out, and I want to eventually create maybe a Facebook Ads process.

Matt Giovanisci:

Well, okay. I know nothing, but I have friends who know some stuff and I know where to, search and figure things out. And so I will just plow my way through this process and break a bunch of stuff and ruin things and mess up and eventually find something that’s working, but then I’ll just keep working on it to get better and better. And I do this with homebrewing. A lot of homebrewers that I … don’t really know that many to be honest with you, but a lot of the ones that I watch on YouTube or following on blog posts and stuff. And just know from the industry, they brew a bunch of different beers, they just, “Hey, this week, it’s a brown now next week, it’s an IPA, following me to stout.” Where the way that I homebrew is I do the same recipe every goddamn time because my goal is to, is to make it.

Matt Giovanisci:

It’s like refining and making that process perfect. I have every step written down to the minute, and I constantly look at that process and go like, “What if I moved the grain from this side of the garage to the other side of garage? How many seconds does that shave off my entire day?”

Keith Perhac:

Right. And it’s interesting because looking at the homebrewing, the sourdough and even the SEO these are all things that you A, have a lot of time between the experiment and the result. And they also all rely on something that is not 100% in your control.

Matt Giovanisci:

Right.

Keith Perhac:

And it’s really interesting because those for me are the things that drive me nuts because they are the hardest to test. Even for me grilling, it’s like I want to really do 20 steaks and I figure out exactly how to do it. Even-

Matt Giovanisci:

There’s so many variables.

Keith Perhac:

There’s so many variables.

Matt Giovanisci:

Every steak is different, the temperature of the day, the heat of the grill, how much [crosstalk 00:57:52].

Keith Perhac:

Exactly.

Matt Giovanisci:

It constantly changes [crosstalk 00:57:55].

Keith Perhac:

And especially when you’re looking at what three to six months. Where all of those, for SEO for sourdough and for brewing there’s, what did you do back then? And you have to be meticulous about your note keeping, or your note-taking and your data analysis at the end.

Matt Giovanisci:

And too, like there’s even with sourdough that I’m doing now, which has only been a couple of weeks, but I’ve done four loaves. And each one came out completely different. None of them failed. They were all bread. So I was like, “Okay,” but then I’m sitting there going, I look at it and go, “I want this result.” And so I will go and look up specifically, what causes that result. And then that will be the variable I test next time, knowing that all the variables may change and the temperature may change in the day and there’s other variables that are out of my control, but I can control that one and test that one and see if that works.

Matt Giovanisci:

But I’m not again, even with Money Lab. None of my experiments or challenges are rooted in the scientific method. It’s an art form in a way.

Keith Perhac:

Right. And that’s, I think the benefit of it. And that’s the benefit of Money Lab, which is that as you go through the process, you’re not saying, “This works do this,” you’re saying, “These were the conditions at which I tried this, and this was the result.”

Matt Giovanisci:

Right. Exactly. In that moment in time, right?

Keith Perhac:

Exactly.

Matt Giovanisci:

And to speak about SEO specifically, because there is a philosophy that is different than a process, right? And that I do hold. I held philosophies about homebrewing, as well. And I stick within my own philosophy. And that philosophy is stretchy and it can move and it can break. And I operate in that little bubble.

Keith Perhac:

Right.

Matt Giovanisci:

But it’s not a process. And I do the same thing with I think … part of my SEO philosophy is that PageSpeed is important. Right? And it’s just a thing. I believe it’s important to have your site’s load incredibly fast and here’s all the reasons why I think that because I have all this research. But that’s just my philosophy. And that’s a tactic that I’m going to employ. I believe that you should go big or go home, I think you should. I think what I do at Money Lab or what I do at all my sites is, I don’t go for long-tail keywords, I go for the keyword, the big one. I call it. I’m like work shopping an idea to call it. I’m calling it the moonshot technique, which is like shoot for the moon and land on the stars, the idea of you go, and you write and you create for the big keyword, knowing it’s impossible. But in that effort, you will have hit all of these smaller keywords that you would have never researched and picked.

Keith Perhac:

Right. It’s a discovery thing.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah and it’s like, you could call it Go big or go home or whatever. That’s a philosophy that I employ myself. And whenever I do an SEO experiment, that’s what I’m using. I operate within that philosophy, but then the process is the more, “Oh, okay, go to HREF, search for X, then go into WordPress, make sure that the light’s green in Yoast or whatever. Those are the individual pieces of it, the technical side of it. But then there’s an overarching philosophy of the whole thing.

Keith Perhac:

Yeah. Well Matt, thank you so much for spending the time with us and for giving us this expertise. And honestly, looking at this authenticity, I think it’s so important as we move into this next stage of marketing, which I think we’re getting into a new generation of marketers, and a new style of marketing. So happy to have you on this. People can check you out at Money Lab. And where else can people find you on the internet?

Matt Giovanisci:

Honestly, just go to moneylab.co-

Keith Perhac:

All right.

Matt Giovanisci:

… that’s where the synergy is. I can’t believe I just used that word.

Keith Perhac:

Synergy for the win.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yes.

Keith Perhac:

All right. Matt, thank you so much. And stay healthy, stay safe.

Matt Giovanisci:

Yeah, I appreciate it. Thanks, you too.

Keith Perhac:

Cheers.



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Keith Perhac