EFP 47: 8 Strategies To Bake Engagement Into Your Business

Justin Cooke

May 16, 2013

Joe and I have both spent quite a bit of time in recent weeks talking to other entrepreneurs and business owners. A common theme seemed to be a struggle when it comes to building buzz and engagement with prospects and customers. While we’re not experts at brand engagement, we wanted to sit down and share some of the tips we’ve used to help build our brand over the last few years and also to share some of the things that have NOT worked.

8 Engagement Tactics You Can Implement Right Now

The “build it and the will come” approach doesn’t always cut it. Why do some brands seem to take off and others sputter or fail to get started at all? There are no formulas or blueprints for success that will guarantee success here, but you can look at some of the strategies others have used effectively and find ways to bake them into your business where appropriate.

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As


“If you’ve got business chops, you can make it work (anywhere)” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

“If you have a content schedule…stick to it!” – Joe – Click To Tweet!

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Business Chops make even off-the-wall businesses easier
  • Being controversial and taking a stand
  • Headlines – Fair marketing strategy to get better open rates or just an irritating tactic?
  • Skipping the n00bs and writing for your peers
  • Overdeliving for your clients (Don’t cop out…it’s tough for everyone)
  • Passing the stage test


  • iTunes Reviews – Leave a review to be entered into the drawing!
  • Our Case For The Philippines – Our best arguments for packing your bags and getting your business up and running right here in the Philippines!
  • Pat Flynn on Mixergy – Andrew gives Pat a bit of a beating on this episode (and they BOTH come out better for it)
  • “I Want Your Monies” – Our blog post on reaching out to people the “right” way.
  • Inform.ly – Yeah, we keep mentioning Dan Norris. That’s because he’s KILLING it at producing excellent content for his peers.
  • Tropical Talk Radio – The Stage Test – Great point we dug into in this podcast.

Have some tips on engagement you’d like to share? We’d love for you to hear your thoughts below or on Twitter! We’d particularly like to hear what you think about whether metrics are ALWAYS the best way to track success.

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  1. Jeremy says:

    Is this the episode where you talked about how you have fans who aren’t even in the adsense game? That’s me. I come back every week for the awesome podcast. I’ve leveraged tips from this podcast into making big sales, and I sell women’s clothing.

    Just heard your name come up from Dan TMBA on Rise To The Top.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, Jeremy!

      It definitely seems to be the case with our podcasts. That probably has something to do with us being a bit more open-ended or business focused in the show…more than we have been on the blog, I think.

      Yeah, I heard that Rise To The Top episode…Dan was on fire with that one! heh…tons of knowledge bombs dropped.

  2. Keith Mander says:

    Chaps – I think it was on this podcast that you mentioned that you received this cool email from Shopify with a photo of the customer support rep. I don’t suppose tou could be a legend and forward that on to me (or a screenshot). I’d love to show that to some people. Thanks a mil.

  3. Jimbo says:

    “Building a bunch of niche sites is not something I’d want to brag about my grandkids about….that piece doesn’t pass the stage test”…..le sigh. Between you and the LBP boys, AdSense is looking more like a biz rather than a business.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Hey Jimbo,

      AdSense is a monetization method and not a business of course…but I think what you’re referring to is niche sites.

      I think it’s about positioning. I don’t think building a few niche sites and making a bit of cash out of it is much of a business. (Definitely more of a “biz”) I think that niche sites are probably the best way to learn how to start building an online empire (low-cost + higher success rate) but a business requires more. We talked about it at some length in this podcast:


  4. Hi guys .

    This writing about your peers made me think . My mentality was write your your costumer/your ideal reader etc . But , you can’t ignore your peers , because they give the very much needed social proof .

    I guess you should try to strike a balance .

    Be healthy and smile .

    • Justin Cooke says:

      I think you’re mostly right, Ilias. Putting out content for an avatar of your perfect customer (and actual customers) is the best strategy most of the time. Still…you’ll want to write some content for your peers as well. This will help establish you as a leader in the niche if you can bring together your peers/competitors and get the conversation started with them.

  5. I really enjoy listening to you guys. I think everyone has it’s own strategy some may work and some may not, every business is different.

  6. Long time listener, 201st time caller…

    I love when you guys do these types of episodes. You have done such a great job in a short amount of time and there is no doubt you know what you are talking about in building an audience.

    Wait for it, insult sandwich in 3,2,1…

    But to use Justin’e vernacular I “vehemently” disagree on your headline stance. The point of a headline is to get the reader to read the next line, period, end of story.

    There is a reason that the greatest marketing & copywriting minds of the last 100 years place so much importance in them, and that is quantifiable proof that they are a vital precursor to success.

    I need to listen again because the episode was SO good, also going to steal one of your ideas and write a rebuttal post to that specific point, expect the link in a week or two.

    Love you guys!

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, brother!

      I see what you’re saying regarding the headline. You didn’t say it, but I was trying to make the point that adding “at all costs” when it comes to reading the next line shouldn’t apply.

      An exaggerated example of this would be something like “Joe passed away…” in the headline. I’m guessing it would boost open rates, but I’d be an asshole when I flip it into letting you know we have sites for sale. :-(

    • Dan says:

      Context is important too, if you have a standing relationships with readers and are writing “wholesale” content– stuff directly to your current audience– they can feel ripped with over- clever headlines. Also in many cases it is the most clever move to have an understated headline, a lot of stuff that gets picked up in the entrepreneurship space can be understated.

      Anyway I came here to say I liked this episode and your interpretation of the on-stage test– a bit different from what I envisioned but I think you added an important element to it (the defensibility bit).

      I like to call “writing to your peers” is being a wholesale blogger, writing to the plebs is “retail” blogging.. I’ve long wanted to do a post on this but I’ll just say it here

      ANYWAY back to work :)

  7. Justin and Joe,

    You guys mentioned doing polls to segment your list. Shane Melaugh just came out with this awesome plugin…it might be useful for you http://viralquizbuilder.com/

  8. Tung Tran says:

    Wow a lot of tips put together by 2 experts . Great!

    Actually I listened to this podcast 2 times :D

    Thank you guys :)

  9. Don Shelton says:

    On pushing for every opt-in, every lead, etc. no matter the method, I think it depends some on whether you are long-term or short-term oriented. If you’re in a business that you don’t think you’ll be in a year from now (maybe it’s trend-based), you’ll probably do better resorting to less savory methods of attracting eyeballs and clicks now. If you take a long-term viewpoint, most of those short-term tricks to goose numbers will hurt in the long run. Customers aren’t stupid; they do figure out gotcha marketing after a while. For me, I can usually smell BS from a hundred miles away and will have nothing to do with hype and gimmicks; most aren’t as reactionary on that as I am, but they do know when they’re being tricked and will react negatively over time. If you’re trying to create a brand, you gotta be real.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks for the comment, Don.

      My BS detector is pretty well-tuned as well. Maybe some of the short-term tactics are better with one-off sales, but definitely not helpful when it comes to relationship marketing/sales, for sure.

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