Bobby is a Harvard Law Grad turned online entrepreneur—but he’s NOT your typical lawyer. He doesn’t do suits, he hates legalese more than you do, and has a tendency to make lame pop-culture references and dad jokes.
He’s built a thriving online business by doing things a bit differently than other people… making the legal and business stuff simple with a focus on building real connections with real people instead of thinking of people as potential transactions.
After trying the “secret” strategies all the “expert” online entrepreneurs were telling him to do, Bobby threw out the “online marketing” rulebook and started marketing his way… by giving, connecting with his audience, and building his brand.
Throwing out the rulebook helped Bobby skyrocket his business success. Nowadays, besides helping people with the “legal stuff,” Bobby helps other entrepreneurs build their own thriving businesses using fundamental marketing concepts.
BADA$$ Online Marketing University
Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan so today we are here with Bobby Klinck this guy, I was kind of asking him about his intro in the beginning and I thought it was kind of funny because he’s he’s basically what he says he’s a Harvard Graduate turned snarky marketer is kind of what it sounds like. So I’m excited to delve into some topics with him because in our pre interview, we were talking about how everybody online right now thinks they’re marketing, but they’re really selling and so this is a pretty controversial topics, I’m excited to delve into it with you, Bobby. So first off, say What’s up, Bobby, and then we’ll hop in.
Bobby: Hey, Josh, thanks for having me. Yeah, I’m, I’m a Harvard Law grad, I spent 15 years is like a kind of boring lawyer that never fit me and now I’ve been doing this online entrepreneurship thing for, I guess, better part of four years now but you know, I really kind of started dabbling back in 2014, when I built my own law firm was doing online marketing with it and nowadays, I just love hanging out and chatting and having these conversations and challenging a lot of the conventional wisdom, I do just a little bit of that
Josh: see and I appreciate that, because it’s kind of annoying that people come on here, they just kind of kiss your butt the whole time. They’re like, Oh, yeah, that’s exactly what you do, even if they disagree with it so I’m excited. We might get into some arguments, which might be great people don’t really hear that very often. So I do what I do want to ask you first, Bobby, that’s a really launch it off. What do you mean, when people you think people online art marketing, you say they’re selling so what do you mean by that?
Bobby: So it’s kind of funny, like, if you actually look at the definition of marketing, marketing isn’t about getting like creating demand for an existing product or anything like that, when you look at like the definition of marketing from the American Marketing Association, it talks about it’s like all of the things involved in like, creating a product and communicating the value of the product in delivering the product or service and in actually exchanging it, it’s like, that’s one way to look at it but separately, I look at some, like, really smart guys, smart people who said this and there’s a few different people who talk about it, you could listen to Peter Drucker, the management consultant guy who’s famous for this thing, and one of his famous lines is, the goal of marketing is to make selling superfluous, if you market right you don’t have to sell so it’s one piece but the quote I love more is actually from Theodore Levitt, who said this, he said, selling focuses on the needs of the seller, to convert their product into money. Marketing focuses on the needs of the buyer, in creating basically and creating a product that they actually need and so it’s kind of the difference between a me first what is going to make me more money, is what most people are doing online, whereas, and that’s selling, whereas marketing is, how can I serve my audience better and I’m going to trust that when I serve my audience better when I do those things, I don’t even have to sell literally, I say, here’s my thing and people say, Yep, I’m ready, and they buy it and test I say is like if you have to use tactics like fake urgency, fake scarcity, that kind of stuff to get people to buy your product, it means you’re not marketing, plain and simple.
Josh: So that’s, that’s really interesting because in the in the funnel world, I’m a pretty big fan of funnels, but we look at them differently, because it’s not about using them to make money, it collects money, but it’s all about facilitating the experience through buying our services like they should be sold before they get theirs is kind of our big, our big push with funnels and that’s kind of what you’re talking about, right? It’s like having them already be really sold on the solution and you’re just the obvious solution the problem is that correct?
Bobby: Well, so it’s that but it’s, it’s also like, an important part of marketing is that literally you get to know your audience so well, that you’re just then saying, here’s this problem they have let me solve it and like we hear about people and you and I joked about like, you know, your ideal customer, and you know, everybody talks about, yes, you gotta have an ideal customer and everybody teaches us to do like to do this ridiculous work of creating an ideal customer avatar, or is it John and he’s 35 and he’s got blue eyes and that’s dumb I know face, but that’s just dumb, because that stuff has nothing to do with what they need and I think the problem is people are doing that instead of saying, okay, here’s this group of people, what do they actually need and how can I solve that existing demand and so like, and actually produce, produce something they need and will buy and so many people are so fixated on selling their product to people no matter what and another thing selling it not at the right time for the buyer, but at the right time for the seller and to me when you’re marketing like this, why don’t I funnels okay, but I don’t like exploding offers and one offers and things like that we used to use them, I know how to do all that stuff, upsells, down sells, you can call whatever kind of cell you want, I’ve done it all but it occurred to me, why should someone suffer because they came into my world, and they weren’t yet ready for that product and so that was part of my shift is to say, I’m going to bring people into my world and a large part of what I do is people come into my world, and they don’t buy from me for six months, 12 months, 18 months and I serve the heck out of them during that time and they buy from me eventually but even if they don’t, you know what they are, they’re brand advocates, these people drive so much traffic to me, because they’re saying, Bobby will take care of you and so I don’t have to, I don’t have to go out and do all of this, like fancy advertising, because I’ve got a force of people who are out there telling everybody they know that I can solve their problems and you know, they come to me when they’re ready.
Josh: See, and that’s, that’s really a unique model and and I do love the concept, because I mean, you’re really talking about the highest form of marketing, if you’ve ever gone through, like an MBA program or anything, they talk about that you need advocacy. That’s, that’s true marketing you know, we just had the Superbowl attendance record and just happened yesterday, and you watch a lot of those commercials and I was actually really intrigued as paying attention to them this time and they were talking, a lot of these commercials were like, big, big stories and then at the very end, they just kind of flashed their logo on it was over because like who is this, I don’t even know what they’re selling and it was like they were gonna provide a quality experience for you and then oh, yeah, by the way, boom, this is who we are. It goes door dash who did it? And I’m like, wow, that was brilliant.
Bobby: There were a lot of those like, where’s this going, again, some of them you could tell like, you know, with with the Bruce Springsteen, you’re like, Okay, why see he’s in a jeep so I know it’s a GI read about it. I know, it’s a Jeep commercial but none of it was about Jeep
Josh: they didn’t even show the logo.
Bobby: Right, right. Until they did the show, I don’t Yeah, they just said jeep.com.
Josh: They just said jeep.com
Bobby: Which and again, it’s like so part of the problem, I think is like, and I always joke, and I did this webinar last October, something that I think it confused so many people they had to show up, but it was like, you know why online entrepreneurs are stuck in the 1950s and how you should be marketing in the 2000 20s and people like, wait, what, but if you actually know marketing theory, what most online marketers are doing is what’s called the selling concept of marketing, which was the prevalent theory of marketing until about the 60s and the 60s is when we shifted over and nowadays, like we’ve shifted again, and marketing is now the prevalent theories that’s the holistic marketing approach, which means marketing is what you do with your team, with your peers, with your audience, with everybody you interact with, and with the world in general and you know, understanding all of that, and serving every piece of that is part of marketing like I think of to me, everything I do in my business is marketing, which most people don’t think of when they say marketing, they’re thinking advertising, actually what most people are thinking of when they’re thinking of marketing.
Josh: Yeah, and I agree, like building the hooks.
Bobby: right, it’s funny because in you know, I don’t know if you’ve, like, hear about this book all the time but a lot of people love breakthrough advertising, which book written in 1966, which, like a lot of people in the groups I’m around, they talk about this book, and they call it their Bible for building online business and all that and they think of that as marketing but I’m like, it says it in the title, it’s advertising this is about writing copy it’s about positioning, it’s about those things, where it’s ironic, ironically, I say my business Bible is the go giver, which is about the more you give, the more value you create, the more of that you do, the better your business will be so I mean, I think it’s just kind of a different approach to building a business.
Josh: Yeah and so I don’t play, I want to play devil’s advocate here a little bit because in theory, your sounds fantastic, right? Oh, yeah. People would just buy for me whenever I lost the product, because I’ve already tried enough service most of us are too impatient to wait that long, right? So what, what really is the strategy because people don’t just randomly show up on your front door?
Bobby: Well, so I’ve got good news, and I got bad news, the bad news I’m going to deliver is, everybody out there is making these promises about, oh, I can solve this problem for you and again, it actually goes back to breakthrough advertising, that book I mentioned, because it talks about like, as a market becomes more saturated, you have to make more like crazier and crazier claims, I mean, he didn’t call him crazy and crazy claims, but you put time limits, he could do all that stuff but the bad news I give to people is this and it’s this weird thing because we in this online space, most people think like a lot of people came into the online space, with the promise you don’t have to invest any money, you have to do anything that and like if I were going to build a brick and mortar business, I would expect I got to spend money, I got to spend time, I got to spend all this stuff but somehow because I’m coming online, I don’t have to do that. I just tell people, that’s not true, You know, you couldn’t do a launch, you could do this fancy stuff, you can use all that around, I tell people not to do it, maybe but that’s short term. And if you have to rely upon that over and over again, and Josh, I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but I know people who peers, and they talk about their six figure launches, like $125,000 in revenue but what they don’t talk about is ad spend $75,000, in Facebook ads, and then all the other costs, because that’s the model you’re getting on and again, doing ads, doing all that stuff, short term bond but ultimately, what you have to do is be building the long term at the same time when you’re starting out and what I tell people to do is, and again, this is funny, a lot of people think they’re on step 12, of the 12 step process, and they should be back on Step three, because very few people have done things like true market research to really understand what their people want, what their people need, and then to establish themselves as an authority and, you know, part of it is just it’s simple stuff, like if you pay attention to Seth Godin, and tribes, and, and all these ideas of having this message that you want to get out. I mean, I always ask people this, because I’ll see people on Facebook are saying, Oh, I’m going to launch a course about Instagram, I’m like, Okay, well, why would I buy that course from you instead of the 57? Other ones that I know about from people who I know already? And they’re like, oh, and they don’t have an answer and my answer is, you’ve got to have that unique message, you’ve got to have that thing that you’re passionate about that you’re willing to talk about that you have a message for the world to get out and when you do that, you establish yourself now again, you establish that you build connection with people, and then you you will get this, you know, kind of you get to the point where people are coming to you to buy when they’re ready and we talked about this in advance, like, listeners, I started out by selling legal stuff, the most boring stuff ever legal templates, and I have $1,000 product related to it and now 60 to 65% of my sales aren’t funnels, they’re not people on my list they’re simply people who they have a need and I’ve established my authority in the space and so they ask in a Facebook group, oh, I gotta get this stuff and somebody says, Go to Bobby and that’s how most of the people come to me these days to buy this $1,000 product, did it happen overnight? No, but you know what, now I have 1000s of dollars coming in all the time, you know, on people just buying from me because I’m serving them and that’s the work that’s worth doing because that’s the sustainable work as long as you’re relying on Facebook ads to cold traffic, you know, or Google ads to cold traffic, any kind of ads to cold traffic to bring people into a funnel, you’re, you know, you’re gonna have to keep chasing that and it’s funny, because a lot of people talk about, you know, let’s get you out of like, you know, the one on one work of trading dollars for hours, because that’s a never ending treadmill, but then they’re just putting them on this other treadmill and you gotta get off that treadmill and that’s about building brand equity, goodwill, things that again, Josh, I’m sure since you have an MBA, you know, we should have brand equity, we should have goodwill, this is just standard business, I mean, it’s not complicated but so few people are doing it online.
Josh: You know, it’s funny to me, you’re kind of speaking to my soul with this, because a lot of people hire us and me in particular, as like a consultant for that reason, because they’re like, all these online marketers who haven’t, you know, really seen anything, but the online marketing, they get really, really stuck in this advertising game, right, the whole game and really the long term game, how you go from seven figures to you know, a billion dollars isn’t by coming up with better launches and better strategies, right? You’re talking about the real long term game of build brand equity, build that goodwill, as you said, and most people don’t really understand what that even means but I want to I want to ask you, what are you actually doing yourself to A. determine the need, and then B. to fulfill on that need?
Bobby: Yeah. So and this is the funny thing, because right now, as an online marketer, it is so easy to do this and I started this early and that like this was my breakthrough moment back in 2018, it’s lucky, I serve online entrepreneurs, right those are the people I serve and so I had this moment of clarity that I have built in ways to do market research and the way I did is I got into Facebook groups, paid program, Facebook groups with my ideal customer and by the way, listeners right now are saying Okay, so you went and posted market research questions, no, those things are worthless, like when you go in there and post that thing randomly into a group no, I was just there, I was among them, I listened to them, I heard what they were doing, and again, let’s be clear, when I was watching I wasn’t addressing something that they wanted as we talked about, I started by selling legal templates, which it’s a product nobody wants, where the result is, nothing happens, like literally nothing bad happens, that’s what that’s all I’m doing and so it’s not something that people were excited about but being in the group like I picked up on, what are the pain points? What are their frustrations? What are their objections, like one of them, I tell the story all the time, I don’t get overwhelmed, It’s a word that doesn’t make sense to me. When I’ve got eight balls in the air, I’m doing better than what I have one or two, because like, that focuses my mind but being in these groups, I kept hearing people use that word, I kept hearing that this was a common pain point for people so hey, in my copy, in my hook, talking about how I’m going to make it simple, so that it’s not overwhelming so it’s one less thing you have to deal with and just little things like that were important, but also, like I talked about establishing my authority, what I did also was I established my authority in these groups, by simply giving value, I would answer questions about lots of stuff, because I found I actually had learned a lot about marketing that most people didn’t know and about tactics and strategies but I also got to the point that anytime someone had a legal question, I answered it and so what happens over time is then I don’t even have to pay attention the group’s that much because I became known as the legal guy so either they would tag me or someone would ask a legal question all sudden, I would get 57 Facebook notifications talked about, we talked about we talked about, we talked to Bobby and so I established myself there, that was the first place I did it and you know, if you get into some of these communities that in and of itself can get people started and then you go from there but so like that was where I did my market research by listening there and listening to numbers, like that’s the other thing, once you launch your product and have it out there, you’re seeing what works and like I was banging my head against the wall trying to sell like, I was calling it a membership, but it was training and templates, I was putting 80% or 90% of my effort into that 90% of my ad dollars into that it was 30% or 30% of my revenue and meanwhile, I would you know, talk a little bit about individual templates and that was 65% of my revenue so I said, aha, the market is telling me they just want templates so I shifted, I split it up, I don’t sell training, I give you the training, I sell the templates and it just made things simpler, it’s it’s little things like that, that can make a huge difference. If you pay attention to it.
Josh: See it and I hope everybody listen to that because what you’re talking about, it’s been like a major shift in the online space recently because there’s so much training out there. There’s so many courses and the reality is all of us are like, I mean, I’m one of those people I like I have to stop myself sometimes but I just buy courses all the time that I’m never going to watch, right but if you’re like, Hey, here’s a template, my course is free, if you want to use use it to use the template but if you’re already good at that, here’s the template figure it out, I love love that when one of the guys he totally sucked me into his world, because he gave me his SOP his standard operating procedures for free for running a podcast and this was years ago, I mean, I’ve spent $10,000 with this guy, right? Because, I mean, he was like, let me solve your problem, I don’t think I’ve even gone through his courses, but it’s templates. Totally, totally so
Bobby: silly to say there because this is like I say this, most people look at me like I’m weird but when I first got into this space, like, it struck me as odd, like the whole online course thing struck me as odd because it was like, can I just buy a book for $25 and learn this stuff. But like it’s become the standard model now that people are charging $1,000 $2,000 $3,000 for courses and it’s, it’s there’s other things there, which a lot of it is they’re trying to scale to find something they can retire, which I said that makes me sad because it says to me, you don’t like what you do, I’m not looking to build a business to retire, not because I don’t want to make money but because I love what I do and, and I love helping people as much contact as I can have, I want to have it and so it’s this different model but you know, I see a lot of people trying to sell online courses and I do not think I mean, there’ll be around forever, but I don’t think the $1,000 $2,000 $3,000 courses are long for this world because I think people are gonna say no, I don’t want that except people like you and me were like $15,000 about about how to create a funny video that I might use. Yeah, I’m gonna buy that. Like I bought like, you know, the Harmon brothers who do some of those famous viral ads, I bought one of their things last May, I think haven’t even touched it yet. because I’m like, Oh my god, I’m gonna I might want that one day.
Josh: I’ll get to it someday, right?
Bobby: Yeah, exactly. But most people aren’t there. Right. Most people are trying to sell to don’t have that kind of money and so this is the thing I’m just said, I don’t think that makes sense as a way, way to kind of build a business anymore.
Josh: I would kind of like to dispute this a little bit just to see both sides of the coin because I agree to next I think that for newer entrepreneurs, younger people where $1,000 is a lot of money, it’s really it’s kind of down to sell horses to them, right? Because you’re just one among an ocean but what we’ve been finding is like these more successful entrepreneurs, if they’ve passed, you know, seven figures, we can charge them a bunch, but the course becomes kind of secondary, we actually sell them like a group coaching program or an event and oh, by the way, it comes with a course, that’s kind of been our I do agree with that do you feel like that’s?
Bobby: No, I agree. 100%. So there’s a couple things there number one, like I’m at a level like, like, I’ll be in groups with people who are like, gonna create a course for someone at my level, I said, That’s dumb, I don’t want a course I want someone to do it or to coach me through it but I guess the bigger point is, what I’ve said is, and this was kind of my big message to my people is, we need to stop saying we’re in the information business, we are in the implementation business and the people who survive are going to be the people who help other people implement the stuff that they’re doing, because and here’s what I’m saying the information business, you don’t want to be in the business, we’re already seeing this with like, masterclass.com but soon enough, I don’t know if it’s gonna be Google. I don’t know if it’s gonna be Facebook but if all I’m doing is collecting information and organizing it, guess what, that is not high value and one of these big companies will be able to sell a course for 50 bucks. Why would someone buy from me when they can buy it from Google? So I believe that the the, the implementation work and all that was what helps and I love pop culture, I can’t help but think of an episode of the office where Robert Calif, in the last couple of years, he’s coming to rally the troops and he says, The era of personal service is back, I believe never left. But I believe that is our advantage we can do that at a level that like, you know, the big conglomerates won’t ever do so I think that, like you said, do a coaching per do an event and the courses are like here, here’s something else we’re going to give you but what I’m charging you for is the actual experience, not the information,
Josh: okay, I’m glad we’re on the same page, you’re speaking truth again, recently, we’ve recently found that with our customers, because like you said, as you’re in and around them, you realize that anybody who’s made any sort of money is like, do not give me a course, I’m not going to go through it the last course I went through is the KBB courses, like 80 hours, I actually genuinely enjoyed it, I don’t know why I went through it probably because of who who made the course, right but I’ve bought probably five courses since then I haven’t touched
Bobby: in a shift that can come in is like I buy courses for my team so like, I bought an SEO course recently for my content person like, you know, I always tell them, Look, if you want a course tell me about it but yeah, don’t ask me to go through a course because I’m not gonna do it. I mean, I don’t have time I got enough on my plate, you know, instead of going through courses and like, you know, I read books, that’s how I prefer to learn instead of through courses personally.
Josh: Yeah, I, I personally am auditory, so I like listening to podcasts, because that’s where I get my tidbits from but then when somebody sells me a template, I’m much more prone or coaching because I can go and say, here’s my problem, help me solve it right here on the spot, boom, done, that’s worth 10s of 1000s of dollars over your $100 course, it’s gonna take me 20 hours to go through to get that same result, you know,
Bobby: so let me clarify my point when I say read books, I listen to books, like I almost always buy books first on Audible and then there are some books I’m like, yep, I want that, to underline the highlight to annotate and so that’s my process but yeah, I mean, I, I’m an auditory learner, I’m an auditory processor. I like to say that my podcast is like my first raw version of my message and so I’m constantly doing that to work things ou.
Josh: I love that. No, I’m glad this is this is really enlightening and I hope people will pay attention to what Bobby said there, I mean, it is a little bit back of a conversation but I mean, you’re in the implementation business, not the information business, I’m totally going to make that the podcast title, just so you know. It’s the reality is that that’s what people are paying for these days and even on a lower scale, you know, I know we’ve worked with people who are selling, they were selling a $300 product and I might do a group coaching program instead, right charge $1,000 for it, the same people are willing to pay for it takes them less work and they’re getting way more testimonials out of it so I absolutely love that and I want to ask you a couple final questions here Bobby, because we’re already halfway right to the end of this. I have so many questions for you but we only get a little bit of time to talk so the first thing is you have a university where people can go check out your information for free could you give us kind of a link or somewhere we can connect with you there?
Bobby: Yeah, so linking up with what you just said, I basically decided that I give all my training away and then I charge for a group coaching program is my paid off from the marketing side and so we created this program called badass online marketing University, badass is kind of our branding and what we’ve done is we basically are saying we’re going to create a one stop shop where people can get all of the different legal training or not legal settings or all the marketing training, there is a legal course in there too, because people need that, but all the marketing training they need we’re in the middle as we record this of revamping it right now, it’s got one course in an online marketing Foundation was actually teaching you marketing principles, not the tactics but we’re adding a copywriting course, a messaging course, an email course, a story course, all of those different things, you can get in free at bobbyklinck.com/bomu that’s b o m u and it’s gonna keep growing over time, we’re just going to make it better and better, so, you know, you get your training, if you need that but for free, instead of me charging for it.
Josh: And the reality is we’ve you look at like, learn.com, I think it’s what it’s called, or masterclass.com, you’d have to pay for all this so go check it out but he’s putting it all together for you. That’s the true value, I think that I’m seeing here making me worried you’re gonna make us obsolete, Bobby so
Bobby: that’s my goal is to make everybody who teaches who’s thinking, I teach entrepreneurs worry about that and again, I want to say like, I’m doing it, I think you still sell courses, like selling courses, Justice training, without implementation but realistically, I think the days are numbered and I think we’re at a point where blockbuster back was back in about 2000, where they could have bought Netflix, but didn’t and I want everybody to be Netflix, don’t try to be blockbuster because we know how that ended up.
Josh: Yeah, I completely agree. Well, and so I just have one final question for you to kind of wrap it wrap it up, because we have covered a lot of different topics here but I would hope first off that people will go check out that university, if you are in need of training, go use it, I can honestly tell you, Bobby, I’m probably not going to go use it and that’s because we’re an implement implementation stage. Right? And you’re okay with that. That’s what I love. So we’ll probably pay you for something in the future, right? So I love that you’ve, you’ve structured your entire model that way so make sure everybody that you go check that out but my final question for you, Bobby is what would be your final parting piece of guidance for our audience to just say, Hey, this is if they could take one thing away from this interview would that be?
Bobby: So I think the one thing I want people to take away is that we need to be focused, not on two weeks from now, not six months from now, not a year from now but I’m thinking in terms of decades and I think we all need to be thinking that way where am I going to be five years from now 10 years from now and what do I have to do to build a business that’s going to be around in that timeframe because like that’s how most businesses think and we online businesses online entrepreneurs need to start thinking like a traditional business business would