Episodes

How Eric Siu Increased His Distribution Leads by 2,000% in Blog Traffic

Eric Siu

Eric Siu is an expert on SEO, and he leads growth at Treehouse, which brings affordable technology education to people everywhere, in order to help them achieve their dreams and change the world.

Topic Eric Sui Covers

  • Background and goal of Treehouse
  • His background in SEO
  • Tips on starting out in SEO marketing
  • Breakdown of his SEO strategy
  • What he did to increase distribution leads by 2,000%
  • Why he spent a lot of resources on content
  • His thoughts on the latest google updates
  • Important things about landing pages
  • His thoughts on Youtube
  • How to use Youtube to get more leads
  • Why Youtube is the second biggest search engine
  • His Thoughts on Growth hacking
  • And a whole lot more

Link and Resources

Watch the Interview

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Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV. I’m Bronson Taylor and today I have Eric Sue with us. Eric, thank you so much for being a part of Growth Hacker TV.

Eric: No problem. Thanks for having.

Bronson: Absolutely. Now, here to tell us a little bit of a little bit about your current role. Where do you work right now and what do you do for them?

Eric: Yeah, so I am the growth slash marketing lead for a treehouse. We are at an online technology school and we teach people how to code, do web design and start startups.

Bronson: Yeah, I wanted you to tell us a little bit about them because I think what Treehouse does is a great fit for our audience. If you’re trying to learn how to grow, you’re probably also learning how to interested in learning how to build the products and actually develop the products as well. How long has Treehouse been around?

Eric: Yeah, so we’ve been around since 2010, but we rebranded in about our own brand is called Think Vitamin and now it’s Treehouse. But yeah, I mean, for any entrepreneur, I mean, if like, let’s say I’m a marketer and I want to learn how to code and I don’t have money to pay people, you know, I can learn enough at Treehouse to build a minimum viable product and then get that prototype out and then maybe send it off to investors or something. So there’s a lot you could do with that, a lot of different skills. We had one guy, he, you know, he came in with no experience. And then within six months, he was making iPhone apps and now he’s paying off his mortgage, which is kind of crazy.

Bronson: So that’s incredible. You know, one of the guys that actually worked with me last year, he was a marketer and started taking treehouse classes to learn how to code. And now he’s actually working on a development company out of Tampa. So, I mean, it’s it’s incredible how you actually can level up in your skill set through Treehouse. And it seems like Treehouse is everywhere. I mean, when I go to conferences, they have a presence everywhere. I’m at online, they’re talking about them. It seems like you’re building a very promising product. It’s not a quick thing. It’s going to be around for a long time, it seems like.

Eric: Yeah, that’s the goal. I mean, we’re here to stick around and we want to build something that, you know, eventually we want to branch out just from what technology and try to teach other stuff. But our thing is, you know, if we can give quality and, you know, at an affordable price where we don’t have to make you sit through four years of college, I’m going to like 150. That’s a good job. So.

Bronson: Exactly. Absolutely. Well, let’s talk a little bit about you because that’s why we’re all here today really talk about your expertise. It seems like a lot of your particular specialization is in SEO. I noticed online that you write for Search Engine Wide and Search Engine Journal. Would you say it’s that SEO is your primary skill set?

Eric: Actually I started SEO at that. It started branching up because I think SEO is a good starting point for anyone that wants to get into Internet marketing or even startups in general, because SEOs are, you know, quote-unquote, scrappy. I hate using that word, but.

Bronson: You know, that’s good. It’s a startup. That’s what we are.

Eric: It is like in SEO, like, if you want to really get experience, you make your own website and it’s like, okay, you don’t know how to design or like, you know, have the right theme. So then you just go to like WordPress or something. You find something that’s that works for you, use a different bunch of plug-ins, and then you find out what works for you. And you might even test some things that are too risky to test for like other bigger sites you don’t. I think when you see start working that it’s like, okay, you gain more confidence. It’s like, okay, what more can I do? Then you start learning conversion optimization. Then you might consider doing like affiliate marketing or something like that. And it just, you know, your skill set just starts to branch out from there and that’s why it feels good.

Bronson: How long have you been doing SEO marketing before you kind of started branching out into other things?

Eric: Oh, I’ve been doing SEO for about three or four years, but when I started grad school, I’d say within 3 to 4 months I started moving into other stuff like pay per click or you know, email, other stuff like that.

Bronson: Speaker 1: [00:03:37] Okay. So that’s why I was wondering is how quick it took you to kind of venture out into other things. Do you think that that’s a good method for other people to spend a few months really diving deep into SEO and learning the ins and outs of it and then using that as a foundation? Do you think it’s unique to you or that’s actually a good strategy?

Eric: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I would say yeah. I mean, but you’re going to have to go all out like I mean, you’re going to be you’re going to be testing all night. It’s not just like 9 to 5 because it’s like you just go to hardcore audit the whole time. But I would say, yeah, I mean start with SEO and do the other stuff because my reason for that is like if you start with like paid search or something like that, you might end up like, I don’t know, working for an agency or something like that because you’re not going to have a budget to like run your own stuff in the beginning or most people don’t. So it’s kind of risky to just pay per click because you might just get hired by an agency. You’re not going to get paid that much and then stay there and you’re just kind of stuck. You know, I know a lot of people like that started with PayPal to get stuff right now.

Bronson: It’s interesting that Tim Treehouse came to you as an SEO kind of guy, at least as your initial offering, because SEO can have somewhat of a negative, you know, kind of connotation in some people’s mind. I think it’s because there are white hat CEOs and there are black hat CEOs. Do you run into that in the startup world when you tell them, yeah, I write for a search engine watch and search engine journal and yeah, I know a lot about SEO. Do they think, Oh, he’s one of those guys? What’s the what’s the reputation like?

Eric: Yeah, there’s it’s got a.

Bronson: Bit of nerve, right.

Eric: About feels and like because there’s a lot of I mean I’d say about like 90% of people that say they know probably don’t. They’re just like pitching something because, you know, everyone, what everyone wants to see or get traffic work they want to see like quick results. Right. And there’s all these shady agencies promising, hey, we’ll give you a quick results quickly at affordable prices. But the thing is, it takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of investment to like a treehouse. We didn’t start seeing like our returns on the hotel just like last month and our traffic just started spiking. Right. And I’ve been here for about eight months already, so it took about six months of work. So it’s a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of time. It takes money to at your the biggest thing is, you know, our CEO, right? He buys into it, right. Because yeah, we look at our traffic numbers like, you know, our organic traffic, which is the traffic it converts really well and people are really engaged. So it’s like, okay, we know this stuff is working. You know, let’s just go along with it.

Bronson: Absolutely. Well, I was going to say this question to tilt towards the end, but you kind of already brought up the incredible growth that you guys have experienced lately. So let’s dove into that just a little bit, because that’s what everyone listening to us wants to know is how you did that. Like what specifically did you do at Treehouse to get any kind of hockey stick whatsoever? Growth is very difficult and anytime we can learn, you know, how somebody did something and I know that you can’t probably give away all the secrets of what you’re doing there, but what would you say that some of the main things are that you did with SEO that Ryan is really stoked about right now because of how he’s seeing it pay off?

Eric: .0Yeah. So, you know, I would say the first thing, I mean, before we even talk about growth is you’ve got to have a good product, right? So one thing we did was we surveyed our users like Short Ellis, who is kind of the the growth factor for Dropbox. He was like, you know, you’ve got to determine if you guys actually have product market fit right. And question to ask our audience is, you know, would it how disappointed would you be if you can no longer use our product? Right. And if you can get above 40%, then you know that you have something really good. And we got about 70 or 80% of people said they would be really disappointed. Treehouse is no more. So we’re like, okay, we have something really good, right? So we’re solving the problem. And, you know, going into some tactics, I would say our blog is like a major driver of traffic. I mean, in January we start like a 30% increase in traffic and in February, like another 30%.

Bronson: Wow.

Eric: Yeah. So I mean, kind of.

Bronson: What kind of things are you? Posting on the blog because now that’s the next question people have is okay, the blogs working? Well, what do you do with the blog that makes it work?

Eric: Yeah. So it’s a lot of it’s a lot of web design development or even some startup related content. And what we try to do is we try to figure out, okay, we’ll look through our site search. Right? You know, what are people looking for on our site? What are they interested? Right. And then we also survey people and then we’ll also ask our teachers as well, like, what do you guys think is interesting to write? So our strategy with content is, you know, we call it 70, 2010. So 70% of it is going to be our typical how to or guides or guides, whatever, right? It’s our staple content. 20% is going to be a little riskier. You know, we might like try something like controversial or it might mix it up with like interviews and stuff that is going to be totally different. Like we might be doing like infographics or kind of like the interviews that we’re doing right now. Yeah, we’re going to take risk with that. Right. And that’s kind of how our whole marketing strategy works, too. But we can dove into that later.

Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. So something you said that’s very interesting, you actually use data and metrics to decide even what you’re going to blog about. I think that’s something that our audience needs to hear, is that you didn’t just show up to the blog and think, what is top of mind for Eric? You actually show up to the blog with data in hand, and so you engineer a blog that’s made for SEO, not hoping that it does well with SEO. Would that be accurate?

Eric: It’s I would say most of it’s accurate. But we also have to you know, a lot of it’s based on data, but, you know, a little bit of it is based on gut feeling because we can’t always follow what’s going on. Like, you know, we can look at the Google keyword tool right now. We can see, okay, this keyword driving a lot of volume like responsive web designer or whatever. But the thing is like if you keep following keyword trends, you’re going to be behind because these this was like a month or two later, right? So you got to, you know, we got to ask our sales team, our customer support team, like, hey, you know what our questions people are asking, right? And then, you know, obviously ask our teachers, like I said before, but yeah, a lot of it has to do with data, but a little bit is gut feeling.

Bronson: Now that’s a really good response. I like that because I’m always wrestling through personally with how much is good, how much is data? Because I don’t want to trust my gut. And yet I do have intuition that turns out to be right sometimes. And finding that balance is really difficult. So like what you’re saying about how it’s a mixture of both. Anything else you’re doing a treehouse that’s really driving growth beyond the blog, or is the blog kind of the main thing that you’re focusing on right now?

Eric: The blog is really major. I mean, we’re doing it, but we’re not looking for sales blog, right? We’re looking at to build awareness, to build trust, to build likability, and hopefully people will share it. So the blog is major for us. We’ve also been playing around with the so we call it Team Treehouse that called our our quote unquote app. So we have a lot of video lessons, right. And individual lessons. What we did was we added a bunch of transcripts to our videos. So search engines, cat crawl, the video itself. But if you follow the text. Right. Okay, so we’ll get we’re getting like a little icing on the cake so search engines can pull that text and we’ll get credit for the long tail traffic and we’ll get more traffic coming in.

Bronson: So that’s very smart. And let me ask you this. Are you hiring and outsourcing the transcription or are you guys doing that in-house? Because if you could outsource achieved and that might be a quick way for other people to kind of imitate what Treehouse is doing.

Eric: Yeah, it is it is outsourced. And it’s it’s well known in the industry that you should be adding transcripts, you know, about giving it away.

Bronson: Yeah, that’s good. Thank you. Yeah. Now, that’s great. I was reading one of the articles that you wrote online, and you talked about some statistics around SEO that were kind of eye popping. You know, what’s one of the statistics that you could give us that would really make somebody listen to say, Yeah, Erick’s on to something. I’ve been ignoring SEO because maybe I’ve only been exposed to the black hat side of it, you know, that kind of thing. But what’s a statistic you give us? It’s like, Yeah, I need to listen to Eric in this SEO thing has some legs.

Eric: Yeah. So there’s this one statistic from the article from marketing circles where it says Content Marketing Rocks, right? And it said that, you know, the company that did content marketing, like they saw distribution lead to a 2,000% increase in blog traffic and 40% increase in revenue, which is serious numbers, right? Yeah. For us, like we saw, you know, since I started about eight months ago, we saw a 110% increase on our site and about 60% increase on our blog since we go back eight months.

Bronson: That’s incredible. Give us those statistics one more time. In eight months. What’s the increase for you guys?

Eric: Yeah, so 110% increase for our site, a 60% increase for our blog.

Bronson: And you feel like you can trace that directly back to efforts you’ve been doing primarily through SEO?

Eric: Yeah, most of it, I’d say, is through SEO. But we have other stuff going on to say PR is kind of like SEO . But, you know, for us it’s like we don’t focus on just one initiative, but we try to like look at everything.

Bronson: Absolutely. And to circle back a little bit, you talked about the blog quite a bit. In my mind, SEO and content creation is very kind of two sides of the same coin. How much time do you guys actually put into creating that content? Is it someone who full time doing it or is it. Just the intern putting together blog post. Do you guys take a lot of time in crafting that content?

Eric: Yeah, we do. I mean, we spent we invest a lot of resources in it. So we have about 14 teachers in-house that they all are required to contribute one piece of content and that’s one of their KPIs. And then we also hire, we also outsource too. So we’ll look for people that are really good writers and we’ll bring them in. And we also have a managing editor that takes care of the whole process.

Bronson: Yeah. Do you think that someone else could have equal results if they didn’t put in that kind of time? Because a lot of people, they want to play with SEO, they want to play with a blog. They don’t really want to put a stake in the sand and say, this is where we’re going to build an audience right here. Do you think it’s possible to do it half as well as you guys do and still have those kind of results? Or does the content really have to be quality?

Eric: I would say so because like, you know, even looking at our I guess I’m kind of taking a shot at our blog right now, but I would say that the content is it could use a bit of improvement right now. And we post about two articles a day and we contrast this to my friend Neal, who has its own online marketing blog. It gets about 150,000 visits a month, and he only writes one post a week. That’s it. Wow. So, I mean, it takes time to write and you’ve got to be willing to invest. Like, even after one year, your results might not be good, but you just got to stay consistent with that and you got to write like good shit. You can’t just half ass that you know. Yeah, that’s the problem. Like, you know, if you’re like, e or something where you just have to ask looking for, like, AdSense revenue, you know, that’s fine. But then you’re going to get torched by Google eventually. So that’s another major concern. You’ve got to write quality.

Bronson: Yeah. So talk to us about that because Panda came out a couple of years ago and completely hosed a number of businesses that weren’t creating quality. Is it fair to say that’s what happened, that panda got rid of the content farms and let the real quality rise to the top?

Eric: Yeah, I mean, for the most part, yeah. They’ve done a good job of torching the content for us, so to speak.

Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. And so if anyone’s tempted to take shortcuts with SEO, Google smarter than you are. So don’t you have to build quality stuff?

Eric: I learned the hard way. I mean, that’s part of like starting with SEO testing. I had a bunch of my site supports in the beginning now like, okay, you know, here’s, here’s the amount of risk I can take, but like, yeah, you don’t want to take shortcuts. You know, they have the panda update to weed out like big content and then they have a new penguin update where it’s like you can’t just spam links anymore. You know, you can’t write the same anchor text anymore. You know, it’s just about building the good crap brands get rewarded now.

Bronson: Absolutely. And that that’s great because brands bring value to the world. You know, SEO alone doesn’t. So if the brands get the SEO juice, it’s better for everybody. It’s better for the Internet is better for companies. It’s better for the users. You know, you talked about how SEO leads to a number of other kind of disciplines. One of the disciplines that comes to my mind right after content creation would be landing pages. I know you also have quite a bit expertize with landing pages. I’ve been reading some of your articles online. And what do you think is most important to understand about landing pages in general, or maybe even optimizing them specifically?

Eric: Yeah. So I’m going to take another shot at Tree House right now.

Bronson: This is good. It’s raw. I like it. We love tree house. So it’s a great, you know.

Eric: Yeah. The most important thing with landing pages is you can’t make a catch-all landing page, which is what we have right now.

Bronson: But explain to me, what do you mean by that? What’s a catch all landing page for our audience?

Eric: So, like, you know, if I’m if I want to learn JavaScript, if I want to learn Ruby on Rails, if I want to learn like, I don’t know, Python or something, right? Mm hmm. The thing right now is we have all our traffic going to the same landing page. It’s not like. It’s not like, hey, you can learn Python, all right? This is why we’re good at Ruby or whatever, right? There’s just one single page with just, you know, it doesn’t tell you anything specific. It’s just like, oh, you can learn coding here, you know? Okay. But if you know, the most important thing is to have landing pages that are really topic specific. So it’s going to increase your conversion rates, it’s going to help with your paper clip quality score, which will decrease your cost. And your advertising overall is just a better experience across the board. Right. You want to if you’re looking for Ruby, you want a landing page that tells you about Ruby, why Treehouse is good at Ruby. Why you better sign up now, right? Yeah, it’s just better overall. But for us, we just. We didn’t have the resources because, you know, we’re a startup. Mm hmm. And resources are really constrained. So we’re okay with a catch all landing page right now. But, you know, we’re trying to get people to help us make specific ones.

Bronson: Yeah. Now, once you have those specific landing pages and you kind of diversify and you have one just for Ruby and one just for JavaScript and whatever else may be out there. What are you going to be looking at when you look at those landing pages because you’re there to help them grow. And so you’re going to be a set of eyes looking at those landing pages saying, we need to get rid of that. We need to add this. We need to change this. Tell us how you see a landing page. Where do your eyes go on it? What do you notice? What do you hate? What do you love? What? What needs to be there? He’ll help us get inside your head with the landing page.

Eric: Sure. So what I look at when I look at a landing page, it has to be, like, really simple, right? There’s that book, you know, don’t make me think that I recommend that to everyone to get that book. So, yeah, it can’t be like super cluttered. It has to be like one very clear call to action, right? I just have a lot of pages and it’s like, okay, what do I do now? Right? Mm hmm. Your head, like, what are you doing? AB Testing your headline. Super important. You can test, like, if you’re doing a video, you can test that. You can test your benefits on your call to action. Very important as well. I would look at those and also like, you know, try to try to limit your navigation when it comes to like that. You don’t want like people leaking away.

Bronson: That’s why that is because I think it’s important to understand.

Eric: Yeah. So I mean, if let’s say I hit a landing page like I’m paying for this traffic, right? And then they click to like I don’t know about or help page. Right? Then it’s like, you know, they’re not as focused anymore. It’s like, okay, you’re taking them off the conversion path. You know, you want to kind of go down the funnel. One thing that like, let’s say, you know, they click through to your plans page, they’re about to sign up, right? At that point, you don’t want to limit navigation because that tends to piss people off. In my experience, that’s actually decreased conversion rates.

Bronson: Okay, so explained to me a little bit because I didn’t quite catch that. When you send to a client’s page, what do you mean by that?

Eric: I’m sorry. Sign up page. So signup. Gotcha. Three house. Yeah. So you don’t want to limit the navigation there because people could be like, how come I can’t check out something else? Like, I’m looking to buy, I need more information, right? So. Okay.

Bronson: All right. So if it’s a sign up page, give them more options. If it’s a pure landing page, really put the blinders on and don’t let them do much else. What’s your take on design for landing pages? Because I’ve heard both stories. I’ve heard that well-designed pages do well. I’ve heard that really ugly pages do well. I have heard that using a grid and making everything the line up does well. I’ve heard that putting things not lining up does well. Does design matter with the landing page or is it just folklore?

Eric: I think it matters. I mean, for us, it really matters because we teach design, right? So really marketer, I don’t really care. Like, I’m okay with something ugly as long as it converts, right? I guess it depends on the company. So for Treehouse, yes. It matters for maybe other people that just want to make money. Maybe not.

Bronson: So maybe it depends on your brand because you need a consistent brand. If they show up to an ugly treehouse landing page, it’s going to hurt you guys. Not because landing pages need to be beautiful, maybe, but because that’s not your brand. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You talked about being resource constrained and not being able to do all of the landing pages that you want to get. Do you guys use companies like Unbalance or things like that to create lean pages or are you really adamant about doing those in-house? And is there a benefit to doing them in-house as opposed to using one of those companies that throw them up real quick?

Eric: Yeah, so we’ve used a before, but you know, it’s, it’s decent. But I think what our designers really want us to do it like in-house or if it’s not in-house, you know, they want to, they want to hire like a contractor that they really support. So it’s, you know, I guess it’s the tree house process because once again, like we keep up with like so we have the whole we have up of standards now.

Bronson: Absolutely. I ran a development company and I felt the same way. It was always hard to use a third party when I couldn’t quite make it do what I wanted to. And I’m kind of a perfectionist. So we ended up just creating a lot of our own landing pages. But then it’s it’s a resource struggles that. Makes it hard again. What do you see for the future of Treehouse in terms of growth? Because I know in your mind you’ve seen some success with SEO. You’re seeing the CHA go up into the right with what you’re doing there. You know what you want to do? The landing pages are making them more diversified. What’s a little bit further out on the horizon as you look at it from a growth point of view?

Eric: Yeah, so YouTube started to do really well for us. I mean, we had a lot of free content on YouTube. I mean, it just makes sense because YouTube is the second biggest search engine and we do a lot of video content. So we’re in that.

Bronson: Well, what kind of video do you put on YouTube?

Eric: Yeah. So are you.

Bronson: Putting the whole course in? Is you putting this little snippets or you put an introduction to the teachers? What are the is the content there?

Eric: So we have a we have these things called quick tips where it’s like snippets where it’s like, oh, here’s like a introduction to HTML or like here’s like a really quick two minute tip on something. All right. So I had a weekly show called The Treehouse Show where we talk about the latest Web technology. That’s great as well. Yeah, those two are like, I guess like the main offering right now. In the future, we’re going to try to focus it a little more. So, you know, maybe on one day we might have course JavaScript, Tuesday, Ruby Wednesday out of my web design or something.

Bronson: Yeah. And you said something really interesting there, that YouTube is the second biggest search engine. I don’t think people realize that. They think about being they think about Yahoo! Or any of the others in the discussion anymore, but they don’t think about YouTube. And YouTube really is the biggest search engine outside of Google itself. And so to have content on there is going to become more and more important. And it makes sense for you guys because you already have those courses that you can take snippets out of. You already have all the set up to record things. Would you recommend that other people, without your setup try to do YouTube? Or is it is it really hard to get to pay off because of producing videos is difficult. Well, what would you think if you were in a different setting? Would you care about YouTube?

Eric: I would say everyone should be trying YouTube. So I guess this would be kind of David’s are like a marketing philosophy right now. So who is the way that we had to work? Like we spent 80%, 80% of our budget on things that are working already. But 20% goes to the things that we’ve never tried before. Right. So, you know, I would say for other companies, like if you don’t think YouTube’s going to work for you, you know, give it a shot. You know, you never know until you’ve really tested right now. For us, it’s like, okay, we tried to get it. It didn’t work. We came back around, it started working, right. So you never know. Just always be testing, you know, invalidate whatever assumptions you have. Just let the data speak.

Bronson: Absolutely. You know, you talk about the data. What are you using to track the data? I’m always interested to see what people use are using just Google Analytics are using KISSmetrics. You know, what do you go to to kind of get the data or is it in-house stuff that you’re looking at?

Eric: Yeah, so it’s it’s all of the above. Okay. We have in health data on Google Analytics, we use that a lot or I use it a lot and now Mixpanel and we have KISSmetrics. So we have two of those competitors and and we’re also looking at other, we have other tools as well. Yeah. So a lot of.

Bronson: Find it hard to like understand the data when it’s in so many different kind of buckets. You have something over here with KISSmetrics that you need to look at something else in Google Analytics. Just me personally. I find it hard sometimes to kind of make it all, you know, work together and figure out what that means for this over here. Do you have that problem or is it just me?

Eric: Oh, you know, I think after you look at it, I mean, as long as the data, it seems like everything’s consistent then I. Good. But yeah, I mean, it might be like I’ve been looking at numbers for such a long time that it seems okay to me.

Bronson: Yeah. So you’re just used to that world. It doesn’t bother you at all that there’s four or five different tabs open to figure out your metrics?

Eric: Yeah. I mean, I like I look at it like a few times a day, so.

Bronson: Yeah, well, that’s good. I mean, you’re doing a full time. So I guess if you can’t get your head around the numbers, then nobody can.

Eric: Yeah.

Bronson: Well, you know, growth hacking has kind of rose in popularity over the last year and a half. But really in the last six months, I think it’s become more and more popular. Why do you think people are all of a sudden looking to people like you, Eric, and saying, hey, you have something really special, come work for us? Why the sudden increase in popularity for growth hackers?

Eric: I think it’s a few things like, you know, everyone looks at, you know, you see TechCrunch, it’s like, oh, Airbnb about hockey stick, great pitches, hockey stick, whatever at drop offs or whatever. It’s like growth is a pretty sexy thing. And then, you know, growth is like a new buzzword, right? To me, it’s just like it’s just Internet marketing or, you know, with a little you might have like a dev coming from the API side. Yeah, a lot of your traits. But to me it’s just it’s modern marketing and everyone needs that to grow their business. Right. So yeah, I think every startup is starting to look for that and it’s like, Oh look, we have something we need growth after.

Bronson: So yeah, absolutely. And so many people, you know, they can build things, they can design things, but then they realize that distribution and getting users is an extremely difficult task. I’ve built I don’t know how many products and at some point I said, if I don’t learn how to market, I don’t need to build any more products because this is completely useless. And so then I start turning my energy onto understanding how the flow of users work on the internet, and then all of a sudden I could build things that worked. So I think you’re absolutely right. People, they realize they need it and they’re seeing the popularity of other people and they’re coming to people like you. So if someone’s trying to break into this industry, they want to become a growth hacker or Internet marketer, the way you describe it, a modern marketer. And I like that because it really is just modern marketing. You’re going to use tech, you’re going to use APIs, but really it’s marketing with an understanding of the technological landscape around us right now. If someone’s trying to break into that industry. You said earlier you think CEOs are a good foundation. What else would you tell them as advice that they need to go and focus on or think about or read or do or follow? Like what should they be spending their time? What kind of content should they be consuming so they can kind of level up and be aware? Erick’s that someday?

Eric: Yeah. I mean, you know, ACA is a good starting point, but you don’t necessarily have to start there. I would to say you need to read a shitload, right? You might read like Andrew Chen’s blog is one of that growth factors. There’s a short Alyssa has a great blog. I think it’s called Startup Growth or something. Yeah, you read voraciously in the beginning and then you start testing a lot so that something scales good, right? Because you’re going to make your own website, you do the test and then yeah, I mean, be scrappy, like just keep going. It’s going to be hard to getting you to be like, okay, the fuck is going on. I’m like, This stuff isn’t working, right? Yeah. But you get the experience and things start working. It’s like, okay, you have the confidence, then you just keep moving and it’s snowball. Yeah, I just yeah. I mean, it’s really cliché, but it’s like.

Bronson: Yeah, work hard, try stuff. See? See what happens? Absolutely. Do you think they should try stuff on their own or should they go and try to be an intern somewhere and learn from someone else? How do you think would be the best way to kind of break into this industry?

Eric: Yeah. So I started, you know, I actually started my Internet marketing background with them with the internship and people before you. Yeah, it was super valuable. I mean, you know, they, I mean, they had me make my own website. They had me test a bunch of things, a lot of different things. So yeah, I mean, even if it’s unpaid, like if you have a full time job right now, which is what I’d like, you know, I’ll do my full time job, maybe get in there, I’ll try to get in a little earlier and maybe get about like five in the morning. And I get that too. Right? Then I go to my internship after. And then from from that point, like, I’ll just start learning until, I don’t know, like 12 a.m. or 1 a.m. So it’s a lot of work.

Bronson: But now I think it’s great. And if you if you’re not willing to take an unpaid internship, it probably won’t be very difficult to call yourself a growth hacker or Internet marketer, because you’ve got to show a level of scrappiness, like you said, to do that, you know, skill set at all. So you show that by being willing to do those kinds of things. What would you look for an intern? What kind of email could somebody send you or what kind of thing could somebody do to really get your attention? Eric If you were looking for an intern because maybe you’re not, but this will help them know what to send to people as they’re trying to trying to break in like that.

Eric: You know, it’s funny because I used to do, um, I used to do I have a bit of a sales background too. So I would say be persistent, like, like, okay, if I completely brand new, right. I could reach out and say, hey, you know, Eric, I want to I want to learn I want to learn Internet marketing or whatever. And this is funny. I actually had a mentor who I just kept emailing and eventually responded, right? So keep emailing and then, you know, eventually they’ll respond to you because they’ll see you as the person that doesn’t give up. Okay. Maybe I should respond to this person. It depends. Like, I think this supplies everything. Like if you’re doing sales, if you’re looking for internship or a job or anything, like just keep going at it until they tell you to fuck off like you said.

Bronson: Yeah, I’m actually reading a book right now called The Ultimate Sales Machine. And all the things it teaches is that, you know, when he’s hiring a sales guy, he tells them that he doesn’t want them. They’re useless, they’re no good, and they come back again. He knows they have what it takes maybe to be a salesman, because that’s what they’re going to face every day out in the real world. And same thing with growth hacking. If you don’t show persistence, even with your internship, you’re not going to show persistence when SEO doesn’t pay off in a week or when the landing page doesn’t get optimized in, you know, 14 days, you’re going to give up and, you know, go to the next new shiny thing and you won’t really love the data dove into be persistent and keep at it like you’re saying. So I think, you know, your advice is right on point with those kind of things. Any any parting thoughts for our audience before we get off here? It’s been incredible interview and any final words of wisdom for everybody. Listen to this.

Eric: Yeah. I mean, there’s this one big quote from Mark Cuban where he says, every note brings you closer to a yes. So, I mean, as long as you keep that in mind, I think I think you’ll be good. I mean, if I could do it, I think anyone could do it. So.

Bronson: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much, Eric. It’s been incredible. And thanks for your transparency and really showing that’s kind of what you’re doing, a treehouse and much success to you. I think Treehouse is going to be awesome and I think having you on the team is a great value and.

Eric: Thanks for having me.

Bronson: Yeah, take it easy.

 

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