Staci Wallace is a serial entrepreneur and leading expert in the field of business psychology and life mastery.
She is currently the host of The Comeback Small Business Radio Show, founder of the non-profit, EMwomen (Empowering Women), and EVP of Strategy for VOXOS, a 15 year-old
telecom company bringing new-school marketing platforms to small business owners throughout the world. She is co-founder of EMpowerYOU Publishing and continues to help CEO’s and innovators bring their bigger stories to life.
First off, you are going to feel there’s going to be days where you want to quit. Get up anyway. There’s going to be days where you want to cry and go into the fetal position and say it’s just too tough get out of bed. Anyways, there’s going to be days that you even feel like this relationship that I’m in is just too dysfunctional fight for it anyways, because you’re not going to find that grass is greener on the other side. The bottom line is the grass is what you make it, nurture it.
It’s time for small business marketing Made Easy podcast, the fastest growing podcast for the business community with your host, acclaimed marketing trainer, international speaker and author of the best selling books got attitude and the 90 day marketing plan. Cody Butler
Hey, Cody here with another episode of small business marketing Made Easy today I got a fabulous guest, Staci Wallace, and amongst other things, she’s going to talk us talk to us about SMS and text marketing. So something I’m really interested in myself, I hear a lot about it, but I don’t really see anybody doing it very well. So hopefully, Staci is going to talk to us about that. So welcome to the show. Staci, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, first off, it’s my privilege to be here, Cody, I’m just I love it when people jump into the space of small business enterprise and are helping small business owners. We know that around the world right now they’ve just been hit hard. So it’s an honor and a privilege to be here. Thank you so much for having me and tell you a little bit about Vox ox and Vox direct we are Fox ox actually has been in the telecommunications game for over 14 years, building big voice enterprise systems for big companies in Malaysia and South Africa and India, around the world, and also in the United States. And really, you know, giving big voices to big businesses was their game for a long time. Things like Virtual Receptionist, press one, if you want to speak to press two, if you want to speak to customer support, being able to have rerouting and, well we know that the market shifted and everything started moving towards small businesses. And so they took their massive platform and put it on the cloud. So it’s a very tested platform. And they created a company called Vox direct. And I say hey, because I wasn’t around back then. Now it’s we and I am the Executive Vice President of strategy and marketing for Vox ox. And one of our primary focus products is called box direct. And that is our small business product where we actually take not only all those big opportunities that have been done for big businesses in the area of voice, Voice over IP, big PBX systems. But now scaling it down to where anybody anywhere can work from anywhere from their phone, whether they have a brick and mortar, or whether they’re somebody with a side hustle, giving them the opportunity to be a small business with a big voice. So that you don’t know that it’s just Lisa and and you know her one, she’s the one solo entrepreneur running what looks to be like a big business. And we also merge that with an up and coming and out already we see it how important it is guys like Gary Vaynerchuk and others that are making SMS a major part of every marketing campaign that they do. And that is SMS or text message marketing. So we’ve merged those two platforms together. And we’re operating on a five g enabled system so that we’re going to be able all of the information and data that we bring in, move it quicker, so that we can get better analytics for our customers and give every small business an opportunity really, to play like a big boy, right? be on the same playing field as the big guys. Even if it’s just a solo entrepreneur that’s out there and they’re fuzzy socks on zoom, making it happen.
Nice, nice. So where did you get where did you get started? What what’s your background, Staci?
So my background Personally, I’ve been in business for over 33 years. And I have done everything from executive management and been a part of companies that have scaled into the hundreds of millions from scratch. I’ve been in sales raised up sales teams, sorry, into the hundreds of millions and sales teams into the hundreds of thousands. So I’ve been in the field of nutrition I’ve been in telecommunications have worked in various industries and healthcare. But really my background is I like to say that I’m 49% Boss Lady and I love running big business and you know doing that from startup from scratch and scaling it into big business. But I’m 51% missionary, and a grandpa that was a missionary that actually raised up missionaries all around the world. Sent them into different parts of Latin America, my dad was a preacher. So I’ve got this part of me that while I love, what we can do with business and entrepreneurial ism, and scaling companies and great roadmaps, but I really do it with the agenda of making life better for many. And that’s our brand promise of this company. It wasn’t the brand promise, originally, there wasn’t really a solid brand promise. Other than that we just weren’t great company with great products. But now we’re really passionate that COVID changed the company, I came on two weeks before COVID hit, and with the company, and it was their dedication, even before COVID that we want to do more with our company than we’ve ever done before, we want to give back more than we’ve ever done before. And so they made the commitment even before COVID hit that we want small business ownership and owners to become the number one reason and our give back. And so COVID hit and we were able to see if they put their money where their mouth is. And they did, they gave out their product for over six months for free to any small business that wanted better phone and better, better text communications. So my background is in sales and marketing. I’m also very much of an advocate for women and girls who’ve gone through a lot of domestic violence and abuse. So I’m the founder of a nonprofit organization called m women. And so we do a lot to reach out to people, in addition to growing this incredible company that right now, truly is making life better for many.
Great, Greg. So you got a got a pretty solid, solid background there. So there’s a lot of a lot of buzzwords in there, the cloud voice stuff like that. So I’m like technically literate, technically incompetent. So what does that mean in terms of? How can a small business take these services? Or take what it is that we’re talking about here? Let’s dumb it down and simplify it to somebody who has no technical understanding of what this stuff means at all? And what is what does that mean on the street? What does that mean, in terms of revenue coming into the bank results coming into the business? How can it be utilized by small business?
Well, if you’re a small business owner, it means that you’re operating on a usually on a shoestring. Meaning you need to get the most bang for your buck, in order to be able to have the most outcome, the most conversions, which is equal to paid users of whatever it is you’re offering, whether it’s a restaurant, whether it’s a SaaS product, whether it’s a brick and mortar boutique, the idea is how do we get more people utilizing what we’re so passionate about. And that’s where voice and text become very, very important to your business. You know, there was a season where everything when you would go on a webinar, you’d go on a marketing campaign training, and you’d hear how important email campaigns are, how important your list is that people used to say, the list is king, but context is God like how you’re writing those emails? Well, that has been true, and it is still very true. It’s one it’s the number one way of marketing to a list is through email. The challenge is, is emails have gotten so busy that people are no longer opening their emails, so you can have the best videos and the best ideas and thought creation inside those emails. But if you’re not getting the open rate, then you’re talking to a bunch of deer staring in the headlights, right? And so how do we get them to open? Well, SMS marketing, text marketing, as you know, is so prevalent right now, because people open their text within three minutes, 90% of all texts are open, and 98% of texts are open, but 90% of open within three minutes. So what does that mean to the business owner? Well, you want eyeballs on your content, you want eyeballs on your sales campaigns, you want readers but more importantly, is you want response. So the response to email is very low. In fact, the response to text is 209% greater through text message marketing. So what does that mean to small business owners? If you have not started to shift your entire campaign, your entire list to using both email and text message marketing, then you need to start doing that today.
Yeah, that’s amazing. I’m making some notes here for myself. 209% greater response rate. So if you if you’re not using text messaging right now, maybe you’re not even using email marketing right now. How would you get started? I mean, what are some basic strategies if you if you’re looking at this going, Okay, I know I need to do this. I can see that this is the future. Excuse me, Staci. But you don’t know how to get started and you don’t have that technical background. Where would somebody what would somebody do? What would a business owner day to start researching this to go Okay, this is what I need to do. This is step one, two and three in this process.
Well that’s that’s a great question because if you are A small business owner and you really are starting off at scratch, then you need to learn a word two words, leverage, and proximity. Let me say it again, leverage and proximity. So you want to learn to leverage the experience of other small business owners or other big business owners and tap into their knowledge base. So that might be resourcing yourself through Google that might be resourcing yourself through YouTube, learning as quickly as possible the best modalities for conversion. So it could be that you’re looking how to leverage knowledge base, well, that could be signing up for a coaches program, or getting involved in some kind of boot camp or mastery course, to say, what can I learn right now, that’s going to allow me, here’s another keyword connect with my ideal community, right? So you want to learn who is your community? Who is your avatar, who’s your ideal customer? Well, you want to build a community of your ideal customer. Now, as you start to build that community, and whether you build it through Facebook, or whether you build it through Instagram, or whether you build it through a list where you’re actually having people opt in, maybe text community, to whatever your 800 number is. And now that phone list is a community that you can send template text to, or maybe it’s an email campaign, and you’ve got people opting in through a website or a landing page. And when they opt in, maybe you give them let’s just hypothetically, say you have a restaurant and you’re wanting to build a lead list around your restaurant, let’s say it’s Mexican food. So your ideal lover is someone who loves Mexican food, loves margaritas, and loves tamales. And so you might run a campaign on tamales, it’s getting close to Christmas, you might do a Hey, we’re running the tamale train this December. And so we want you to text tamale to this number. Well, now you’ve got your phone numbers on a text list. Or if you’re doing an email campaign, which I encourage you to do, both of the email campaign might be opt in to this email campaign. And we’re going to give you a buy one, get one free, doesn’t have tamales. So when you’re running campaigns, whether it’s on text message marketing, or whether it’s on email marketing, you want to make sure that you’re running campaigns with a value add to your ideal avatar or ideal customer, so that you build a community of people who like love and trust your brand. And as you do that, so let me go that was leverage. How do you leverage the knowledge base that’s out there? To help you do that? We as a company, we’re big about training and knowledge base. So when somebody signs up for our product, for example, you’re not just signing up to get a widget, we want to actually train our community. This is us to our ideal avatar, or ideal customer is a small business owner who says, I’m just getting in this game, I really don’t know how to do this, could you help me build my first text campaign? We’re like, Yes, all day to Sunday. And we’ve got text marketing specialists, that when you sign up, we assign them to you. So you don’t have to get started on your own. So small business owners want to think about that. How do I leverage the experience of others, maybe through mine, increasing my knowledge base? How do I create community? Meaning that my ideal avatar community, and that leads us to proximity? proximity is Who Who Who are you talking to? Who Who Who is talking to you. So my husband used to play football for Texas a&m, which is a big college football team here and had some really big winning championships. And he tells the story a lot about what happens in the huddle. You know, the huddle influences your decisions, what plays you’re gonna run, whether you’re going to go for three yards, or whether you’re going to go for a touchdown. It’s really important that you know, who are you in alignment with. So proximity is very important because alignment, precedes assignment. It’s important because if you just go out and say I’m going to, I just decided I’m just going to open up a restaurant, and I’m going to hire my friends. Well that could make or break your business proximity of who is actually marketing your business, who are your waiters, who are your waitresses who’s over marketing, who’s handling your social campaign, because their decisions will determine how the ball gets pushed down the field on behalf of your business. So I’m going to go back to leverage, learn what you can learn as a small business owner, get what you can get by by tapping into the knowledge base of people who are maybe a little faster than you maybe a little smarter, be okay, to be teachable. This is such a good generation to be real, raw and relevant. They go like, hey, look, I don’t know, can you help me and do that as it builds your community so that you have The right proximity, all three of those work together to put you into your ideal market. And what that’s where we go back to old school target marketing.
Now, as I was saying, you know, I want to be that I want to be the dumbest person in a smart room,
I want to, I want to get it, I want to get into a room of really smart people and be the dumbest person because that’s the only way you’re going to learn, right? You got to kind of Humble yourself. And if you want to be the big fish in the little ball, then you’re never going to grow, and you’re never going to learn, you’ve got to, you’ve got to be the little fish in the big ball and say, hey, there’s some there’s some stuff I don’t know. And I need to go out. And like you say, there’s some great resources from YouTube and Google for free to coach and programs to, I’m sure companies like yourself, as you mentioned, provided education in this area as well, when it comes to implementing this stuff.
So even growing, I was gonna say, Cody, even as you’re growing your business, I was just on the phone recently, a CEO of a company called him This was wanting to get my advice on whether or not to engage with a specific marketing company. And they were asking me, you know, what my experience was in marketing of using agencies versus hires. Right? Yeah. And the beautiful thing about hires is that when you bring someone onto your team, man, it feels good. And you’ve got that inner connection and connectivity with people who are actually in the space 24, seven. But at the same time, when you are growing, and you’re scaling and you’re small, leveraging a team is a great thing to do as well, because, for example, I leveraged marketing agencies, I have a marketing team, but I also love leveraging agency relationships, because I can get 14 people for what would normally cost me one. And if I need SEO, or sem, I might tap into some of their team that’s got a solid sem strategist, or if I need growth hacking, I can say, you know what, I need this instead of this this month. So again, how you scale it, I know you’re talking to a lot of startup businesses, and that’s why I’m trying to keep it on the down low of, you know, as, as a beginner, when you’re starting a company, you’ve got to leverage because there’s no way you can do everything. So you want to see how you can, how you can be able to really, I guess what’s coming to my mind is squeezed the limit, right? How can you get the most out of the circumstance out of the time. And remember, we only get 24 hours each. So you’re not in time management, nobody manages time, you’re not going to get more than 24 hours, but you do manage your energy. So if you manage your energy, well, you can also often expand time. So if I’m managing my energy, and I’m not going to Facebook and Twitter when I shouldn’t be, and I’m instead maximizing my focus, that’s energy management. If I’m partnering with somebody who’s smarter than me, I increase my energy and even my time, because now I’m leveraging their 20 years of experience with my one year of experience, and now I get 21 years of experience, even though I only have one. Yeah, that makes
sense. It does. It does indeed it doesn’t it Yeah, look, I’m very privileged. And I get it in that I get to speak to a lot of very successful entrepreneurs on the podcast. And the one reoccurring theme that I hear over and over again, is growing a business is a team sport, you can’t do it by yourself. And anybody that’s in business, whether you’re starting out, or whether you’re in a growth phase, or whatever it’s like, the faster you can understand that you can’t do this by yourself that this is this is a team sport, this is not a solo sport, that the better off you’re going to be. And you’re absolutely right. I mean, the great thing about an agency is with with market, and it’s like this creative, and then there’s technical and then there’s statistical and then there’s psychological. And it’s like no one person really has all of those skills. So in my in my opinion, and I could be wrong, it’s just an opinion. But if you bring one person, they’re gonna bring something that’s great, like maybe they’re a great creative, or maybe they’re a great technical person. But they’re not necessarily going to have that whole suite of skills that you’re going to get from going to somebody externally. And like you say, you get five employees for the price of one or you get five skills for the price of one. And that that’s really, for me, I mean that that’s really the way I look at whether you should bring somebody in house or whether you should outsource. But obviously, that slight Change of subject here we’re in a we’re in a very crazy time historically, right? Everything that we throw in here has changed in the last year communications being really, really a big one for businesses. They’ve had to change how they communicate with customers. They’ve had to change how they communicate internally, they’ve had to change how they communicate with employees. I think everybody is on board with that now, but where do you see where do you see the future of business communications and how can a small business or even a medium or big business get ahead of that curve and position themselves to to be in the right place at the right time moving forward?
Well, first of all, I do believe that the communication channel between owner and consumer, it’s going to have to get closer and closer closer to an intimate relationship. And the greatest way to intimacy is through the one thing that people they want, they need. And they have learned that they cannot live without, and that his cell phone. So eventually will evolve out of the cell phone into more virtual reality experiences. But we still got a little roadmap where that cell phone is going to be the predominant use of communication and community that any company that’s starting up right now, especially with what’s coming through, after COVID, and pandemic, and all of that is that we’re not gonna go back to it used to be, we’re going to actually reinvent ourselves as business owners, and constantly and that should be something that people do, no matter what is every year, especially when you come into those seasons of pivot. For some people that’s like coming on to this Christmas season or to the New Year, they’re looking at what can I do to be better next year than I was this year, maybe you have a set date, that is your anniversary and that of your business. And that’s a reset button. But to intentionally hit the reset button, so that you can roadmap forward. And and there’s something called myopia and myopia is the inability to see forward. Right. And so the challenge of myopia in business is you get so hung in the weeds of where you’re at, or what’s been happening in the world around you, that you don’t see where the world is shifting to. And to your point, Cody is, is there’s a, there’s a place where we’re going right now in communications when we talk about 5g ai analytics and comparable data, that all that is to boil it down, is intimacy. We’re creating a faster connection of intimacy with our consumer. So if you right now, whether it’s a brick and mortar, and you’ve got a boutique, and you’re selling clothes, well how do you have intimacy with your consumer, you need to know your consumer, you need to know what they like, you need to know what their preferences are. That’s data, right? That’s analytics. So companies like ours that say, we’re not going to stay where we’re at with communications, we’re actually moving into AI, the reason we would move into artificial intelligence is so we can know our consumer better, so that we can look at our data, we can look at our user experiences, and we can make sure that we’re serving up the meal, or the clothing, or the restaurant experience that our customers are proving that they need. So if our customer, for example, in a restaurant, there earn ordering a ton of enchiladas, right? And it’s like, wow, we are having a surge on enchiladas. Our data shows us that. And if we have systems in place, whether it’s through text message marketing, or whether it’s through CRM, we want to make sure that we’re not just out there telling people what we want them to hear. But we’re listening. And so here’s another key phrase, seek to understand, not be understood. So where are we moving in the future, we’re seeking to understand our community better. When I say community, that’s our customers. That’s our staffing, whoever we’re building around our ecosystem, whatever that is, seek to understand, not be understood. Remember, old school sells is like, you’re coming into a car lot. And you’re just gonna tell them all about your cars, tell them all about your so you got this big ol megaphone, and you’re pumping out, you know, what you think they need? Well, that’s gone are those days. Today is the day of customer nurturing customer experience, and really giving people the feeling that, you know, whether I, whether you buy from me today or not my goal today, I just want to know you better. And if a customer leaves like that, and let’s say they don’t buy anything from my boutique, but they felt understood, and they felt seen, and they felt heard. Chances are even if my clothes don’t fit them, they’re gonna go out and tell somebody about us just because of the connection that we had in the process.
Absolutely, absolutely. Great advice there. So you’re the you’re the you’re the host of the comeback small business radio show as well. So there’s never been a time where small businesses need to come back like now. So So to finish up here. If you could, if you could leave the audience with one piece of advice, what would that be Staci?
I would say that, and I’ll end it with a power statement that you should write down because
I’ve got my notes ready to go right. I’m excited. Give it to me.
First off, you are going to feel there’s going to be days where you want to quit, get up anyway. There’s going to be days where you want to cry and go into the fetal position and say it’s just too tough to get out of bed. Anyways, there’s going to be days that you even feel like this relationship that I’m in is just too dysfunctional fight for it. Anyways, Because you’re not going to find that grass is greener on the other side, the bottom line is the grass is what you make it, nurture it, make the grass green where you live. And so even to that statement of seek to understand not be understood, that applies to marriage that applies to relationship, be a giver, and not just a taker, consume less, give more. There’s so many ways that we can talk about that. But the statement that goes around the comeback radio show is that there’s going to be setbacks, you’re going to have times where you are like every other entrepreneur, including Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg and you just name it of the biggest empires that have been created. Warren Buffett is, there’s times where people are going to go, you’re crazy for continuing on, you just need to give it to me Let go. But here’s what I want to say when you have a setback. Don’t take a step back, but get ready for your comeback. Because sometimes a setback is actually a set up for you to rethink, reboot, recalibrate, or even reinvent your your marketing, reinvent your branding, reinvent something that wasn’t quite right in the first place. reinvent your marriage, reinvent the biggest f words of your life, faith, family, finance, fitness, and freedom. Don’t quit on it. Just readjust it, and stage yourself for a comeback.
Love it. Love it. If people want to get a hold of you, Staci, where can they? Where can they find you? Where do you Where do you hang out? What are you up to?
Yeah, well, you can go to any social media channel practically. And it’s at Staci Wallace sta ci w A Ll AC II. You can find me on a lot on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram on LinkedIn. But you can also go to our website of our company if you’re somebody right now. And I would just love to do this for your for your podcast is I would love to just find out how can we nurture your listeners into a new experience with text message marketing. And the best way to do that is to be able to go to our website, you can see box direct.com. And you’ll see it here I’ve even given it that it
will put a link somewhere around this video. So audio wherever you’re wherever you’re consuming this.
Yeah, and go to that. And when you sign up, what you’re going to find is we have concierge waiting to walk you through and train you not just to sign you up when we say we’ve got one of the things that we do different, we personally take a major portion of our budget. And we put it back into our community of users to make sure that we’re training and equipping our users because we know if we can help you 10 x your business with text message marketing, you’re going to go shout it from the rooftops. So we’re not just looking for you involved in text message mark, we want to be a part of the win because your success is really our marketing channel.
Thank you so much.
And learn about it. And then of course, if you guys want to just connect privately go to go to social media.
Brilliant. We’ll put we’ll put links below below the show here in the show notes. So anything anything we talked about today, Staci, they can we’ll have a look in the show notes here. We’ll have all the links, link. Thank you so much for coming on today. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast. Give us a like, leave a comment. Tell us what you think about the podcast. Love it or hate it either way, it’s fine. So thank you so much, Staci. And we’ll see you next time.
Awesome. Thank you