Over the past several days, Kai Davis of Double Your eCommerce, has spent some time with us covering virtually everything there is to know regarding the world of digital outreach and content consulting. If you need to catch up with our previous conversations, or you’d like a little refresher, be sure to check out part one and part two of this series. Today, we’ll finish up our little chat by tackling a few more key issues in the modern world of search engine optimization (SEO) and content development, as well as explore what keeps Kai ticking on his time off the clock.
You mentioned earlier the whole process of accepting and rejecting clients. Where to do you connect with these prospective clients?
KD: Great question. Typically new business comes to me through an interview, think podcast or video interview, or client referrals – which I love. Additionally, I also pick up business through the content I publish on my site and share around the web.
I took a course by Amy Hoy called “30×500” about a year ago that really helped mold my approach to garnering new business as it stands now. She espouses this philosophy called “e-Bombing,” which focuses on raining down educational and informational selections on your audience. So often, I’ll go out onto Reddit or other digital communities, study them, and figure out what issues and problem’s they’re facing. From here, I build content that addresses these topics.
For example, I had a popular article from a month ago, “How Do I Get More Traffic,” that was just me writing 1,500 or 2,000 words on how eCommerce store owners asking this question can go through what I recommend to build a digital presence. In the end, I think this article brought in about $8,000 worth of client work, just because I shared it on the right sites and within the right communities.
So do you have analytics on that article? I’d love to know just how many people read it.
KD: I think it was something like only 500 or 600 people over a couple of months. But I wrote it in such a way that these readers took it as, “he’s writing this specifically for me.” Then I made sure to fire it off to my email list, share it on Reddit, and promote via plenty of other relevant positions.
I’ve looked at like PPC and organic SEO, but it’s funny to say that SEO just isn’t part of my personal marketing strategy. I know that if I wanted to rank for something like “eCommerce link building,” it might take me a year to get there.
Yeah, it’d probably take you a hundred grand a year over the course of three years to break through on that category. Unless you’re willing to dip into the black hat side of things and end up facing the consequences.
Now, maybe we could talk about a couple of non-business questions if that’s okay with you?
KD: I’d love to.
You speak quite eloquently about intent. As an entrepreneur, I find it absolutely imperative to have this, because at the end of the day, it’s all “on you.” That’s why I try to have a personal goal outside of my business, otherwise I end up being cornered into an overly stressful experience. Do you have any personal goals or something outside of the business that you’re actively working on?
KD: Yep. I completely agree with that sentiment. If I’m working late on a Friday or Saturday, then something has to change. In terms of my goals, there’s three or four that I’m working on right now. This year, I want to write and publish 25 articles on my site.
I also started strength training again a couple of months ago, so I’m trying to aim for some intermediate strength goals. I even walk five to 10 miles a day as a way to explore the town and see as much of Eugene as possible.
Ceramics are also back on the map for me. I loved wheel-throwing in college and it’s been years since I’ve done it. My goal here is to make 25 pounds of pottery over the next few months. It could be the crappiest pottery ever, but I know that if I focus on quantity, my skill on the art side of things will come along eventually.
Good for you! Switching back to content for a second, how long do you typically take to write out an article, say in the range of 1,500 to 2,000 words?
KD: I’m probably spending two to four hours on the research side to figure out the problem facing the reader. Once I start writing the article, it could be anywhere between eight to 10 hours to get it polished and ready to ship. My focus is more on the middle or lower end of that range in order to stay in line with my publication goal. In a way, it comes back to that quantity idea I had about ceramics.
It’s kind of like the 80-20 rule. You put in enough work to get to that “A-” territory so you don’t get stuck struggling to try and write the “best article ever.”
KD: Right. What I see looking around at other entrepreneurs and creative folk is that we could bemoan our work endlessly, but to a member of the audience, they might see it as more than worth the read and look past the perceived flaws on our end. Basically, if you’re waiting for it to be perfect, you might be waiting far longer than you need to.
Alright, two more questions. First, do you have a morning ritual?
KD: I have in the past, but right now I’m working on reestablishing it. Lately, it’s been waking up at around 6 A.M., doing a little bit of meditation once or twice a week, then spending 20 or 30 minutes reading. After that, I try to write out my goals for the day, so that I’m really focused on hitting six or so things I want to finish during this time.
That’s tough. I haven’t completely gotten into my own ritual, but I’m about 90 days into meditation. It’s really helping me get into a good place. Speaking of which, how long have you been mediating?
KD: The first time I meditated was actually about 10 years ago. I’ve been practicing more frequently over the last six months. I really want to get back to meditating every morning, but my move to Honolulu kind of derailed that plan a little.
Do you use a guided meditation, or do you kind of just do something on your own?
KD: Doing this on my own actually is one of the reasons that I think it has been a bit of a struggle to get back into the habit. Without the structure and framework in place, it’s definitely a challenge.
There’s a wonderful app, called “Headspace,” that I’d definitely recommend. It takes you through a 10 day course that helps guide you through the process of meditating. If you have any interest, it’s worth a look into.
KD: I’ll definitely have to look into that one!
Okay, time for the final question. What’s the one book that stands out to you or that you gift to others the most often?
KD: There’s actually a couple I can think of off the top of my head. If you’re a consultant or a freelancer, you should read the book, “Value-Based Fees” by Alan Weiss. It’s focused on pricing your services on value instead of time. His idea is that hourly-based billing is a cancer on the professional service industry.
I bought this book last year for $50 and I have no doubts that the way it changed my perspective made me $10,000 since then. Talk about ROI! It’s amazingly valuable and I highly recommend it.
I honestly can’t say I’ve ever heard someone frame a book recommendation based on ROI. I can thoroughly appreciate that!
KD: Another one I really like is “The Positioning Manual.” A colleague of mine just published it and it’s built for technical agencies and how they can refine their positioning in terms of who exactly they want to talk and sell to. This one’s been pretty impactful for my business.
I’ll definitely check both of those out! That’s it on my end of the discussion, is there anything else you’d like to say before we go?
KD: This has been so much fun, thanks for inviting me to contribute and chat.
Thanks Kai! It’s been a blast and I can’t wait to share your insight with our audience. Maybe we can do this again sometime.
KD: Of course, anytime you want to connect again, consider my door and phone line open!
Needless to say, we’ve learned quite a bit from Kai during these sessions. From building a content oriented agency from the ground up, to keeping things balanced and focused as you continue to grow and develop the business, Davis has seen it all. If you’d like to learn a little more about Kai, or there’s a question or two you think we missed during this conversation, feel free to leave a comment below or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or over at his site, Double Your eCommerce.