Quick Website and Marketing Wins in 2024
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In this episode of the “Everything Is Logistics” podcast, host Blythe Brumleve discusses quick website wins and improvements for 2024, building on a previous episode from 2023. She emphasizes the importance of owning your website as a key platform you control, unlike social media and using it to build trust and facilitate conversions. The goal is to craft an experience where visitors easily find social channels, convert to leads or book sales meetings.



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Show Transcript

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Blythe Brumleve: 0:06

Welcome into another episode of Everything Is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. We are proudly presented by SPI Logistics and I am your host, Blythe Brumleve. Now, last year I was going through a lot. I'm going to say last year I mean like a month ago I was going through all of my numbers looking at what content worked and what content didn't. One piece of content that really did work, both in podcast format and also in YouTube, was quick wins for your website in 2023. So since y'all liked that episode a lot, I'm going to do another version for 2024. So let's go ahead and get into it Now. I went and reviewed the last year's video to kind of see, like what is still applicable, and so I'm going to quickly run through a few different items from that video that is still applicable for 2024 and beyond, and then we're going to get into the tips that I have for this year. So a few of them that I mentioned last year was for your website. I mean, let me back up a minute. Your website is the one of the few properties on the internet that you actually control. You don't control any of your social media channels. You own your email list, you own your podcast and you own your website. So those three channels are ones that you really own in the digital ecosystem that we exist in today. But I would argue that email is a little. You own the email list, but people can give you fake emails, they can change jobs, they can switch out their emails or maybe not even check their emails all that often. So that's why I kind of put the email in kind of a little bit of an iffy category. But your website, your website, is the strongest place where you can showcase you, your brand, and create those moments of trustworthiness, which I will get into in just a few minutes, but just so we kind of have that strong foundation of what I consider I've been building online since 2007. This is probably ancient times at this point, but there are certain things that are true, that stay true for a very long time, and then there are certain things that are fads, that sort of fade out over time and so. But, for example, your website is almost like a home ownership, where you control that land, you control everything that's built on that land, unless you live in like a homeowner's association, which that's a topic for another video. But for your website, for your digital media presence for you, maybe as a personal brand or your company's brand. That is the only platform that you're ever really going to own. So you want to make sure that that experience for your customer, for your clients or whoever you're trying to sell to or bring awareness towards, you want to make sure that that process, that that experience, is as enjoyable as possible. So then that way, the person who is visiting that site trusts you enough to make a conversion. And when I say make a conversion, I mean follow you on social media, sign up for your email list, book a demo book, a sales call, all of those things that ultimately turn that customer or turn that visitor into, hopefully a lead and then eventually, hopefully a customer. So the few things that are really important from last year's video that still apply to this day is showcasing your social media profiles. Now, last year I went through a bunch of different research. I went to all of these sort of you know, the top 100 carriers, the top 100 freight brokers. I went through all of these different lists trying to find out which companies had an established social media presence online. Now, what I ran into a bunch and I thought was just a little curious is that a lot of these companies did not have social media icons on their website, and so or they weren't, they were completely missing, or they just weren't there to begin with. Now, one of those bigger platforms that I noticed that was missing a lot was TikTok, where and I say missing, I mean that brand, that company, had an account on TikTok but then they didn't list that account link or show that little icon or listed on their social media page or not social media page but you're about us page or a team page, any way to get in contact with you. They weren't listing that icon and that link on the website itself. Now, I imagine there's probably you know some, you know additional, I guess, concerns or weariness. Not everybody is the biggest fan of TikTok and I get that's why, but it was just a little strange to me that if you're going to have an account on a platform like TikTok that you wouldn't show also showcase all of that great work that your social media team is doing on that platform you wouldn't showcase it on your website. Maybe there's a reasoning for that, maybe you're experimenting with the social media channel, or maybe you just didn't really get around to adding that icon to your site. But I noticed that that was missing from a lot of different freight related websites, the logistics related websites, is that they had an account on social media but they weren't actively pushing that social media on their website on a platform that they control. Now the reason I think this is important and I'm going to kind of get into the details just in a little bit is that you want to make sure that there are different interactions and different touch points for your brand on channels where people are already hanging out. And so if nine times out of 10 people are just going to come to your website randomly I would argue is probably closer to 10 times out of 10, they're not going to come to your website randomly. They're going to see your content, they're going to see you somewhere else and then they're going to Google you and hopefully they then arrive on the site that you want them to arrive on. And so, just keeping that in mind, you want to make sure that your brand is showcased on these different channels, but then also you're listing those channels because they could buy in. Let's say, for example, somebody sees you, they see your brand, maybe it's on LinkedIn. Well, they don't really frequently LinkedIn all that much. But they come to your website. They think, oh, they got something cool going on. Not really ready to become a customer yet, but I'd like to follow along and see what they got going on and maybe there's a possibility in the future that this could work between us. So they want to continue the conversation in a digital environment, but you're not listing those social media channels that they frequent the most on your website, so they don't know that you're actively there publishing. They're not nine times out of 10, they're not going to manually search for your brand on these different social media platforms. So, just keeping that experience in mind, if you're actively publishing to social media but you don't have those links easily and readily available on your site, then you could be missing out on those secondary conversions. So that is something that I absolutely think that everybody should have on their site, and it's a one that is easily missed, and it's a great opportunity to keep your brand in front of people when they stumble upon you for the first time, and you could be giving them access to other channels that you might be more frequently posting on, versus a channel like LinkedIn, versus a channel like Facebook Group. So just keep that in mind. Now the next one is seems very simple, but it's very missed, and I've actually had a conversation with a lead recently who a marketing agency, advised them to remove their About Us page from their website, and I cannot tell you how terrible of an idea that is. I host close to 40 websites in freight right now and all looking at all of the data, I mean 90% of them. I have access to their Google Analytics. Of course, I'm not gonna share anything personal or confidential related to those brands, but I can tell you with certainty that the number one page that somebody visits on a site it's usually the entry page. So that's typically like a blog post page, a, an ebook or your homepage. But the next page that they visit after they come in through one of those other pages is the About Us page. Do not remove your About Us page. In fact, I would spend a lot of time making sure that this page is up to standard, and what I mean by that is for an About Us page, you typically want to have a company bio. You want to have some leadership members with photos on that page. You wanna have also a link to their LinkedIn, a link to some kind of a trustworthy icon and I call them trust moments throughout your site and I'll explain that more in just a few minutes. But you want to have that trustworthy sign on that About Us page that, hey, we're a real company, we have real people working for us. Here's what they look like, here's how they think, here's a link to their LinkedIn profiles, here's some bios on them, and so you want to have that kind of information. But then you also want to include any associations you're part of. Are you part of a? Do you support a local charity? You want to list those things out on the About Us page and also with any customer testimonials. So, thinking of that, like that moment, that About Us page is your moment that if you put yourself in the mind of the visitor that's coming to your site, they're probably coming in on one of those entry pages like I talked about. But then they're going to your About Us page, the second most popular page on your site, and they're looking to verify that you are who you say you are. You're worthy of them, building or starting and establishing a relationship with you, whether that's following you on social media, signing up for email, calling an 800 number, booking a meeting. You want that About Us page to be the shiny example of why someone should do business with you. Everyone can offer the same services, everyone can offer the same equipment, lanes, things like that but what's really going to help you stand out is making sure that you have a team of people that is showcased and highlighted on your site and then having those trust moments, those trust experiences, built in throughout the site. So do not get rid of your About Us page. In fact, you probably want to spend a little bit more time on sprucing that page up in order to make sure that the significance of that page is captured for the audience that's going to eventually, hopefully, be coming to your site and probably doing maybe, hopefully doing business with you. Now the third one that I did want to mention and this is no surprise if you've been listening to me for a while or if you've been following along the journey for a while. But how did you hear about us? Have this on every single one of your forms, high-intent forms, on your site. Now, if somebody's just signing up for an email newsletter, it's not necessarily a requirement to add, how did you hear about us? But if they are booking a meeting, if they are booking a call, they're signing up for a demo, then you want to make sure that you have this field on all of your high-intent forms. The reasoning for this? And well, first, the reasoning for this is because you want to be able to give some kind of data and insight to either your marketing team or the person who is wearing a ton of hats and also in charge of marketing. So you want to make sure that you're giving them the data of what's resonating the most with your audience, that is causing them to come to your site and then convert. Because, from my perspective, everything we do is centered around brand awareness. Now, when that brand awareness is doing its job, and someone comes to the site and makes an ideal primary conversion, which is booking a meeting or booking a call, booking a demo these are what I consider primary conversions. Now, once they come to the site, I want to know what impacted them the most in order to make that high intent conversion, because they are signaling to you that they are ready to buy or they are interested in buying. So you want to know what influenced that decision in order to come to your site and make that conversion. And you do this by asking how did you hear about us? And the key thing with doing this is is that you make it a free text field no drop downs, no check boxes, no hinting to you know? Oh, did you hear about us on LinkedIn? Did you hear about us on X? Did you download a white paper? Did you talk to someone? You know things like that. If you put them in a checkbox format or a drop down format, you're limiting the options of what they can choose from, and then you're also sort of leading them in the direction of what you want them to select. By leaving that field as a free text field, meaning they have to type it in, then you're getting the thing that resonated the most. You're getting feedback. I'll give you an example. I have a client who has a driver application, a pre-qualifying driver application, on their website. Now, for a lot of these drivers that come in, they really want to work with this trucking company and they have seen their trucks and they've seen them everywhere. Now, when they fill out this form, this pre-qualifying form, it asks a certain amount of questions have you had an accident? Have you, you know, committed a felony, yada, yada. And they pass those pre-qualifying questions. We also have a field on there for how did you hear about us and then if they pass those pre-qualifying questions, then they are shown the full application to fill out. You know it's a 10 street application so they fill it out automatically and it's a really easy process. But the company is able to capture that initial information of what is moving the needle for them and some of the responses are so crazy that no marketing software would ever be able to fully capture where these leads are coming from. Some of the responses are I saw your truck driving down the highway. I talked to so-and-so driver at this rest stop. These are the kinds of responses that we're getting in the how did you hear about us field that we would have never considered if we had sort of tried to funnel people through a checkbox or a dropdown. So keep that field completely open. Let the user type what they want to type. It's not going to impact signups. I know you've probably heard for years that you know if you have these forms and people want to book a meeting, let them book a meeting as fast as possible. Adding this one field is not going to prevent them from doing that. In fact, they probably want to share that kind of information on where your brand is resonating for them. And then what you can do after you get this information is you can start to create these automations. You can use chatGPT to help you do it, where you can take this data? You can take all of these inputs that people have added to that how did you hear about us? And then you can funnel them through, whether it's through social media, word of mouth or maybe another campaign or program that you are running. Then you can funnel those into different category groups and then drill down even more to get more specific and then that way you know what is impacting these decisions the most to make that high intent conversion. So add that to all of your high intent forms. I don't necessarily have. I used to have this on my email signup. I've since removed that from it because people just want to sign up for an email newsletter and I'm a little bit different. I'm technically a media brand now as well as, in addition to you know, a B2B service provider. So I removed that option from my email signups. But I keep it on all of the other high. These are only my high intent forms. I wouldn't consider email as a high, signing up for an email newsletter as a high intent conversion. A high intent conversion is somebody wanting to book a meeting with me or book a call with me. That's what I consider high intent. So that is an absolute must. You need to have it on all of those pages landing pages, things like that and just make sure that you're monitoring that and constantly not constantly, but I would say at least once a month, once a quarter at minimum looking at that list and reading through all of those responses so you can kind of get a good idea of what's resonating the most for people and then you can do more of it. Are you in freight sales with a book of business looking for a new home, or perhaps you're a freight agent in need of a better partnership? These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called the Freight Agent Trenches sponsored by SPI Logistics. Now I can tell you all day that SPI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, who helps their agents with back office operations such as admin, finance, it and sales. But I would much rather you hear it directly from SPI's freight agents themselves, and what better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SPI. Hit the freight agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or, if you're ready to make the jump, visit spi3plcom. Are you a broker, ready to level up your business? Well, I've got a game changer of a solution for you, because, let's face it, your TMS choice can make or break your company, and that's where having the right ally becomes key to success. Meet Tie Software, an all-in-one platform with user-friendly automation that makes your day-to-day operations smoother and smarter, whether you're running a big brokerage or a startup. Tie's got your back through every phase of your domestic freight Gear up, because your logistics journey is about to get a serious upgrade. Experience it now by heading over to tie-softwarecom for a demo. If something is working better than something else, then do more of it. Let's say, for example, going back to that driver application example, if you have a bunch of folks that are saying I saw your signage at a truck stop or I saw this ad on this specific website, maybe you're already spending a ton of money promoting ads on LinkedIn or promoting ads on Facebook when other channels are working better, then that gives you the opportunity to reallocate some of that budget that you thought was working really good, maybe like Google search, for example, because that is a famous one that a lot of people will overspend, and Google not realizing that. The overwhelming majority of people do not have your website memorized. What do they do when they think about you, when they think about wanting to make a conversion? They go and Google search your brand. They might have seen your ad, they might have seen your post on a different social media platform, but then they go and they Google your brand and then they arrive on your site. If they make a conversion, if they fill out a form, guess who gets that credit? Google does Not. The rest of the things that you're doing that might be working significantly better than Google. When you're making budgeting decisions and when you're choosing where to spend your marketing dollars, you could be misappropriating or spending I guess misappropriating is the right word here but you could be spending on channels that just don't make a lot of sense and that it's a pass-through channel instead of the one that was really making that impact. How did you hear about us? It's significantly changed A lot of my marketing planning, a lot of what I do, and it's also really really helped shine a light on the things that are working for all of the other freight companies that I work with is just simply by having that field on your high and dead forms. Okay, so that was sort of a recap from the 2023 version of this conversation, which definitely still applies for this year. Now let's start to get into a little bit of the 2024 items and I kind of hinted at this earlier, so let's go ahead and get it out of the way but adding trust moments throughout your website. Now, the reason I say to do this is it's absolutely a quick win. I can't tell you how much the market has shifted. I mean, I can tell you I don't need to tell you, though how much the market has shifted over the last few years. Obviously, we're dealing with an influx of 57%. I think I just saw this week increase in cargo crime. So you're seeing an increase and that's just reported cargo crime. So you're seeing a dramatic increase in fraudulent behavior that is happening within the logistics industry, but then you're also having a ton of websites and a ton of companies out here freight brokers and carriers. A lot of these folks don't even have a website to begin with. But if they do have a website, there's nothing signifying or signaling that they're an actual, real company. And the way that you can kind of gauge that difference is especially for a lot of websites that aren't around or outdated or just choose to use a lot of stock photos Other things that they don't have any photos of their team that are on the site. They don't have any links to their social media channels. All of these different moments on your site you could be creating an establishing trust with a customer, establishing trust with some vendor partners, and you could be doing it through your site. Except for a lot of folks are not doing that. So you need to be focused on what are those trust moments that we're creating on our site and how can we put those more in a focal point? And so little things like having a really strong about us page, having real photos of your office, of your team, of your equipment, having those photos used throughout the entire site. Don't use these. I mean you can use stock photos where it makes sense, but having real photos, real people, on your site is so much more powerful and you don't. I mean you can hire a photographer to come and shoot your office and to take, document those photos. I would imagine that those rates are going anywhere from, you know, 200 to 1000 bucks per day in order to have a photographer come out. They can shoot, you know, action shots of your team working. They can shoot action shots of your equipment maybe your mechanics but you're just. The point is that you're getting real photos that don't make your website and your company look like a dime a dozen. So having those real photos is a big, big win. Also, having that strong about us page and then going an extra step further and having your team listed out on the site, having their LinkedIn profile linked also on your site, so people can say, ok, this is actually a real person, these are the real people that hopefully I'm going to be working with. And then also, I would add to if you're part of any associations you know TIA, I don't know TMSA, you know some of these other associations, clda if you're part of these associations, you want to make sure that you have those logos on your site too. And then a little bit of a bonus, but it's not going to necessarily help, I guess, trust. It will just help develop empathy and support for your brand, but also charitable contributions, charitable organizations. Are you? Do you participate in a charity run each year? You know different things like that that you could have photos of those different events all throughout your site, specifically on your about us page, because then that showcases the people behind the company and then that way your business is seen as more trustworthy than someone who doesn't have any of those things that just as a basic website if they have a website at all and it definitely sort of overtakes the sites that only use stock photos and they don't have any pictures of their team. I mean, it's just, it's really easy, especially in the age of AI, to whip those kinds of sites up really quick to make yourself seem like you are a legitimate operation. So you need you as a business owner. You need to take that extra step. Of course the monitoring software and all of the other. You know fraud prevention software is out there. The easiest way to to, I guess, to prevent fraud is by taking these little steps to prove you are who you say you are and then you stand out from the rest of the competition because you're actually being real with your audience before they ever become a customer. And so I think that those little moments go a long way. And it's not just you know, you don't just use these kinds of trust moments. You know a LinkedIn profile or you know charitable organizations or associations. You're part of big customers that you work with. You can use those different moments and you can set those up on all pages of your site, and so it doesn't have to be just restricted to the about us page. You definitely want to make sure that you're sprinkling those in on, like your service pages, in your home page as well. So then, that way it just it's that extra level of reassurance, and also think about adding it to your book a meeting page. That is still. That's another one on my list that I don't know, that I talked about last year, but having a book a meeting page right on your site is a really great way to just remove the friction of when somebody is ready to book a meeting with you or to book a call with you, that you can have that option readily available immediately on their site. They don't have to think about it because chances are, if they leave the site and they're not coming back, they're probably not going to, you know, book a meeting anytime soon. But if you have that information and if you have that ease of communicating with you and your business right on your site, then you can additionally add on that same page, that same book, a meeting page. You can have those additional trust moments that let someone know that, hey, this is somebody that is worth my time investment to continue the conversation. So add trust moments throughout your site. The next one I want to say is it's definitely true, but it's sort of like a fine art and that is keeping your website simple. And the reason I say this is because for a lot of Internet users, they are no longer relying or they are no longer trusting the search results. So Google, seo, it is in such a precarious situation right now. Ai, chat, gpt the ease of being able to create a blog post that's 5000 words in a matter of minutes has really thrown search engines for a loop. They don't know how to detect it. If you hear about AI detection software, just know it's a fad because they don't have. It's like a cat and mouse game where you're it's constantly trying to catch up with the new and improved features and, frankly, these AI tools just a lot of times I'm a part of a lot of different communities, a part of different subreddits. I'm in this like I study it and I study how it's moving. Google doesn't really know how to protect or control or be able to serve up the search results as they used to, and this has sort of been a long time coming. You know, search engine marketing, seo, pay per click. You know a lot of these things were invented 10 years ago and slowly but surely, younger generations, millennials, gen Z, even Gen A, like a lot of these folks, aren't even using Google anymore. They're using social media in order to conduct these searches, and so that is eating into Google's profit share, their profit or their market dominance when it comes to search in general. I saw an example the other day of, you know, the infamous Tiananmen Square where the gentleman is standing right at, bravely standing in front of a tank, and I'm not going to go into what happens, but that image now is that there's an AI generated image of that of the historical moment, and it outranks all of the other images that are real from that moment, and so that just sort of goes to prove further my point of Google doesn't know how to handle this from a data perspective. And so knowing that the days of starting a blog and writing 1000 articles and or 1000 words and 20 different articles, or even, you know, sometimes 60 articles, is what a lot of SEO experts you know say that you should have now is, is those days are gone. You're not going to be able to rank for a lot of these phrases, and that because there is so much competition, because Google doesn't know how to handle it and because, frankly, you're you're going to be even thinking of investing in a big SEO package, because maybe you have seen the false data of all of these visitors are coming to our site and they're coming in through Google. So, yeah, we need to invest solely in SEO. That's not the user experience anymore, the majority of the user experiences. They're asking their peers, who do you recommend? So word of mouth, which will always be king. You're having other folks. They're going to social media and they're doing their searches there, and so you're having and then you have a couple in AI. So it's just this long awaited sort of chip away at the dominance that SEO has been in the marketing world. Now, people have historically loved SEO because you can easily draw the line from conversion to when they found out from you about you to when they actually converted. That line is no longer straight. I don't know that it ever really was. A lot of people don't even trust search engine results anymore because they know that system can be gamified. And so, while there is still a huge number I should caveat this there's still a huge number of people that are searching online every single day. That's probably not going to go away anytime soon. But with the introduction of all of these different factors, there's an overreliance for freight companies and marketers especially people who are strapped for time to put in a greater emphasis on SEO when they shouldn't be. And so all of that to say, keep your website simple and instead create content that is for a specific channel LinkedIn X, tiktok, instagram, all of these other different channels where people are already hanging out. You build your brand awareness through there. Then they come to your website and you make it stupid easy to convert. And either a primary conversion or a secondary conversion, remember, the primary conversion is somebody signaling that they want to do business with you. So, booking a call, booking a meeting, calling an 800 number, immediately filling out an application, those are intent to buy decisions. Those are the primary conversions. Now the secondary conversions are following you on social media, signing up for an email newsletter, things like that. So when somebody arrives to your website, you want to make sure that it is stupid easy for them to make one of those two actions a reality as quick as possible, because even if they're not ready to make a buying decision at that moment, you still want to create an experience where it's easy to find you on social media so you can remain on top of mind if you're creating content on these different channels where they're already hanging out. So keep your website simple, have a handful of pages. If you don't have the marketing budget to really create a lot of content, then or if you have the marketing budget to create a lot of content. Create social media first content. Create long form video content, because if you create long form video content, then it creates a waterfall effect of what you can do with that long form webinar or maybe a training session with a new customer. You can, you know, blur the customer out or remove the customer from the video and only chop up clips of your executive team or of your training leads, managers, things like that, and only use their recorded clips. There's lots of different ways that you can play around with it, but then you're taking that content and you're publishing it out to channels where people are already hanging out and then, when they come to your website, they're probably not going to binge your content. The days of people coming to a website and binging content are over. I see this on all of my content sites. I see it within different content communities. It's very, very difficult to get someone to come to your site and binge content. I'd see it with a lot of fellow creators who make courses and things like that even my own courses that I launched back in 2020. The dramatic amount of people who sign up for a course and never finish it is overwhelming. I'm talking over 80% of people who sign up for a course and then never actually started, and then those people who actually started never actually finish it. So keep that in mind that it takes a lot to get someone to come to your website. And do you want them binging a bunch of YouTube videos that they can kind of watch in their own time, or do you want them booking a meeting with you? Chances are you want them either following you on the channels where they're already hanging out, because once they leave your site, they're probably not going to come back. So just a reality check for everyone in 2024 that you want to keep your website as simple as possible. All right, I think that was about. I kind of wrapped up two of those in my new for 2024. Another one that I would add as well is it's not a quick win, but I think it's going to be increasingly important. Talked a little bit about AI. What I would like to see and what I'm going to be personally experimenting with is I believe that speed to lead is incredibly important. I am a small business owner, I make content and I also have meetings for my company digital dispatch. What the problem I'm running into is that, because of my travel schedule and because of content commitments, my availability to have a meeting booked with me is becoming slimmer, and so now when somebody comes to my site like, for example, right now, I had somebody come to my site and they were ready to book a call with me to talk about doing business with me my calendar only shows that my soonest available appointment is coming up in March. That is not ideal. So I need and I'm currently working on ways to solve this and how I can answer questions that people have as quickly as possible and to get them to the decision page as or decision phase as quickly as possible as to what kind of work I do, what kind of work I don't do, and then if it still makes sense for that person to book a meeting with you, because we're both investing our time into this. I don't want to waste someone else's time and I certainly don't want to waste my own with unqualified leads, and when I say unqualified, I mean if you don't have 1500 bucks or 2000 bucks to spend on a website, it's probably not a good fit for me. I offer solutions and I offer help. Not solutions, but I offer help and advice for folks who don't have that kind of money to spend on a site, because I totally get it. I totally get it that budgets are tight, so I make recommendations in that regard for folks who don't have the budget but know that this stuff is still important. Hint, news Flash just go make a Google Business page and that will solve a lot of your problems In the meantime, until you can save up enough in order to purchase a website from someone or to invest the time and energy into learning how to do it yourself. Both of those are options, but someone who didn't have that kind of a budget is, just frankly, not a good fit for me, and so I don't want to waste their time with them booking a meeting and then finding out that it's not in their budget, it's not a, you know, it's not a. I guess it's kind of uncomfortable, you know, conversation to have. So I want to be able to answer those kinds of questions ahead of time, before anybody wastes their time, you know. But having booking a meeting, waiting until March, you know, waiting over a month in order to talk to me. So what you can do if you're facing similar problems like this or if you just want to help people out as fast as possible which is sort of the ethos of what I'm about to suggest is helping people as fast as possible based on information that you've already shared or that you're regularly having, and what I mean by that is are you documenting your meetings? I'm going to, you know, shout out another tool that I use a ton, and if you've listened to me and if you've listened to any previous show before, you've heard me mention Otter. Otter is a meeting note taking app tool that I use regularly. It auto joins all of my meetings. They even have an app on your phone that I take to conferences and I'm able to record a panel discussion and get it transcribed right on my phone. It's amazing. There are other tools out there. I'm experimenting with Fireflies right now too, so there are other meeting note taking apps that will auto join a meeting. Now, the magic is not necessary. I mean it kind of is that the magic is capturing that data, capturing that insight from these different meetings. But then what happens after that, and what we're experimenting with right now, is that we're taking these text conversations. We're putting them into contextual formats. So I have internal team meetings. That's one folder. I have a podcast folder for all of the podcast episodes that we record and we load them into a podcast folder. And then I have client and lead meetings. Now these client and lead meetings, I think, is where the magic, like secret sauce, is going to happen. So we're having these conversations and they're documented and they're also a nominize. So you know it's not a specific, you know company brand name or a specific person within that company. I'm not going to put them. You know, we definitely delete those names and we delete the company names from the conversation. But the bulk of it is that they're asking a lot of questions during these conversations and I kind of go through almost like a consulting session with them. And so, using that transcription and categorizing all of those conversations, think of how many conversations you have with your clients and your leads and if you had a note taking app that was documenting those conversations, then we're taking those conversations and we're isolating them into their own specific folder. Now the next step for this information is to take that folder and to add it to a what's called chat GPT makes custom GPT's. Now they're completely privacy. You know that's what they say, that anyways, I'm you know, hopefully you got to, you got to trust the company that they know they're going to do what they say they're going to do and protect your data. But I do not allow chat GPT to train the system on this data. This is my data, that we train specifically a custom GPT for that data. So, theoretically, what we're going to be able to do is we're going to be able to take all of these different conversations with leads and clients to document them all into one specific folder, export all of that contextual data, build it into a chat GPT like system where it is only training on that specific data. And so then the next step of what that looks like is to take all of that data and then to add it to a chat bot, and then that chat bot lives on the website. So then that way, when someone comes to the site, they can ask the chat bot questions related about what they're looking for and how they're looking to solve that problem and you know different questions that they have, and nine times I would say nine times out of ten, but I would say probably seven or eight times out of ten that question has already been asked previously. So we can use that, all of that data that we've collected, and then we can help to answer that question for that new lead, for that new potential customer. It can answer it right away and they can know immediately if we can help them with their problem or if they need to seek another solution. So that is, I think, what the future is going to be, is where we, of course, we're going to have still these large language models from Google. They're coming out with their own Gemini. Bard has been kind of a not great, but they're coming out with Gemini very soon and that supposedly rumor is. We'll see that it's going to be very, very good and very comparable with chat GPT four, so much so that chat GPT five is rumored to be released later on this year, in 2024. So all of that remains to be seen, but it's just, you know, start to build the groundwork now, and that this is why I'm bringing this topic up. It's not necessarily a quick win, but I want you to start thinking about it. I want you to start thinking about how you're documenting your meetings, documenting frequently asked questions, whether it's from your sales calls that are regularly happening, or maybe it's internal meetings, where you want to document those meetings, as well as to what the kind of conversations are happening. Then you can package that information up and you can start to build them within your own system, within your own large language model based on company data that is personal to you and your company. You definitely want to make sure that you're not violating any kind of privacy, but definitely want to make sure that you are hiding any. You know significant names of customers that you work with or vendors that you work with, especially if you say anything bad, cool thing about a lot of these you know, ai note taking apps is that you can just delete it from the transcript altogether. So you delete it from the transcript and then you add it to your folder. That's the actual like training data that the GPT or the chat bot is training up. Now, if all that sounds like too much work for you, there are other companies that exist. One that we recently partnered with and you might have heard them on a recent episode of Everything Is Logistics. It's a company called Kodiff K-O-D-I-F. We're actually going to be having a resources page on how this company operates and what they do and things you can get ready for as far as your data is concerned. We're going to be releasing that very soon on the expanding Everything Is Logistics site, so be on the lookout for that as well. But if you want to check out that conversation, you can definitely hear what that onboarding experience looks like, how you can start getting some of your data ready and just handling. Their main mission is handling the customer service aspect, and I had a conversation recently where you know, with customer service in particular, no one reaches out to customer service because they're happy. So if you want to solve problems quickly, you want to put information into the database. You want to put information in front of people that helps them out as quick as possible. So, kind of bringing it back full circle to my example earlier about a lead who wants to have a conversation about my calendar. Because of travel and because of other commitments that I've already established, my meeting calendar doesn't show that I'm available until March. That is over a month away. That cannot happen in a business. You have to be able to get to your customers and get to those big leads and answer their questions as quick as possible, and a chatbot can help you get there. Now for other. Now this, really that instance will really only work for, you know, vendors, freight vendors, not necessarily logistic service providers. Now for the example of Codiff. That example can live on your website, but it can also live within your TMS, within your WMS, and they can build that out for you so you don't have to worry about you know a lot of these different. You still want to probably have a note taking app, because I think that was one of the not I think I know it was one of the key parts of the conversation with Mike over at Codiff and so, just keeping that in mind that you know, from a customer service aspect, you still want to have that person that's by the phone. But if some of these other you know, sort of millennial, gen Z generations they hate getting on the phone, I can speak from experience. I hate getting on the phone but I will do it. Especially if you want to pay me money, I will definitely do it. So listening to those sort of revenue focused conversations should be at the top of everyone's list. But keeping that in mind, that your that those customer service opportunities and the ability to not only sell to your current customer base but to help them out with a problem really quickly and really effectively, a chat bot right inside of your TMS, right inside of, maybe, a portal or on your website itself, could go a long way and Codiff can help with that. So I'll put a link in the show notes in case you want to check out that conversation. But if you want to start laying the groundwork, highly, highly advised getting one of these note taking tools and just starting the process of that data collection and then you can move into different situations where you're categorizing the conversations and then you can get from that categorization. Then you can start to build some of these custom use case. Gpt is where you can answer questions really quickly and effectively and help that speed to lead process. So just to sort of recap everything, let's go through the list one more time the ones from last year that still are applicable is showcasing any social media profiles on your site, having a really strong about us page with real pictures of your team. Bonus points if you link to their LinkedIn pages ads at extra trust level. Add a how did you hear about us? Make it a free text field, no dropdowns, no checkboxes. Add it to all of your high intent website forms. Add trust moments throughout your website. So pictures of your team, pictures of your staff, of your office equipment, things like that at it throughout the entire website. Also, in associations, you're a part of keeping your website as simple as possible. You don't want to overload people. They're not coming to your site anymore to binge read your white papers or your case studies. They're not doing it. So don't waste your time. Don't become over reliant on SEO, especially in today's age. You want to definitely make sure that your your website is optimized for your brand SEO keywords. So your company name and the services you provide. That is a very simple one time. Add to your site but this over reliance on looking for, you know, keywords that have the low competition but high search volume. That just doesn't. Just don't waste your time. You are frankly wasting your time. Instead, create content on social media and try to get better at making that social media friendly content every single day. That's where people are hanging out and that's where they trust, and developing more trust is, you know, for I guess, for better or worse, is is relying on information that they get on social media, but that's a debate for another day. And then, of course, the not a quick win, but growing increasingly important is to have a way that you can contextualize your conversations that you're having, both internal and external, with your leads frequently asked questions, client conversations, things like that. Thank you, Make sure that you are protecting the privacy of these folks that you are recording these meetings with, so that you're not including any kind of personal company information. Delete that from the transcript and before you add it to your training data, um, but then I think that about, does it just, uh, keep it simple. Keep it simple and then start to adopt these newer technologies in a pace that makes sense for you and then focus your efforts on content creation. If you want to create content, focus those efforts on channels where your audience is already hanging out. So that about does it for this. One Quick wins for your website in 2024. So if y'all enjoyed this conversation, and be sure to check out the channel for more of this kind of content coming in the future. I hope you enjoyed this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. Subscribe to the show, sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at everything is logisticscom. And, in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let y'all know about another company I operate and that's digital dispatch, where we help you build a better website. Now, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a co-worker's child, a neighbor down the street or a stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website. Well, that doesn't happen at digital dispatch. We've been building online since 2009, but we're also early adopters of AI, automation and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit new employees and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business. Our new website builds start as low as $1,500, along with ongoing website management, maintenance and updates starting at $90 a month, plus some bonus freight, marketing and sales content similar to what you hear on the podcast. You can watch a quick explainer video over on digitaldispatchio. Just check out the pricing page once you arrive and you can see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I'll see you all real soon and go Jags.

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.