Something about those great chefs sparked a dream for him. He imagined his future self in a white coat, crafting delectable food bursting with flavor.
And — spoiler alert — he made it happen.
He worked at country clubs and five-star hotels before he could drive and eventually graduated with honors from Johnson & Wales University in Culinary Arts. Years later, Ryan found himself successfully juggling four different restaurants at once. Other restaurant owners started asking how he did it.
That’s when Ryan Gromfin became “The Restaurant Boss,” and his worldwide restaurant coaching business was born.
Ryan was driven by passion. But like so many other entrepreneurs, he had to figure out how to turn that passion into a successful, profitable business. A huge part of that process is learning how to craft strong marketing campaigns that develop lasting relationships.
We chatted with Ryan and two other marketing experts to find out how they used marketing campaigns to make their businesses happen. Here’s what they shared about campaign goals, relationships, optimization strategies, and more.
Meet the Experts
Mindvalley is the world’s leading personal growth platform, with over 12 million users worldwide. Juan launched its South American branch, Mindvalley Hispano and reached $600K in profits in just his first year.
5 Dollar Dinners teaches members how to save on groceries and build healthy meal planning routines. A serial couponer, Erin created the site to share her secrets on keeping every meal under $5 — and it’s been growing ever since.
The Restaurant Boss offers training and strategy consulting for restaurant owners. When Ryan successfully operated four restaurants at once, other owners began reaching out to him for advice. Now, he’s the most followed restaurant coach worldwide.
These experts each followed their own unique route to success — but they all had to answer the same questions along the way.
Find out how they tackled these questions as you think about building a campaign that fits your own business.
What are your campaign goals?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of your campaign, it’s important to clarify what you want it to accomplish. Your campaign goal should contribute to your big picture and focus on a measurable end result. For example, if you want to build your email list, you might create a campaign that drives opt-ins for your new ebook. Your campaign goal could be to get at least 10 new contacts added to your list in one month. Whatever you decide to do, your goals should be precise, quantifiable and — most importantly — attainable.
Coming up with a goal like this doesn’t have to be complicated. Erin starts by thinking about her overall mission: getting customers through the door.
“The goals of our campaigns are to get people using our products and to get them thinking about how their life will be better after they learn new strategies and smarter ways to shop for food,” she said.
Big-picture goals like this can easily break down into smaller, more focused campaigns. For example, Juan uses the customer lifecycle to make his campaign goals targeted and effective. “Sometimes we do trust building, sometimes we want leads, others are a specific call to action. It depends on the stage of the funnel for the prospect.”
Once you decide on the purpose of your campaign, you’ll want your goal to focus on measurable results. Ryan, for instance, aims to “generate $1 per active email address per month” in his ongoing campaigns. This kind of goal is tangible, which helps in evaluating and optimizing the campaign later on.
For more information on how to set effective goals for your marketing campaign, check out this article.
Who are you talking to?
If you want to connect with leads, you need to know who they are. By defining exactly who your target audience is, you create a foundation for the rest of your campaign strategy.
The easiest way to do this is to imagine an individual person who would be a perfect fit for your product. This needs to be specific — for instance, if you’re a hairstylist, your imaginary person should be more than just “someone who needs a haircut.” Maybe they’re frustrated by overpriced salons, or they want a place that offers environmentally-friendly hair products. Think of what problems your business is good at solving, then build an audience from there.
Juan uses this strategy in Mindvalley Hispano. He told us, “I basically imagine who we can help the most, who’d be interested in something like this the most, and who’d have the ability to pay for it. We find audiences that intersect in those parameters.”
After that, it’s just a matter of creating ads, messaging and marketing collateral that would speak to those people.
What are you saying?
The most important thing about your content is that it’s customer-centric. After you’ve established an idea of who your audience is, think about what kind of messages would resonate with them most. What problems do they deal with? What kind of language do they use to talk about those problems?
Juan orients his entire content strategy around his audience, and his advice rings true for any business. “We don’t ‘pick’ the best message. Our audience does that for us.”
Every message, lead magnet and story you share should be something your audience is already curious about. To make sure you’re on track with them, try split testing ads, landing pages and sales pages. When you see which ones performed the best, you’ll know what connects most with your leads.
But of course, you’ll have different types of leads — maybe they have different problems to solve, or they’re interested in different products or services you offer. At the very least, your prospects are sure to have different needs across all points in the customer lifecycle. For your messaging to be relevant to individual customers, you have to create content that speaks to their different situations. Erin makes this simple with segmentation.
“The more personalized we can get, the more successful our campaign or product launch will be,” she said. “We use a number of different campaigns and offers, and each one is tailor-made.”
Using marketing automation, she segments her audiences based on their unique scenarios so that her promotions and newsletters are relevant to each customer’s needs.
You can do this by thinking of a particular kind of customer — let’s say it’s someone who’s never interacted with your brand but fits your target audience. Ask yourself: What problem is this customer dealing with, and what kind of message from me would help solve that problem?
According to Ryan, that’s the key to successful marketing. He’s developed his content strategy around “solving a problem or addressing a pain point” that he knows is important to his audience. Over the years, he’s collected tons of information through surveys, emails and personal conversations with his customers. “I try to use the same words and expressions they use when speaking to me,” he said.
Customers can tell when you’re marketing blindly — and they see it as impersonal. Showing them you understand their perspectives can go a long way.
But even if your messages are perfectly crafted, they won’t accomplish much until they’re implemented in the right places.
What messaging channels will you use?
Creating an engaging message has two components — staying relevant to your audience, and reaching them at precisely the right time and place. The channels you use (and the way you use them) will have a big impact on how your audience interacts with your messages.
When Juan looks at messaging channels, he sticks with the same strategy he uses in the rest of his campaign: let the customers decide.
“We basically think, ‘What do they need to hear to get ‘X’ response?’” he said. “How would they prefer to learn about that?”
He starts by deciding what kind of content would best serve his audience — maybe a webinar, an ebook, or a live virtual event. Then, he decides which channel or platform is best for delivering that content.
This decision really varies between businesses. For instance, Ryan takes a precise approach by focusing on just one or two channels that bring reliable results. He reported that YouTube is by far his “largest source of free traffic,” while Facebook is his go-to for highly targeted, paid traffic. Meanwhile, Erin combines Facebook Live, Facebook Groups, Instagram and Pinterest to drive awareness and engagement across platforms. It all depends on the audience.
Regardless of what channels you pick, Erin pointed out one factor that’s crucial for business across the board: personalization.
“I’ve been working hard to make sure that our members and prospects see what they need to see, when they need to see it,” Erin said. “We want to be a personable brand, while at the same time communicating zest for life and encouragement directly to the person on the other end of the message.”
Bottom line: whatever channel you decide to use, it should allow you to speak to your audience in a personal, relevant way.
What’s your action plan?
By the time you’ve clearly defined your campaign goals, know who your audience is and what problems you can solve for them, you’ve probably figured out which messages and channels will engage your customers. Next you have to actually make it all happen.
And that can get pretty complicated.
The biggest thing you can do to prevent overwhelm in executing a campaign is to use your resources. This might mean hiring someone who’s done this kind of thing before, getting advice from an expert, or reaching out to a mentor. The point is that you don’t have to do everything yourself.
Juan’s campaign team relies on a media buyer who coordinates graphics and copy for his ads before publication. Once the content is ready for action, his project manager takes on the process of building pages and creating the final campaign in Ontraport. This kind of delegation and clear-cut process allows his team to execute their campaigns seamlessly.
Erin takes advantage of resources outside her team to make sure every detail of her campaign aligns with her big-picture goals.
“For the strategizing and deeper integrations with Ontraport, I work with a business model and marketing strategist,” she told us. “We meet twice a month to discuss and brainstorm the next steps and ways we can best use Ontraport to meet goals for sales and leads.”
You can see the common thread here: For any team, delegation and clearly defined processes are keys to efficient and successful campaign execution. Erin’s management style is a prime example of how to make that happen.
“Currently, I oversee and manage projects, while working with two others who set up pages, opt-in forms, messages and such,” she explained. “We work well together through project directives, plans, and maps to keep projects moving forward quickly and efficiently.”
Use your team and resources well, and your campaign execution won’t just be more manageable — it’ll be streamlined, efficient, and a lot more successful.
What could you do better?
Launching your campaign is a huge milestone, but it’s not the end of the road. As it unfolds, it’s crucial to track its progress and see where you can optimize.
But that’s a pretty big task to tackle — since campaigns have so many wheels spinning at once, it’s hard to figure out what to evaluate for improvement.
Before doing anything, start by checking in with yourself. After spending so much time crafting your ideal campaign, it’s easy to get attached to your original strategies. Juan recommends starting things off with an open mind.
“The channels we try either work or they don’t,” he admitted. “If we don’t come close to meeting our goals, we drop them. If we are close, we stick to that platform and optimize.”
That optimization can wear a lot of hats. Our experts have their own tricks for staying on top of it all.
For instance, Erin keeps product development in the back of her mind throughout her campaigns. When it comes to decisions about expanding her product selection, she sticks with the classic mantra: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
“We continue to drive leads into the different workshops and opt-ins that we have for our existing products,” she said. “As long as the business stays profitable and financially healthy, we will continue to work closely with customers to get feedback and improve the existing product suite.”
But to optimize anything — whether it’s your new campaign or your product itself — you need to look at the numbers.
Juan talked us through three of the most important metrics his team focuses on: ROI channels, volume channels, and lead-to-sale conversion rate. For each one, he looks at his best and worst performers and uses that information to improve his future efforts. He emphasized his number one metric in optimization. “We live or die by the gross margin per lead and the gross margin of our company,” he said. “We try to increase that as much as we can.”
These kinds of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are crucial components for understanding what works (and what doesn’t). If you measure them consistently and accurately throughout your campaign, you’ll get a clear picture of which strategies really clicked for your leads. That can serve as a sort of “cheat sheet” for what might work in future campaigns.
Juan also recommends strategically testing one part of your strategy at a time.
“We typically alternate between sales push and leads push so as to not exhaust our channels with the same content and ‘sales pitch’ over and over,” he explained. “We use different channels and storylines to help shape and share the message with our audience.”
But as you work on improving your strategies, Ryan recommends measuring and optimizing what already works — don’t get caught up in hot marketing trends.
“I don’t chase technology,” Ryan said. “Facebook ads, YouTube and Ontraport have been all I need for the past four years, and I don’t see the ‘next new thing’ changing that any time soon.”
Click here for more insight on how to optimize your marketing with KPIs.
As you figure out the best strategies for your campaign, you’ll find that there are tons of little messaging variations to play with along the way. Should you invest in paid traffic or find leads organically? Should you focus on evergreen campaigns or one-off campaigns? There’s no right or wrong answer — and the only way to find out is to experiment.
That’s what our experts did, and they’ve each found unique strategies that work for their customers and products.
Juan, for example, decided that evergreen campaigns are the best fit for his business — with a few exceptions.
“Here is what we do,” he explained. “We create a full funnel. That funnel yields ‘X’ results. But it also yields ‘X%’ of leads that did not buy. We are not throwing all of those leads away, so we do one-off promos to them. If a promo did well, then we automate it and it becomes part of our evergreen funnel.”
Erin also prefers evergreen campaigns for her courses and memberships, since they’re open for enrollment at all times. But she uses the benefits of one-off campaigns for other products.
“For the courses that we ‘launch’ a few times a year, we use scarcity and deadlines to drive enrollment,” she said. “Each strategy is effective in its own way for each respective product.”
And when it comes to deciding whether to focus on paid or organic traffic, we think Ryan said it best:
“Paid traffic pays my bills; organic traffic pays for my golf.”
There are tons of ways to make these decisions in your own marketing. Like our experts, you’ll figure out what’s best for your business through experimentation, optimization, and tracking your results.
Whatever you decide — always be learning and growing
We’ve gone over lots of decisions you’ll need to make as you build your campaigns. And not all of those decisions will go smoothly. Marketing is a constant game of trial-and-error, and the only way to improve is to learn from everything you do.
Just ask the experts.
“We are always learning and always testing what we learn,” Juan told us. “Learning without action is not productive. We also learn a lot from looking at our competitors and talking to our customers.”
But that learning doesn’t have to stop when you step away from work.
“I set aside at least two hours a week to read, research and learn about current trends and strategies,” Erin said. “It’s easy to skip this, but I’m diligent about it because I want to stay ahead of the curve and keep growing the business. Learning, researching and then taking quick action and implementing have been crucial to helping me reach this level.”
As you work to improve both your business and yourself, remember not to take things too seriously. You will make mistakes — and that’s totally fine.
“I don’t get caught up in the quality of my videos or graphics. I always have spelling mistakes,” Ryan admitted. “Do I wish it was perfect? Of course. But the content is king. I try to push tips that will get [my customers] results quickly. Don’t hold back.”
You know what questions to ask, which numbers to look at, and what you want to achieve from your new campaign. You know what you’re doing — now see where it takes you.