Jason Hartman talks with Kim Mateus, Senior Partner of Mequoda Group, LLC who leads the Mequoda Research Team responsible for content development for events, seminars, workshops and in-house training programs. She works with new and existing consulting clients to help assess their current internet marketing programs and design educational and consulting services to increase their […]
Female Voice: Speakers, publishers, consultants, coaches and info marketers, unite. The Speaking of Wealth Show is your road map to success and significance. Learn the latest tools, technologies and tactics to get more bookings, sell more products and attract more clients. If you're looking to increase your direct response sales, create a big time, personal brand and become the go to guru, the Speaking of Wealth Show is for you. Here's your host, Jason Hartman.
Jason Hartman: Welcome to the Speaking of Wealth Show, this is your host Jason Hartman and this is Episode Number 5. I'm not sure if you can hear the noise in the background or not but I happen to be recording from the beautiful Island of St. Martin here in the Caribbean and yes, those are crashing waves in the background. I'm at the Western Resort and my hotel room is right on the beach here so it's really, really nice. And isn't this one of the reasons that we got into the speaking, publishing, info marketing business to create passive income so that we can have the freedom to live the life we want so that we can travel, we can take up our hobbies, spend tine with our families, whatever it is for us and that's what the Speaking of Wealth Show is all about is creating those profits as passively as possible.
Once we get that business in motion, it tends to remain in motion without our direct efforts and that's what the Speaking of Wealth Show is for. So today we're going to go to a fairly technical topic. We're going to be talking about digital publishing with a high level person from a company called Mequoda and this is pretty technical and it's pretty good though. Sometimes we explore the more philosophical sides of the business. Sometimes we explore the more technical sides of the business and everything in between and that's what we'll be doing on the show today. So, let's listen to the e-interview with Kim and learn more about digital publishing. Here we go.
My pleasure to welcome Kim Mateus from Mequoda Group, LLC with us today. We're going to talk about the best practices for online publishers and marketers, and if you have an internet based business, one of the great things that makes it possible to enjoy financial freedom as well as time freedom, is being an infopreneur and being an info publisher, publishing white papers, special reports, audio programs, video programs, online e-books, etc., etc. Membership sales, things like that. There's just a lot of opportunity here. It's one of my favorite business models and Kim is here to really talk to us about the best practices today. Kim, welcome.
Kim Mateus: Hi Jason. Thank you for having me.
Jason Hartman: It's great to have you on. I have been very impressed with your company since I discovered it. Maybe oh, 10 months ago I want to say, you guys have some very innovative things that you do. You really seem to drill down on what it takes to be a successful online publisher and also Mequoda seems to do it more from the professional angle rather than the sort of guru info preneur angle. That's more of a sort of corporate angle, at least that's my impression. What are some of these best practices?
Kim Mateus: Sure. Well, over the last five years or so, since Mequoda Group has been in business under this name, we have been consistently defining and refining a set of best practices and we're now coming around to calling them content Mekwring best practices. We're always — sort of this online publishing is about online publishing and the answer of course, it's about both. So, right now we're sitting on about seven best practice strategies that we again are consistently refining. We usually start with editorial because online of course, it's all about the content and even if you weren't on to traditional publisher which is who we are used to working with, when it comes to the internet, it is all about content because people start with search and Google, of course, gives preference to content based websites.
So, one of the strategies that we focus a lot on is editorial and how to leverage your content and your reputation.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, and you do that very well and I know we'll talk during this interview about how you look for content, which is really requested highly in terms of key words on the search engines and then it doesn't have a lot of content for it, and then you try to fill that void all the time and you actually sort of build your white papers and special reports around that, isn't that correct?
Kim Mateus: Right, that's exactly the case. So, before we begin a new website launch because Mequoda's business model really is — you know we've got the publishing division where we publish the Daily News letter. We do a live Webinar every other week which we charge for their paid Webinars. We've got a membership website, we do live events you know strictly for the publishing industry. Again teaching our best practices, but sitting in the middle, we've also got a consulting division where Don works one on one with publishing clients from small to medium to larger size organizations around the country and around the world helping them figure out their digital strategy and before we even sort of have any other discussion, the very, very first thing we do before we help them build a new website is to first determine what are the key words that your market is Goggling every day that your website should tie into? So in our view, you shouldn't even consider building a website in any market without first knowing exactly how many people every day are goggling the terms that you are trying to target. And then again, it's not just about volume, so you don't want to write about something because it's popular, because of course there's a lot of competition out there. So the sweet spot is to find key word phrases that a lot of people are goggling, but not a lot of other websites are competing for and there's a lot of free tools available right from Google that will help you with this process, and that's really the sort of core piece of or strategy, if you will.
Jason Hartman: When you talk about online publishing and content, maybe let's talk about the different sort of disciplines for best practice within that field, the different maybe verticals within that. So there's doing documents whether they be e-books, special reports, white papers, etc., there's membership sites where you're trying to get people to pay a subscription fee and there are other things. Do you want to go into sort of each of those nieces?
Kim Mateus: Sure, sure. It's interesting that you bring that up second because it's actually second in our seven strategies. Number two is revenue strategy for choosing the right business model and you know, for a lot of our clients that we work one on one with, that we have obtained a relationship with, they're coming to the table with existing products, so they might have magazines, they might have newsletters, books, events and frankly our system works best when you do have a way to monetize all of this effort that you're going to put into publishing free contents. So, we're giving you know the bigger pieces to give away the free contents that attract the audience and then convert them to becoming a paid customer and that can either be through the sales of a subscription to a magazine, a downloadable e-book you're charging $20.00 for or a paid membership website where you're charging a fee for annual access.
So, the revenue model certainly differ a lot depending on who you're talking to and this — and then again the beauty too that being in this content marketing world, it does allow you a chance to create products. So, a lot of times what we're doing is we're helping our clients with product development. You know, when there's a real need again in terms from a search stand point, and a competitive stand point, then there's a chance that you can develop a paid product out of that need, if that makes sense.
Jason Hartman: In terms of these subscription model if you will, you want people to come and subscribe and get content where they have a password and get content for that website. What type of content sells the best? Are there any sort of price points that you recommend in that world?
Kim Mateus: Well you know again, I think it depends if it's B to B, B to C. Of course, on the B to B side, you've got a chance to charge more money for your content because that tends to be more on the need to have versus the nice to have on the B to C side when you're living in the nice to have environment, you can't necessarily get away with charging a lot for a content, especially if there's a kind of free content out there already. So, demand has to come into play there and competition I think it all comes back that.
Jason Hartman: Are there certain industries that work better with the content marketing business than others and do they have certain price points around them. I mean it's odd because it seems like the world is just full of free information now days, yet some publishers releasing to pull off charging and many times charging pretty high prices for that information. I — it seems to come like a disconnect, Kim. It's sort of both ways. It strikes me as though it's largely packaging in the way it's presented —
Kim Mateus: Right.
Jason Hartman: — the way the offer is presented, in the way the offer is presented.
Kim Mateus: Certainly hat has a lot to do with it and I think brand as well — I mean I was taking today to somebody about the whole free verses paid and you know why it works for some and why it doesn't and I thought about consumerreports.org. You know, there's a company with a beautiful brand preference — of only had a strong brand preference and when it came to the internet in deciding what kind of business model was going to work for them, they were lucky because it's very clear that they couldn't accept advertising, thy were consumer reports, they didn't take advertising in their magazine so when it came to the internet, they knew they wouldn't be able to get away with just giving it — everything away for free,. They had to modify it and so they had to build a paid membership website straight out of the gate and their pricing is really quite interesting and they've — sort of were challenged with this as well, you know, do you place the internet access lower than print because it's seemingly cheaper to produce? And I think now they're sitting at parity pricing where the print costs just as much as the online, and I think through our clients we've seen the same thing that you shouldn't necessarily discount online because it's cheaper to produce — parity prices seems to work pretty well where the prices are pretty equal no matter how it's getting delivered.
Jason Hartman: Yeah and that's interesting. And boy, that's music to a publisher's ears because what that means is that you just have no sum costs other than the research and the intellectual property development cost but there's no printing, no shipping , just a much more cost effective model. But would you say the pricing is at parity except for maybe shipping and handing like with some of my products I sell them for the same prices but if want the printed version or the physical version I should say, its shipping and handling is added to it.
Kim Mateus: Right.
Jason Hartman: Is that abut the norm or is it —
Kim Mateus: Yes, absolutely, definitely. Absolutely.
Jason Hartman: All right. In terms of membership websites, it's kind of back to that for a moment, I see a lot of info marketers and online publishers going the really low cost route now days where they're selling things for $7;00. They're selling monthly memberships for $9.97 and not — and I mean less than $10.00. Not $997.00. It seems as though there's a lot of information out there now days. It's being sold rather cheaply but the downside of the consumer is that it seems that all of this information is geared toward an up sell to the next thing rather than the real content.
Kim Mateus: Right.
Jason Hartman: Any thoughts on that?
Kim Mateus: Yeah, I think that's just part f the business. I mean even at Mequoda we recently made our membership products such an incredible deal that it's just — you just can't say no and at first I was reluctant to offer such an incredible deal because I didn't really know how it impacted from a cost standpoint, but it's certainly getting the orders in and I think with a membership product, simplifying the offer is definitely the way to go even if it means you're giving away more than you think that you should. I mean, make it a great deal for the customer, make it so that they can't say no, and of course is there an up sale behind it, naturally. You now we charge $297.00 from Mequoda pro. It's a phenomenal deal which includes all of our upcoming live Webinars all on demand access to all of our previous Webinars, but do I really just want a big large stable of Mequoda pro subscribers? No, I'd like some percentages of those Mequoda pro subscribers to be so impressed with our content and our offers that they are willing to come to the Mequoda summit which is our live event and which is much more expensive and then from there perhaps get Don on the building to deal with one on one consulting. I think there's no reason up so I think that should be part of our reality right. We all need to eat, but if you just remain honest and again make the products sort of so valuable that the consumer just can't say no, I think that that is a wining situation if you can manage to pull it off and not go broke from a cost end point.
Jason Hartman: Right, right. Do you want to talk a little bit about how you work in terms of sort of the find and need and fill it if you will, looking for what people are searching for and looking at what they're finding or what they're able to find out there and sort of filling that need for people so that you really have a high demand for product and there's not too many people filling it. That's a pretty good deal for any business person to be in the situation.
Kim Mateus: Certainly.
Jason Hartman: Do you want to talk about the methodology for doing that?
Kim Mateus: Sure absolutely and I live the order because we're going right into the third strategy where that we label audience strategy so it's attracting targeted website traffic. And how do you do that? You're first using a lot of free tools that are out there. I mean the Google key work tools is one of our favorites and it is an add words tool but you can use it to research organic traffic. So what — the question that you're basically trying to answer is how many people every month are searching for this phrase? And looking at internet marketing, for an example, if you put the term internet marketing into the Google key word tool and ask it to return it to you, how many people search for that phrase every month, it will give you a number. And that — I don't know it off the top of my head but I know it's extremely high. It's a very, very competitive key word phrase.
So you know, if you didn't thin about competition and you just put that term in, you might say, oh wow, 70,000 people a month are searching for internet marketing. That's something I should be writing about. Well, it's like no because then if you go into Google, how many other publishers are competing for that phrase, you would see the number in the millions, and then you do the math on that and it doesn't pan out. You don't want it — target phrase is that 100,000 people are searching for but 10 million other publishers are competing for.
Jason Hartman: It's really a ratio is what you're saying. It's a ratio of a number of people searching compared to a number of providers, and so you want a favorable ratio where you may have only 10 people searching for that, but if you're the only provider, then all 10 of those people are going to be the path to your door, whereas if you have 100 million people searching for something and there's 200 million providing the content, that's not such a good ratio, is it?
Kim Mateus: Exactly, that's exactly right. And the way that we find that competition is very simple. We go to the Google.com and go to the actual Google search engine, and we put the search phrase into quotes, and you know on the top right hand corner of the screen where it will say, you know, results are one through 10 are 96 million, that 96 million is the number that you're looking at, and the reason we put it into quotes is not because that's how people are searching, but we want Google to tell us how many other websites our there are using this phrase in that exact order. Because if you leave it with no quotes, then it's — the number's going to be much larger because Google's going to also return results where somebody's using the word internet in one paragraph and marketing in the other paragraph.
So, by putting it in quotes, you're forcing Google to return the results where the website is using that phrase in that exact order. So then it's about getting the ratio as you said. The other beautiful thing about the Google key word tools, if you put in a phrase like internet marketing, not only is it going to tell you how many people are searching for that phrase every month, but it's going to give you a bunch of related phrases just like internet marketing strategy, internet marketing tips, internet marketing tools and so it gives you a bunch of suggested phrases where you can find something more relevant and more specific. It's all about the longer the phrase, the more specific the phrase, the better chance to rank on that.
Jason Hartman: The mechanics of doing that again go to Google, type your phrase in quotes and then what? So, you see how many websites are providing that content, those words in that exact order, and then what do you do?
Kim Mateus: Well, the first step is actually to go right to the Google key word tool and you can get there by Goggling Google key word tool. And again, it isn't part of the add word sweep because Google wants to provide all this information so you can go spend money with their add words program, but we can use it from an organic perspective as well, because it's just volume.
So, if you go to the Google key word tool, you'll see a little box where you can enter in any term on the planet that you'd like to search for and then it returns to you a bunch of results and you want to select exact match. There's a couple of different match options but you want to know exactly how many people search for that phrase in a given month, and as I mentioned, it gives you a bunch of related phrases. So, internet marketing — now you've got data on all the related phrases as well.
I mean, once you have that data, you can actually download it off of the Google key word tools, so now you're working in Excel, and once you have a list, and you can do this over and over. So, you did it for internet marketing, let's say you also write about affiliate marketing, you can just do it all over again, and then once you have all that data in Excel and you just decide on which term looks good, you know, which terms fit your content model, then you would go to the trouble to actually Google each of the individual phrases to see how competitive they are, because that's the piece that's manual that's a lot of work. That's actually the second step that you only go through the trouble of doing that once. You know, you've decided which phrases you think fit your work, your content model. But essentially it's about finding the volume first and then going after the competition, and then going to see how competitive they are by putting the phrase into the Google search engine with the quotes around it and then just recording that number that shows up in the upper right hand corner.
Jason Hartman: Now you know the supply and demand side of equation, right?
Kim Mateus: Yep.
Jason Hartman: And then what?
Kim Mateus: Now it's about — well, there's a number of things. I mean if you were doing this from scratch and you wanted to — you don't have a website right now or you know you just need to reassign your site, if you want to build a true, publishing destination type website, that people are actually going to find, you would go through this exercise for every one of what we call primary topic. So in our view, every blog that we helped build has a set of topic pages.
So, on a quote of daily, you'll find like 20 different topics that we write about designing media websites, email marketing, internet marketing strategy. We just added Kindle Publishing, landing page authorization. So you go through this exercise to determine what your site essentially is about. So, that's kind of a — sort of step one. Then it's time to actually start targeting some of these phrases, so (a) you need to know the information so you know how to build your website properly, and then it's time to go in and target.
So, within each one of your topics, let's say back to the internet marketing example, say one of your topics was internet marketing, sitting under that topic you can have 150 related phrases, because you could decide that your site talks about, you know, as I mentioned earlier, internet marketing tips, internet marketing training, internet marketing expert. So, once you decide to target, what we do at Mequoda is we — we're big believers in giving away free downloadable special reports in exchange for email address, because the end — we build these sites and it's lovely if your site can be found in Google and you get a lot of traffic, but how much of that traffic are you converting into email subscribers, because email is usually where the caching happens, that's where the money's going to be spent.
So, building your email subscribers file is, in our opinion, almost more important than having a lot of traffic to your site, because if you don't have a big email list to market to, traffic only does you so good, right. So, we use our free report of the catalyst to build our email subscriber file. So, back to the targeting, if we're going to pick a phrase to target, we're going to then write a free special report about it to say we're really serious about targeting the phrase internet marketing strategy. We're going to go write a special report titled, Ten Tips for Improving your Internet Marketing Strategy. So we put the phrase that we're targeting right in the title of the free report so that when somebody in the future is Goggling this phrase that you've decided to target, they'll find your landing page and on that landing page you're describing all the benefits of this free report and then in order for the reader to access the free report, they're going to give you their email address. So, you're building your email file at the same time that you are attracting that traffic from Google. Does that make sense? I know it's kind of a mouth full, but does that make sense?
Jason Hartman: Yeah, absolutely. Let me take a brief pause. We'll be back in just a minute.
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Jason Hartman: There's a lot to do. The world has just become a complex place. It used to be about just opening your store and hanging out a shingle and people would come in and buy things. But really now, it's not even that easy because the website is there and you may have traffic, and I think the nature of that traffic and which is why you very correctly said that the money is the email list, because the nature of traffic is that it comes and goes and it's a single sort of hit and run visit a lot of times, and the email really allows you to constantly drip on people to make special offers, to make other offers and eventually they hopefully become customers and they buy things and they spend real money.
What else do you need to know about content? I mean, if someone is listening and they're interested in dog training or real estate investing, how to be a better public speaker, and that's what they teach people about and say they've done consulting on any of those fields and maybe they do classes on it or they've got a background on it, whatever, but they really want to get into the publishing business and expand the regent's capability, it's sort of like, how do you pick that small, defined niche rather than the big broad term, because the big broad term, like the example internet marketing you gave a few minutes ago, that's just too genteral, right.
Kim Mateus: Oh, for sure.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, well give us some suggestions about narrowing ones focus, because I can see people thinking well, I'm an expert in dog training or I want to publish on that, but what do they do?
Kim Mateus: Well, the beautiful thing is that you know that again the first thing we would tell you to do is go play with the Google key word tool because it's free and it's going to give you great insight immediately, almost into the kind of activity that's out there revolved around dog training. Like, I'm on the site right now, I just put that in. It looks like there's about 201,000 people a month, globally searching for dog training and then underneath that, there's a bunch of related phrases like dog training tips and dog training schools, and you know, dog agility training, dog potty training, and I mean this gives you so much insight into the possibilities that are out there.
And again, right now I'm just getting numbers and it drops dramatically. You know, dog training 201,000 dog training tips drops down to 12,000 and that's still a healthy number. I mean in terms of what's a lot, I mean, if you're just starting out and you want to build a site revolved around dog training, I mean that's a lot of activity. Again, that's just volume, so of course the next step would be to then download this into Excel and then go play in the Google search engine to figure what your competition looks like, how many other websites out there are also about dog training. Who's in your market? That's one of the first things we like to tell publishers to do is come up with an online audit, and you do that by goggling the phrases you're thinking about targeting and see who's in your space. Are you going to be up against big, huge, branded publishers? Are there entrepreneurial type websites out there that you can partner with? You know, so it's doing a lot of research in advance, because this is a lot of work and none of it's easy even — you know I hope I'm not making it sound easy because it's so — it's such — it's a ton of work to do this, but it's certainly better to put the work in, you know, sort of correctly in advance, versus going through all the trouble getting funding, you know, staffing, building this business and then you find that no one's visiting your site and you know, it's just better to do all this research up front to be absolute — even for established publishers who've got product, who are already making money in the print world, if you will, and you need to figure out the digital strategy.
The first thing we do with them is sit down and do this exercise, because think about a general interest title like a Reader's Digest or something, or they write about everything. Well, when it comes to their website, they really need to go niche. They need to niche down into particular segments if they really want to you know, get that traffic in. So, it's all about the niche publisher, but you really do need to put the time in, in advance, to do the research to know what you're targeting and then there's a lot of work after that, as well, building your site so that it can actually receive the traffic from Google and the beauty about the word press and a lot of these post Google CMS, is that they're —
Jason Hartman: What's a CMS?
Kim Mateus: — word press is what we use.
Jason Hartman: Content Management System, is that what you're saying?
Kim Mateus: What I was saying about word press is that it — because it was built after Google —
Jason Hartman: Right.
Kim Mateus: — was around, it's inherently a Google friendly system.
Jason Hartman: Oh, ok. Good, good.
Kim Mateus: It makes your job easier because it already knows about category pages and so many different plug ins out there where you can make sure you get all the metadata that you need.
Jason Hartman: Now Kim, by the way what I was referring to is you said “CMS” and I wasn't sure everybody knew that acronym, so that's —
Kim Mateus: Oh, I'm sorry.
Jason Hartman: — Content Management System, correct?
Kim Mateus: Correct.
James Hartman: Okay good. Thank you. Now, on word press there are many different templates people can choose for word press. Are there certain templates that are more friendly than others or do they all work just as well with Google, and search engines?
Kim Mateus: Well, I'm not too much on the technical side, but I know for us, you know, a word press is the basis system and then there's one to plug ins out there that we sort of borrowed and we also want to build a couple to make the system do what we needed to do from like a fulfillment standpoint from an email management standpoint. I mean, we've got word press as our base and it's tied into sort of a bunch of subsystems to get it to do what we need it to do.
Jason Hartman: So, it's really incumbent on a publisher to spend a lot of time finding those niche words or phrases, I should say, that are highly attractive. They're being searched a lot but not many people are providing content. You've really got to do two different things to determine that, as you mentioned before, as far as I understand it. Someone should invent a site that just tells you phrases that have the best ratio, right. Is there such a thing or no?
Kim Mateus: Not that we found. I mean if there's —
Jason Hartman: That's the zillion dollar idea right there. I just had it.
Kim Mateus: I know, I know. There you go. And you know, but I'm sure they exist out there. I'm sure someone's developed some kind of a program to do just that.
Jason Hartman: Isn't that Kim, what's so great about capitalism in a free market? It's like any desire, any idea, there's someone who thought of it and someone who's filling it. It's an amazing every day in the internet age, it's just amazes me more and more. Every resource is at your fingertips. I mean, if you're listening and you didn't have the internet for part of your life, you really can't appreciate it enough. It's a pretty incredible tool.
Kim Mateus: I know.
Jason Hartman: [Inaudible] about it.
Kim Mateus: It makes our job harder in a sense.
Jason Hartman: And easier too in a way, yeah.
Kim Mateus: It's so clarifying, and the data's right there for you if you know how to seek it out.
Jason Hartman: Well, do you want to talk about the e-book revolution that's going on and why — say e-books. I don't mean paper e-books that are PDF files, although certainly you're welcome to talk about that because that's a big thing to publishers, but the kindle revolution and the — all the competitors, the Sony E-Book Reader and Barnes and Noble has their — what do they call that, the Q or something like that, I think, and all of these different things that are out there. I purchased my Kindle right away when it was the Kindle II, the second version that really was a huge improvement. And I love it. It's a great tool and I published several of my books on the Kindle, but there's a lot of real mastery that comes with that, isn't there? That's a whole other area of discipline which has best practices and all sorts of stuff, right.
Kim Mateus: Certainly, certainly. We just actually did a Webinar on it last week and it was you know, very well attended and it certainly sparked a lot of interesting discussion and in my opinion I think that we should focus on sort of the basics first. I don't think we would recommend that a publisher consider going on Kindle if they're basic you know, site architecture isn't set up and they don't have the basics of online publishing down, because as you mentioned, it really is a whole other animal.
Jason Hartman: Right. And another thing though, just to mention it, on Kindle and some of these other readers is blog publishing, which I think could be also another lucrative avenue. But again, that's a whole other specialty in and of itself. But it is an exciting time. It seems like the e-book reader, Kindle Jondreau is really going to catch this time. They've been trying to do it for years, but it seems like this time it's really working and it's going to become the standard for our future, don't you think?
Kim Mateus: Sure, absolutely. There's no doubt about it. People go online to look for book reviews and it's in terms of the reader itself, I mean people are ultimately looking for that ease you know, and when you going to travel and you're going on a business trip or anything, you know you don't want to have to decide which books to carry or which magazines to carry. The reader's just going to make it, you know, that much easier for avid book readers to just have so many options right in one device.
Jason Hartman: It really is incredible. Just to kind of wrap all of this up, Kim, what would you like people to know in conclusion about the opportunities for online publishing? Any final advice you'd have?
Kim Mateus: Sure, I mean I think I'd just rather back up to figuring out what the demand is out there. I mean, I think it's very clear that none of this really is easy and it's not going to necessarily would be an overnight success, but at least what we've discovered doing the key word research in advance and having a true understanding of what people are searching for and who else is in your space online, I can give you a great leverage point as you're starting out or just kind of hitting the reset button, and that's the other beautiful thing about — on the internet in today's day and age but if it's not right today, I mean there are steps you can take to make improvements as you know is all constantly improving. So, subscribe to some good email newsletters, listen to folks that are — have had success and just try to copy smart and stay in touch with what your market is searching for and needing information on.
Jason Hartman: Excellent. Kim, we appreciate you joining us today. Thank you.
Kim Mateus: Thank you very much, Jason. Take care.
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Speaking of Wealth Team
transcribed by Debra