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Podcast 28 | Ask the Expert: Direct Your Connections to Text, Part 1 with Jake Dempsey from Project Broadcast: Why Text Marketing is the Best Alternative to Social Media Conversations

In this episode, Heather interviews Project Broadcast Co-Founder and CEO Jake Dempsey. Jake shares the story behind the companies inception and it’s remarkable growth. Part of the growth was due to the immense need for the service and the void it filled, but most of the growth was due to word of mouth and how well Project Broadcast serves it’s clients.  Heather and Jake dive in deep on how when you utilize social media platforms you don’t own your followers and you don’t own the conversations. Leveraging text marketing for business improves your conversion rates over traditional email marketing. People want to be able to text businesses and they read texts messages more and interact with them more than any other platform.

 Listen Here:

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Episode Highlights:

・Heather interviews Jake the co-founder and CEO of Project Broadcast

・How Text Marketing is one of the most effective tools in terms of growing a business

・Jake’s shares his background and the story behind Project Broadcast

・Jake says, “You don’t own the conversation. You don’t truly own the relationship” in regards to leveraging social media for your business

・ Text marketing converts better than email marketing

・The simplest advice to grow your business outside of social media. “Go talk to people”

Episode Resources/References:

Learn About Project Broadcast

Episode 21

Podcast Pro University 

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heatherkburge@gmail.com

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Transcript:

28 | Ask the Expert: Direct to Text, Part 1 with Jake Dempsey 

Hey friends. And welcome back to the scale without social podcast. I’m Heather and I’m so excited to continue the series that I have been sharing on the five steps that you can take. If you’re looking to take your business off social media and shift into other platforms of communication and marketing. and today is the third part in the series. 

I’ve had several episodes leading up to it, but this is all about how to direct your existing audience on social media to another. Better simpler platform to where they can find you. So if you are looking to step away or take a break like I did, which you can go back and listen to episode 26, if you want to hear my story of how I decided to take a temporary break and then a more permanent break from social media, but still run my business. 

You can hear my journey and how I decided to direct my customers over to my phone number and lean a little bit more heavily on text marketing. To build my business and today’s episode is going to be an awesome one because you are going to hear from the expert on text marketing, the founder and CEO of project broadcast, which is honestly my very favorite texting app for any entrepreneur. It really is an affordable. 

A simple option that will help you dive into the world of text marketing, which in my opinion is the best way to organize and build your list to communicate with your, both your existing customers and your potential customers. So I’m so excited to dive into the first part of this two part interview series with Jake, and you’ll get to hear his story and how he built his business primarily without social media. 

And how the business actually came from an idea, from his wife who also built a massive business without social media and was looking for a solution to. I communicate with her customers and build her business. Using text marketing so the next two episodes will really help you if this is something that you are looking to integrate into your business model and i can’t wait to dive in here we go.

Heather: Hi guys. Oh my goodness. Y’all are in for a serious treat today because you are meeting kinda a big deal. Jake Dempsey is here with me and he calls himself the chief nerd oh, he literally has a sign. I’m kind a big deal. But he is the co-founder and CEO.

Of project broadcast, which is an incredible texting and marketing I mean, it’s, so much more than that, but it’s a direct marketing platform that has absolutely transformed the businesses of a lot of the people on my team and my company. And it’s one of those things that I’ve worked with.

With other platforms and I’ve never seen one that’s more affordable. That really just tackles exactly what an entrepreneur’s looking for, especially if you’re trying to take your business off Facebook. So we’re gonna get to know Jake and his story. And Jake, it’s such an honor to have you on here to talk about this 

Jake: today.

Well, thank you so much for inviting me. I love doing these. It’s always fun to talk about project broadcast and business, and, you know, I could do this all day if I was allowed to, but you know, we’ll have a good time. This’ll be fun. , 

Heather: that’s pretty much why I started the podcast, cuz I’m the same I know.

Talk about and, and you know, share interesting stories and especially. What’s effective in building businesses and the product that you offer honestly, is one of the most effective tools that I’m seeing in terms of building businesses. So I obviously wanna get more into that, but first let’s hear kind of the backstory you call yourself a serial entrepreneur.

So you’ve got history in and. Being a business owner long before even social media was a thing. But then I love the story. I can’t wait. Especially for the ladies out there to hear how you came up with the idea for project broadcast. So give us the backstory. 

Jake: Well, yes, I would say I’m certainly a serial entrepreneur.

I’ve I’ve started either my own businesses or been employee number one. In a few companies to help other people grow their business for almost two decades now. Brian, our co-founder or the project broadcast CTO and, and my co-founder Brian, he and I have actually worked together at every job for the last 20 years.

What? Yeah, we started working together in the very early two thousands at a software company and have literally every job changed, worked at the exact same company left together. Started our consulting firm that was called starter step about 12 years ago, I think it was 2010. We started starter step and our, and our main goal was doing boutique software development.

So we would do software development for big brands, like Ralph Lauren. And we did work for major league baseball and the NFL. And we did all the mobile development for a restaurant change, Jason’s Deli and we still do a lot of development for, for some of those uh, customers. and along the way, you know, our, our real dream was to always launch our own products.

Right. We wanted to take the income that we were producing off of our consulting business and think of things that we could build that we can own. And this is, you know, obviously not pre-social media, but I would say very early social media and our very first product. I don’t even know if I’ve ever shared this.

Actually, our very first product that we. And put into market that we charged for was a competitive dance scoring system. Oh, what? So Brian, most people don’t know this about Brian. Brian used to DJ at competitive dance events, swing dance, and the east coast, west coast swing dance events. So Brian used to DJ at these and sometimes compete. And I would go watch cuz we’ve been friends for, you know, again, 20 plus years and I would see, and Brian would see the judges walk around on the dance floor with. Actual paper and they’re scoring everyone on the dance floor.

And then at the end of the dance, all the judges literally take all this paper and they go into a locked room for hours. Oh my God. To take, to take that paper and calculate who wins the dance event. And Brian and I were like, this is stupid. This is crazy. so we, we literally built an entire system where.

You put all the you know, people for each dance that are competing. And then the judges are on with iPads, iPads were a thing. Then they got on the dance floor and they were able to do their judging directly on the iPad. And before they stepped off the dance floor, we had all the winners calculated using the scoring, you know, there certain scoring algorithms for ballroom dancing, you have to implement.

Hmm. And yeah, we, we, that was our, our first ever product that we built and launched. 

Heather: I have to show you something so funny. So this is my little, I love ballroom dancing and I was, oh, wait, I thought this was my swing. Maybe it is anyway. I won a swing dancing competition. so, anyway, so I can totally appreciate that.

And, and the nerdy side of it, but also just figuring out a way to, to find a problem in a very specific industry that. You know, you could build a product for, so that’s so cool. 

Jake: Well, that’s always been our approach, right? Our, our approach is literally, I actually am as a person, like not necessarily in business, but just as a person, I love solving problems.

Like it’s, you know, when someone says something can’t be done or I’m a huge car nerd. So when someone says their car can’t be fixed or is broken, I love figuring out how to make stuff work. I just do. And I take the same kind of approach to business. I look for areas. Are problematic that can be optimized, that you can use software to enhance.

And, you know, like the dancing competition thing we built was called I dance mobile actually. When we built, I dance mobile way back when it was cuz we saw this, you know, super inefficient thing that we thought we could make a lot better. And it was a great, it was a cool product. I mean we ended up shelving.

Because it was pretty technical. There’s a lot. It was a lot of set. And Brian and I were like, ah, man, there’s too much setup for us to attend every dance event. We wanna do this at. So we ended up shelving it and, but we learned a lot from it. And actually we did make we, we made money with it. But yeah, it was my first, I would say, you know, full on product on our own that we put in the market and had people pay for it, which is, you know, it was fun.

It was a great experience. And we’ve done a bunch since obviously. Yeah. But that was our first that we did together and we’ve been 20 plus years together building stuff, which is pretty cool. 

Heather: That is awesome. So how did you guys come up with the idea of a project broadcast? And I know it was a product that was meant to mm-hmm

Solve a problem. So I love this story so much, but I’ll let you tell 

Jake: it. well, it’s it’s so it’s not that indifferent from the dance thing, except it wasn’t really me and Brian . So my wife, my wife is in network marketing and Brian’s wife is in direct sales, two totally different companies. and in 2016, they were both looking for a text platform, right?

We didn’t, we didn’t invent a text marketing, but Brian and I, you know, looking at what options were in the market saw two huge things. One, they were really expensive. And when you look at. Tools in your business. Certainly, certainly in direct sales and network marketing, it’s so critical to be cost conscious because if it works for you, you need to be able to duplicate that into your organization.

So when we looked at the pricing, forget how good they are. But when we looked at the pricing, it just wasn’t gonna work. They weren’t gonna be able to use it. And if they were successful duplicated, and then we looked at the products and you know, the one thing you’ll know about me is I’m highly opinionated.

Mm-hmm . I always tell people, you know, I’m not saying that I’m always right, but I am right. They were Gar, they were garbage. They for, for the needs of my wife and Brian’s wife, who both, again, totally different companies, but both needing a platform, they were in our opinion, garbage. So we had already done work in the network marketing and direct sales space.

We had actually. An entire mobile platform that people use to manage their business, that we ultimately ended up selling. But, you know, we had great, well mean a decade or more of a field experience with our wives and we thought we could do better. So we put our heads down for a year. I mean, it took us a year working nonstop 2016 and we launched in October of 2017 and the rest is.

I mean, we, I think here’s a Testament, I think to how powerful project broadcast was, even when we first launched it. I think it only took us two weeks to get like 3000 paying customers in the first two weeks of launching it. And it was because it was a real need mm-hmm people were really hungry for a platform that worked for them that was built for them.

And that was affordable. And that’s what we went after. 

Heather: That’s awesome. And that’s been my experience on my team and myself. I’ve actually had several or tried several different platforms for text marketing and communication even long before I was in network marketing before, as I mentioned to you, I was a boutique owner.

And so text Mar text marketing is something that I’ve known was a tremendous value. But what I’ve seen from my team is they even have gone so far. Switch their numbers and switch to project broadcast because they say it is cheaper, easier, and more importantly, focused on the needs of their business, which I love for anybody that is in network marketing.

It’s I mean, this is a no brainer because it is tailored towards that, but you have different you know, products and platforms within project broadcasts that serve mm-hmm other industries as well. 

Jake: Yeah, project we’ve been super blessed. Right? So project broadcast supports a pretty broad audience. We have restaurants and schools and churches and massive nonprofits and large enterprise companies that use project broadcast for messaging.

But if someone were to say, where’s your heart, though? Our heart is really in serving the small entrepreneur. In fact, our company’s, you know, internal. You know, motto is that we’re here to scale and accelerate the success of the small entrepreneur. Mm-hmm now a lot of people fit in that category.

Certainly people in direct sales and network marketing, and because my wife and Brian’s wife are really the Genesis for even the concept. And that’s who we love serving. We, we do spend a lot of time serving that market because we just have a huge heart for it. And we want them to have, you know, high.

Scale real enterprise level grade software, because it’s kind of an UN unserved or underserved market. I would say they don’t as a, as a professional. And I really view what these guys do as, as professionals. It’s a, it’s a bonafide profession. They don’t get the love that they should get from software vendors in my opinion that they should, and you know, we’re here to change that.

Man. 

Heather: That’s amazing. Well, for those entrepreneurs listening that haven’t yet gotten into text message marketing, which is, you know, crazy, cuz I definitely think it’s something that everybody should do. Can you talk about why it’s so important, especially in terms of an alternative to the typical messaging on social media.

So why is social, why is text message marketing important? 

Jake: Well, the, the number one reason in my opinion is it’s. right. So I, I feel like, or at least maybe this is my hope. I really hope people are, are starting to understand that I don’t care what social network it is. Pick it, Facebook, Instagram, whatever.

It doesn’t matter which social network you pick, you are not their customer. You are their product. You’re what they’re selling companies to advertise to. So when you think about your engagement on social media, it’s their job to put things in front of you that helps them serve you more ads. That’s their job, right?

So if that’s their job, who are they really gonna serve the advertiser or the person on the platform. And ultimately they’re serving the person who’s paying the money, which is the person that’s serving the ad. So I think because of that, you, you don’t own the conversation. You don’t truly own the relationship.

And when you’re using something like text market, You own the relationship, they’re your contact in your phone that you can communicate with or call. And I think that’s really powerful, it’s it? It extracts, I, I call it extracting influence it, extracts, influence away from platforms that have ownership of your information in your relationships into something where you own the relationship.

And I, I, you know, can’t, can’t emphasize enough how powerful that is for your. 

Heather: Totally. And, you know, unfortunately we’re held captive to these little black boxes that are on our phone, and I don’t know that that’s going anywhere and you have to obviously set boundaries. And that’s what I love about text messaging also is first of all, you’re, you’re talking directly to where your customers are, you’re communicating.

And I think you even read something on your blog that says that people actually are desiring that they wanna be able to text companies. Yes. 

Jake: Well, what’s funny is the, the, the kind of visual I always tell people, and this isn’t a, this is not a project broadcast thing.

By the way, if you open your phone, you have tons of messaging apps. You’ve got your voicemail, your email, your text messaging app, Instagram, WhatsApp to clubhouse telegram signal. There’s there’s a ton of them, right? Well, all of those have a badge. And the badge represents the number of unread messages in any of those platforms.

Right? Mm-hmm . And if you look at your phone again, this isn’t a project broadcast thing. If you look at your phone and look at like the badge on your email or your voicemail, or even your social media chat app, like you’re using messenger, typically your texting application has the lowest badge. If it has a badge at all.

And all that tells you is that in our daily walk, as people like, as normally humans walking on the. we actually read our text messages more than we read and interact with any other form of media that we have. So if that’s the case, if, if the, if the case is that as a normal human, you are using your text message and responding to it and reading them more than you are any other platform then, so are your customers, so are your team members?

It makes it a powerful channel, cuz it’s super low friction. It’s a very low friction channel. 

Heather: I love that. And I’ve definitely seen that. see that for me in my business, it converts better for sure. Yeah. Than even something like email, which I also believe in. And I think that they can integrate and work together, but maybe talk about the, that as well.

The, the difference between text marketing versus email marketing 

Jake: and how they can work the big thing. But the there’s two things I think to understand about email versus text. One is the read rate. So an email and you can Google this, but usually you’ll find that the open rate for emails around 20%, meaning people open your email and the read rate’s about 15%.

So some people will open your email and still don’t read it. That’s why the number is a little bit different. When you look at texting data and this isn’t project broadcast data, you can Google this. This is what the carriers provide, you know, ATT sprint Verizon T-Mobile texting has a read rate of about 98.

And 96% of all text messages are read in the first two minutes of delivery. So do basic math, you’re send the hundred emails, 15, get read, you’re send the hundred text messages, 98 get read. And in 96 of them were read within the first two minutes. That’s insanely powerful. And I think here’s, here’s my belief.

And again, super opinionated. My belief is because texting is incredibly low friction. And what I mean by that is when I get an email. One, the only way I know I got an email is the little badge on my phone goes from 10 to 11. Right. I don’t get like a push notification. It’s just in a little, the badge goes up.

Secondly, I know when I get an email, it’s gonna take me longer to read it. And when I respond, I have to use proper grammar and punctuation. And you know, it’s a, it’s a different form of communication. Mm-hmm when I get a text message, it’s perfectly acceptable for me to read it and respond back with a thumbs up or a heart or an LOL.

I’ve been using email for I 35 years, ish, 30, 35 years. I don’t think I’ve ever responded to an email with a heart emoji. right. It’s never happened in 30 plus years. I’ve never responded to an email with a heart emoji, but texting that’s perfectly acceptable. And I think that lower level of friction is what makes texting a very.

Like powerful form of communication, cuz you can get engagement with very little work from the other party. And what you really care about is engage. Have you, have you responded to an email with a heart emoji before? 

Heather: No, I was thinking that too. I was saying that cause no, you’re exactly right.

And, and I had not thought about that friction and the time it takes even oh, subconsciously you’re exactly right. That email. I’m horrible at checking my emails. And when I do, it’s like I have to. Really takes some time to do it. And then I still keep it bold. And which, I didn’t know, by the way that that was called the badge, the little notification number, that’s it?

Yeah. The badge, the badge, but you’re exactly right. A text message. You get that notification. It is something that you typically, like you said, you handle right away. And the reason is cuz it doesn’t feel like it takes a lot of time to handle whatever it is 

Jake: or I think that’s cuz because we know right. We know that when we get a text message, it’s not gonna be.

You know, a, a 10 minute read where when you get an email, even before I’ve opened it, I know that it could take 10 minutes to read that one email mm-hmm and with texting, I don’t have that. Right. I know that. Well, actually, I mean, even now, right, you can. Like my phone, at least when I get a text message, I can literally not touch the phone, just hold the phone it unlocks.

And I see the notification and can sometimes read the entire text message. And I’ve never even touched the phone again. You can’t do that with email. Yeah, 

Heather: no, you’re exactly right, man. That’s good. So now that we’ve kind of talked about the why people should be using text marketing and obvious. I mean project broadcast.

I can’t say enough. Good things. But one of the things I did wanna ask you about before we kind of get into the, how, or some of the specific nitty gritty for the I’m a, I’m kind of a nerd. I love tech nerd stuff, but for those who either are nerdy and wanna know exactly how it works.

Yeah. Or also the people who are not nerds and don’t understand and need it broken down, like in a very simple way. Before we get into that, I would love because you have such a background both as a, an entrepreneur yourself, but also in the industry in supporting your, your wife. And, you know, you’ve even spoken on stages for, for network marketing companies.

And you’ve done a lot of consulting and training within the industry. So for those that are looking to build their business without social media, which is mm-hmm, this podcast. Do you have any specific advice for, for that? Those who might be in 

Jake: that. Ye, yes. I would say the I’m pleased, you know, I’m not trying to demean anyone or anything, but the simplest thing is go talk to people.

like, you know, like hug a few next, you know what I mean? Like, amen. You want, if you wanna grow your business off social media, you have to actually, you. Get amongst them, you gotta get with people and you, you hear this a lot people, a lot of times will use social media as, as someone of a crutch that, well, I don’t have a lot of people to connect with.

I don’t believe that because, you know, I’m, I, I have this vision in my head of like the, the person in network marketing, direct sales, and it, it actually helps keep me motivated. And I’m constantly thinking about like a mom with some kids who’s literally looking to make a couple hundred. A month so that they can put their kids into sports or maybe pay for a small family vacation that they haven’t been able to take.

I’m not thinking of the giant ultra triple diamond unicorn leader. That’s not who I’m thinking about. I’m thinking about the person who’s trying to do this as a side hustle and grow a business to get to that point. And what does a product need to do to get to that point? And you know, how do I need to behave in order to help someone get to that point?

So if we’re talking about that person, There’s a ton of ways to get engaged with your community. Like where do you go to church? If you have kiddos, are you in a MOS group? Are you part of the PTA? Like this is where you go out and actually interact with people. I think social media is really damaged that part.

Like our, not our, even our business, but our lives that we think that when we like a comment or, or, or heart something on social media that we’ve now interacted with that person. And yeah, I, I don’t know that I would call that interaction. So, you know, be brave and go hug a neck. Like you, if you live in the community, when was the last time you just literally walked over to your neighbor’s house and knocked on the door and said, hello, and maybe taken.

A small gift, like a baked good or something just to say hello, like, and people say, well, that doesn’t scale. And I, again, I call that that’s crap. Yeah. Because you guys know that sometimes you meet people who want to be a part of your business, but other times you meet people who connect you to others that wanna be part of your business.

So the goal is go out and get engaged with people. That’s my. And if you’re already on social media, this is the challenge, right? Well, I’m already on social media. This is where I’m interacting with everyone. Well, great. Like figure out how to start pulling some of those relationships and enriching them off of social media.

Cause it’s not maybe a single, you know, big cutoff that you just say I’m done. And then you, you know, are trying to figure out how to work without social media. But I really think you can work to blend, you know, the two. And certainly if you have people that are local to you that you’re interacting with on social media, I mean, I’m a coffee drinker.

So when’s the last time you had coffee with someone like, I mean, just went and had a cup of coffee. Yep. Or even at their house, you don’t have to go buy Starbucks, go, go to their house, have a cup of coffee. Yes. 

Heather: Yeah, exactly. I just had margarita and Mexican with a new friend. My daughters are switching schools.

Mm-hmm travel agent who wants to try my makeup. And it’s like, what a better, what a perfect way for us to connect on a deeper level than to just go out and share a meal and be a human and hug, like you said, and get to 

Jake: know. I know, like, I know it sounds silly, but it’s like hug and a, you know, like. 

Heather: Yeah.

And who knows, you know, someone that those connections that you make, they can absolutely transform your business. And I agree wholeheartedly that you can scale a business based off of one relationship. Look at even Brian, look at you and your, your, your co-founder’s relationship. You guys have been working together, building businesses for 20 years, and it all started probably with just that, you know, a real human interaction, not why you been there on social media.

Which PS, if somebody wants to learn more about that, cuz, I’m gonna break this interview into a couple different spots. Where can they go to find out more or just learn more about project broadcast and if it could be right for them, 

Jake: You can just go to www.projectbroadcast.com.

Learn about it right there. 

Heather: Okay. Awesome. That’s amazing.

Okay, cliffhanger alert. We are going to take a pause on this interview until next week, just because your time as always a super valuable, and I so appreciate you taking the time to listen to this episode today. And in next week’s episode, you’re going to hear much more from Jake including a little bit more about how he and his partner have built the business of project broadcast. 

Pretty much without social media by using word of mouth. But then also if you are looking for some really good, specific technical advice on how you can leverage an app, like project broadcast, to communicate with your customers as an alternative to social media. That’s essentially what we’re going to be shifting into next week so can’t wait to see you guys next week on that. 

Also, if you are ready to dive in and. Find the perfect platform for your texting marketing. I highly recommend project broadcast and I’ve got a link right? In my show notes. You can on your phone kind of swipe up. There’s three little dots. If you’re listening on apple podcasts, where you can see the show notes, and there will be a link right there where you can learn not only about project broadcast, but you can also click on some of the other business tools and resources that I recommend as well. 

So I’m excited to see what you guys think as always head on over to the scale without social for female entrepreneurs. Preneurs community on telegram you can search it up or you can text the word podcast 2 9 1 2 4 0 5 8 9 1 2 and you’ll get a direct link to that group and we can stay in touch so thank you guys so much for listening again today and i will see all next

week

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