Digital Marketing Core Concepts For Beginners

Adventures In Digital Marketing Episode 86

These are the things I WISH I understood when I was first starting. It’s really hard to know what you need to know at the beginning.

My mission is to help you shorten the path to online business – this is the stuff you need to do it!

I had the honor of being a guest on the show my friend Chris Murphy in his Entrepreneur Black Box group to talk about the core concepts that all beginners need to know about how to build an online business.


Chris: Hey, everyone. Welcome to the interview. It was supposed to be live in the entrepreneur black box a few minutes ago, but we were having issues with Facebook Live. So we decided to just do it anyway, recording it on Zoom. If you’re seeing this now that means it was successful and I uploaded it to the group without too many issues.

Anyway, thank you so much, Rob for being here. This is Robert David Orr, who is just an incredible guy. He just knows so much about digital marketing. I met him earlier this year in a coaching program that we were both in. He’s always ready to provide insight.

He’s amazing at creating content. He knows so much. I’ve learned a lot from him just by creeping on his posts for the last several months. He has an epic beard which I used to have one, too, but I shaved recently and I’ll be okay. Anyway, Rob thanks for being here, man.

Rob: Yeah, Chris. I appreciate it, man. We were the bearded ones in the course that we took. Thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it.

Chris: Yeah, man. I’ve been so excited to do this interview. You had mentioned you wanted to talk about the Seven Pillars of Digital Marketing. I’m curious to know what those are. I’m sure I will have some follow up questions. I’ll let you take it away.

Rob: Yeah, absolutely. So if we haven’t met before, like Chris said, my name is Rob Orr. I am a web designer and developer who is absolutely obsessed with digital marketing. I work with clients of all sizes.

I work from the just getting started blogger who is just learning how to figure out how to create a post for the first time to big companies that are spending over $100,000 on their website projects with hundreds of employees HMOs, contracting businesses and just about everything in between.

I’ve done everything from small scale to big scale when it comes to website development. Chris mentioned the Seven Pillars of Digital Marketing. It’s a framework that I’ve been working with my clients for a long time. All the pieces kind of fell into place over time as I learned a little bit about this, learned a little bit about that.

These are the things that it doesn’t matter whether you are just getting started or you’re a big business. These seven principles apply across the board. I guarantee you, once you start paying attention to what’s going on in the digital marketing world, or even looking at some of the business sites that you may be familiar with wherever you live or your businesses that you’re used to dealing with, you’ll notice that each of these things are going to be in place for all of them.

The Seven Pillars go like this. I don’t have great fancy names for any of these things yet. Pillar number one, they’re not really any in any specific order at this point either. Pillar number one is simply having a killer website.

What I mean by that is it’s not just installing a WordPress site on a domain name and just creating a space for you. I like to use Steve Larsen site. It’s as an example.

I was at funnel hacking live this year, and it’s in the Traffic Secrets book. They call it a funnel hub. I call it a Platform Funnel.

They’re kind of the same things. It was kind of cool because when they started talking about funnel hubs at Funnel Hacking Live this year, I was like, “Oh my god, we’re thinking about the exact same thing.” It was really cool.

A platform funnel or a killer website as your first pillar simply means that this is a place online that you have 100% control over. That all of everything else that you do online, it kind of serves as a spoke from there. You think about your website is the central hub.

These are the spokes that go off of that, your social media, your products, your services, your offers, your funnels, and all of those things kind of fork off of there. Then you go back to Steve Larsen’s site. You notice that he’s got all these funnels there. It’s got all this content there.

You learn about who he is. The objective for that is really to establish yourself as the expert. You want to be the one who is at the very center that is the name that is associated with the expertise.

Like one of the things that they covered at Funnel Hacking Live is that, there is an enormous amount of traffic that businesses and entrepreneurs and digital marketers lose because once they see the ad, they go and they may take a look at your offer, but then they copy your offer from that page, and then they go Google it, or they go Google your name.

If nothing shows up, then they’re lost forever. They’re like, “Well, why should I trust this guy who threw a little bit of money into Facebook ads and I Googled him and I can’t find him?”

Your funnel hub is your main central point from which you publish all your stuff. This is where you’re going to post copies of all your YouTube videos. It’s where you’re going to post your podcast. It’s where you’re going to post your blog post.

All your content, it serves as search engine magnets because you’re creating your content on your site which we’ll get to in a minute. It all sits there. So when somebody Google’s your name, or somebody Google’s a phrase that’s associated with those things that you’re going to show up in those results.

It’s also a space that you control. You don’t want to be at the mercy of Facebook. You don’t want to be at the mercy of LinkedIn.

You don’t want to be at the mercy of anybody else. You want to control your own destiny when it comes to having your own online space. When I talk about a killer website, that’s what I’m talking about is this central hub that you have, that you control that build yourself up as the expert. Does that make sense?

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. I especially like that because I know I work with a lot of different people that they have a number of different products or services that don’t necessarily mesh together. They don’t know how to display them online, but having a hub allows them to showcase their expertise in various different fields and different niches.

Rob: Yeah, absolutely. Like Steve is known for offers, but he’s also got his conference and he’s got other funnels. He is also promoting one funnel away and stuff like that. You go to his site and you can see those various different things.

Then what he’s done with the site, so masterfully is woven all of those things together into one cohesive piece where it’s Steve Larsen is the brand, here are the ways that you can engage with him. That’s why I say when it comes to the Seven Pillars of Digital Marketing, having that one central piece is such a huge deal because not even a couple years ago, even a year ago most of the big names in the digital marketing space weren’t doing this. Then you get outside kind of the Click Funnels world and then you saw people like Pat Flynn were in

Michael Hyatt was doing this. Amy Porterfield, some of these people that are not in the ClickFunnels world, but they were developing these platforms and then their products and their services and their content and their personal brand was all elevated by this one place online that they had control over.

We’ve already kind of touched on it a pillar number two is prolific content creation. This goes back to the one of the principles from the One Funnel Away Challenge. We were challenged early on by Russell and by Steve to publish something every day.

This coincides really well with the idea that you’ve got this central hub where you’re publishing from. Let me give you an example, just the thought of publishing something every day is overwhelming to just about everybody on the planet. Here’s how I’ve done this and Russell talks about this a little bit in traffic secrets. Here’s what I do with it. I create a video.

In fact, on this screen right over here, you can see I’m actually editing a video for YouTube, but that will also go out as a podcast. Then there’ll be a transcript that will be created from that that will be a blog post that I will also send to my list that I will also promote on the social channels that I’m involved in my group on Facebook.

Now I’ve got one topic and I’ve got at least five different pieces of content that will go out over that period. It doesn’t have to be this huge, overwhelming thing. You can create one piece that can be repurposed into several different kinds of things.

One of the things that I tell young creators and young bloggers is, you do need to be in the practice of doing something creative on a regular basis. Maybe it’s emailing your list, or it’s writing a blog post. If you’re just getting started, the whole point is just to hit the publish button because all of our stuff when we get started sucks. I mean, that’s just the truth. It’s the same thing with anything.

You don’t go into a music store and sit down at a piano and expect to start cranking out Beethoven or Mozart. It’s silly to think that, but when you comes to digital marketing sometimes there’s this disconnect where people do they don’t understand that blogging is hard, creating content is hard, building a social media, following an audience and the community it’s a hard work.

We come into with this idea that, I’ve been doing this for a month now and I’m not making any progress. What we don’t see is the years of progress and practice that those that we look up to as the thought leaders in our space have been doing these things. So when we talk about pillar number two, and prolific content, it’s really getting into that habit of publishing on a regular basis whatever it is and then finding unique ways to distribute that content.

Chris: Do you ever outsource any of these things? Do you take the time to make your own videos every time and edit your podcast and so on and so forth?

Rob: Yeah, that’s a really good question. I do all my own videos. I’m super, super raw with my podcast. I just took the example that Russell did that he hit record on his phone and record up into his phone to record his podcast.

There’s no production value to my podcast outside of like when I’m doing a video and I pulled the audio off of that to use as a podcast. Now, since Coronavirus I haven’t been doing my podcast as much, but I’m still publishing my audio from my YouTube videos on to my podcast. There really isn’t a lot of production with that.

The video part is hard, but for me right now I enjoy doing it. The guys that are on my team, their strength lies elsewhere and it would take me forever to teach them how to do that. At some point in the future, I would like to be able to outsource that, but right now, I’m not still not good enough at creating my own videos even just from the recording perspective, by the time they hit YouTube, I’ve spent three or four hours between recording and editing and trying to polish.

Chris: You could incredibly consistent with it. We see you posting videos regularly so it’s amazing.

Rob: Yeah, I appreciate that. It’s hard. It gets easier like the editorial process for me. The post production has sped up. Some of the first videos I did, I created this WordPress training series. I was doing them on Saturday.

It took me at least a month and a half worth of Saturdays just to record the videos. Then I had to go back through each one of them and it was it was just huge process. Thankfully, I’ve gotten much better at it and I’m not as green as I was when I first got started, but it’s a lot of work.

Chris: Man, it definitely is. I love that strategy of taking one piece of content and distributing it five different ways. You’re still publishing every day, not necessarily on the same exact platform, but that’s not the point.

I dig that. I love that. I think that really lifts a heavy burden off of people thinking they need to post or publish unique content daily.

Rob: Yeah, I think it does, too. Russell does advocate trying to master one platform, but I found for me that this works for me. One thing that I learned before I transitioned my career into web design and development, I spent several years working in business to business sales. One of the things that I’ve learned in that life in sales was that people will consume the information that you’re trying to provide to them in the way that they’re most comfortable doing that.

Some people are readers. Some people are auditory learners so they want to listen. They’re going to be your podcast people.

Some people rather sit down and watch a video and would spend 20 minutes, 30 minutes or more in videos trying to learn something because they’re visual. Everybody is taking in and consuming content in ways that they’re most comfortable with.

Far be it from me to be an impediment from them being able to consume the content. As a matter of fact, I used to get emails before I started doing this. I was doing my podcast and I get emails, but is there a transcript of this available because I would rather read. That blows my mind.

Reading transcripts to me makes me want to punch myself in the face. I can’t stand reading transcripts, but there are people in my audience that love to do that. It’s a great way to continue to push out and just be ever present. It’s like Grant Cardone says, “You may love me or you may hate me, but at least you’ll know my name.” You’re out there constantly promoting and being in that top of mind awareness kind of position.

That leads me to pillar number three, which is, if you’ve created all this great content, you’ve got this killer website, you need to then be able to take the next step and create amazing offers.

What I see a lot of times is, people will just completely get locked up when it comes to selling online. They think, “Well, I’ll sell this for $7 or I want to sell this trinket” or something like that and they have no idea what it means to build an offer.

The purpose of an offer is to is to bring somebody into your world as if you had a store and you were ushering them in through the front door and saying, “How can I help you?” Because if people are consuming all this content that you’re creating using the 80/20 rule, there’s going to be 20% of those people that are going to want to go deeper. You need to provide those ways that they can go deeper with you.

You do that by creating offers that speak to them where they’re at. That can a kind of a training course, or a downloadable guide or some kind of training that helps them to take the next level in their business or whatever it is that they’re trying to create. They’re just trying to start a recipe blog, but they want to do it right.

You can then offer a coaching package where you serve as a consultant to help them to map out the steps that they need to do to create that site right away. That’s what I’m talking about. I’m talking about an offer is, you’ve got to have something that will help those people to take the next step and go deeper with you because somebody’s out there is willing to pay you to do that.

As you start to build your audience, you’re going to find those people so don’t leave money on the table. Let them pay you for your expertise to help you or to help them take the next step down the line.

Now, pillar number four is related to that. It’s a sales funnel. Going back to this idea of people not knowing what to sell or they get locked up when it comes to trying to sell online, “Oh, I’m going to start an Etsy store. I’m going to sell this kind of thing.” The thought of having a sales funnel never crossed their mind because they have no idea what a sales funnel is.

They don’t know that you can bring somebody in that maybe it’s a low ticket offer. You offer a $27 product that they can download. There’s something that’s going to get them a quick win, but then in that sequence, you the ability to provide them additional training materials or exclusive offers that they can only get as part of that sales funnel.

I’m working on one right now with my guys on my team, where you’re part of the WordPress package that we create for our clients. There’s going to be some exclusive stuff that you can’t get anywhere else, unless you go through that particular funnel.  Pillar number four is your sales funnel. It’s your delivery mechanism. It’s your way to help people to again to go deeper to buy and engage at higher ticket levels as they move through the funnel.

Now, one thing that is common to everybody that struggles everywhere when it comes to your online business is traffic. Pillar number five is the ability to generate traffic. If you’ve got a great website, you’ve got great content, you’ve got a great offer, you’ve got a great sales funnel, but you don’t have any traffic then you’re just going to end up spinning your wheels and you’re going to be frustrated and you’re not going to want to do anything.

Pillar number five is finding ways to get traffic into all of your stuff. It may be traffic that’s coming in through the front door, through your platform funnel, or it could be traffic that is coming in through Facebook ads or social media marketing organic traffic from SEO or any number of different ways, but you have to have traffic into your business to make it work. Hopefully that makes sense. I mean, that’s kind of the most fundamental one. Traffic is kind of a big deal. We all need it.

Pillar number six is the ability to convert that traffic. If you can’t convert it once it gets there, then once again, you’re going to end up hemorrhaging traffic. You’ve gone through all of these different steps.

You’ve done all these great things, but you can’t convert them that your copy on your page is not up to par. That’s what Dan Cook is so good at. He has been amazing helping me sort through some of the things that I’ve been working on just to try to get clarity and get my message on point.

Because once you get the traffic to your stuff, you have to be able to convert that traffic. You have to be able to persuade with copywriting. You need to know how to stack your offer correctly. This is all about putting the right pieces of the puzzle in place in order for you to maximize all of that traffic that you’re getting. Does that make sense?

Chris: Yeah, I think one of the big things that I’m seeing lately is just people not being confident in their call to action or just being a bit coy. Like, maybe take the offer if you want, but that serves no purpose at all for them or for you.

Rob: Yeah, it really doesn’t. I’m glad you said that, because it’s something that I’ve been working on lately. We did a beta launch a couple weeks back for the group implementation lab, but we’re just easily going to talk about it and then my email sequence that I was sending the people on my list, I was just like, “Hey, look, if you don’t get this now, you’re never going to get an opportunity to get in on this again.”

I was just really straight and blunt, and not disrespectful, but just really in their face about it. We ended up converting a bunch of that traffic which was nice. You need to be able to speak their language.

That leads to pillar number seven is your community and your audience. You have to build a community and an audience around your brand that sits at your funnel hub where you have all your great content, where you publish regularly, where you have great offers and a sales funnel and you’re getting traffic too and you can convert. It comes full circle. You have to be able to speak the language of the people that are in your audience.

When I was promoting group implementation lab, I know that the people that are on my list struggle with building their target audience. What I did is I wrote several specific emails about, “Hey, look, this is how this is going to help you connect and find and engage with your target audience.”

It was great engagement that I was getting on that. Like I said, we’ve got several people that came into the beta from that particular email sequence. It was a hit.

When you’re building your community and your audience, there are specific terms, there are specific languages, there’s specific pain points and challenges that they face that you need to be able to address. It just lets them know that you understand where their pain is coming from. It makes that connection and then the whole thing just works synergistically.

That’s like a real high level overview, but that’s the Seven Pillars. Like I said, I’m doing this with people that are just getting started blogging. I’m doing this with multimillion dollar a year companies. All of these seven things fit regardless of the size of where you’re at.

Again, I like to reference if you start looking around, look at some of the big brands and some of the names in the industries that you’re familiar with, like the behemoths like Amazon and stuff like that. It’s a little bit different.

Who are the big names in the space where you’re engaging, and you’re interacting? You’ll see all seven of these points, they’re nailing on all points. It just makes sense. Like I said, you can apply it to any industry.

Chris: Yeah, I love that man. So just to recap, number one is have that killer website or like a funnel hub where all of your ideas, all of your content is in one place and branches off. I love that.

Number two is creating just prolific content and publishing something every day. Number three, it’s creating amazing offers. That brings people into your world a little deeper and then a sales funnel number four to implement that offer to sell that offer.

Then number five traffic, getting ways to get people to those actual sales funnel to see your offer. Then number six, the ability to actually convert that traffic through copy in design and good call to action. Then number seven, building a whole community around your brand.

I love that. Those are really, really good points. It’s totally true when you look at the big names in this space, in companies like they’re all doing that in one way or the other. That’s really cool.

Rob: Yeah, absolutely. Another one that just came to mind that does this really well is HubSpot. They nail all these things. They publish a ton. They’ve got a killer website. They’ve got all kinds of different offers for how they can help you go deeper. They’re out there. Once you start looking for them. You’ll see them.

Chris: Yeah. Well, Robert, thank you so much again for joining us. Thank you for dealing with the technical difficulties at the beginning with me. Do you have any final words of advice or encouragement for people just starting out? This online business world is pretty, pretty scary and challenging sometimes. I know I’ve always needed encouragement when I was first starting out.

Rob: Yeah, that’s a great question. My thing for people that are just getting started is stick with it. These seven things are the things that I wish I knew when I was getting started.

I really deeply believe that if you focus on these seven principles, you’re going to accelerate your online progress in a big way. Yes, there’s a learning curve. Yes, it’s going to be painful. Yes, it’s going to be uncomfortable.

Russell Brunson said at Funnel Hacking Live, just showing up is going to put you ahead of your competition by light years. You just got to keep showing up, be comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s one of the things I tell my daughter all the time. It’s a life lesson that you got to get comfortable with doing things that you don’t want to do in order to get the things you do want to do.

It applies to online business every bit as much. Stick with it. Understand that the early stuff that you’re creating is probably not going to be your best.

I was watching a video from Peter McKinnon earlier today, where he was talking about his videos that he was creating three years ago and how much he hates him now. You’ll get Peter McKinnon’s videos. They’re amazing now.

It’s a process and you can do it. When you when you implement the things that are taught in our community, it will work. You just got to keep on keeping on with it. You have to persevere when everybody else wants to quit.

Chris: Absolutely. Well, Rob thanks again, so much. How can people learn more about what you do and what you offer?

Rob: Yeah, I appreciate that. You can find me at That’s my platform funnel. You go there and everything that I am involved with, it will go from there. You can go to that’s my YouTube channel. On social media, I’m @roborracle. That’s like, pretty much if you find that username anywhere, that’s more than likely me. That’s where I got my blog and podcast and all that stuff, man. I appreciate you having me on.

Chris: Thank you. Thank you so much. We appreciate it. Seriously, these seven pillars are really, really good. I’m going to keep them in mind as I continue my online business. Thank you for sharing that with us. Well, I think that’s all the time we have. I’m going to get going and see you about this crazy baby that I have now. Thanks again, Rob.

Rob: Oh, good, man. I appreciate you having me on, Chris.

Chris: Thank you. You’re welcome, man. Alright guys, take it easy. Hope you enjoyed the interview.

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