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The Success Principles of Focus, Persistence, and Trust (Episode 20)

Huyen Truong has lived and worked on three different continents but was born and raised in Vietnam in a poor working-class family during the centralized economy period of the 1980s. It was a tough period back then. But since making her home in Australia she has created a successful 7-figure business.

Her first entrepreneurial experience was when she started selling candy when she was five years old, so she could buy some treats for herself. 

Her parents were able to send her to university in the USA during the financial crisis of 2008 – 2010.

On graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia she moved to Australia with no job, money, family, or friends and with over $100,000 in student debt.  

Huyen Truong has gone on to become one of the top digital marketing lead generators in the world for cosmetic and plastic surgeons. 

She has a special interest in the aesthetic industry and a deep passion for helping cosmetic and plastic surgeons from around the world to thrive and achieve great success in their practices.

You can find Huyen on LinkedIn and on her business website Online Marketing For Doctors

Books Huyen Recommends

Build to Sell by John Warrillow 

Which is about creating a thriving business that’s not dependant on you to run it.

One Thing by Kelly Geller

Extraordinary results happen only when you are able to focus and concentrate on what’s most important to you. As Steve Jobs once said, “Focus does not mean saying Yes, it means saying No”.

What you will learn

  • The power of persistence from a female entrepreneur
  • Secrets of success from poor working-class origins in Vietnam
  • The power of creating a niche business
  • That inspiration can come from the strangest experiences
  • Why keeping it simple is a recipe for success
  • How to get to know your target audience
  • How to convert your passion into a full-time business
  • Discover the power of focus
  • The importance of video marketing
  • How to create trust in a digital world
  • Inspired insights from a Business That Built Websites for Dead People 
  • Why marketing to everyone is selling to no-one

Transcript

Jeff Bullas: Hi everyone and welcome to the Jeff Bullas Show. Today I have Huyen Truong with me. Now, Huyen I've known for quite a few years and she is an incredible success story and a great example of how to actually succeed in three different countries. So, I'm going to tell you a little bit about Huyen and then we're going to have a bit of a fireside chat. So, Huyen Truong has lived and worked on three different countries ... actually, continents, but was born and raised, yes, in Vietnam, in a poor, working class family during the centralized economy period of the 1980s. It was a tough period back then. And her first entrepreneur experience was when she started selling candy when she was five so she could buy some treats for herself. So, she started young. Her parents were able to send her to University in the USA during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2010 and she graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and then she moved to Australia with no job, money, family or friends and over $100,000 in student debt.

Jeff Bullas: So, Huyen has gone on to become one of the top digital marketing lead generators in the world of cosmetic and plastic surgeons. She has a special interest in the aesthetic industry and you're looking very glamorous today, Huyen.

Huyen Truong: Thank you.

Jeff Bullas: A little under dressed in your presence, but that's okay. So, she has a special interest in the aesthetic industry and a deep passion for helping cosmetic and plastic surgeons around the world to thrive and achieve great success in their practices. And you can actually find Huyen at her website, if you want to check it out later, onlinemarketingfordoctors.com.au. And Au, for those of you who don't know, stands for Australia, and there may be a, is there a dot com one, Huyen?

Huyen Truong: Yes, there's dot com version, we're converting our .com.au to a dot com website. It's going to be global website, not just for Australia.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah, that's why I was raising it. So, welcome to the show and it's a pleasure to have you here, and we're going to dive a little bit into your journey, both in life and in business. So, you're originally from Vietnam, okay? So, that's-

Huyen Truong: Yes.

Jeff Bullas: A country well-known globally. So, tell me a little bit about growing up in Vietnam, because I know very little, I've actually never been to Vietnam and tell us a little bit about what that was like growing up in Vietnam and your first entrepreneurial experience.

Huyen Truong: You probably mentioned in the intros I was born during the time that Vietnam was going through decentralized economy time. So, it was obviously very tough growing up because my parents had to go through different jobs to put food on table. So, it's not like a normal kid in Western world, we didn't really have a proper education, you see what I mean? I just went to village school, which is around the corner where we used to live. And basically just you really have very basic education and not until my parents were able to save a little bit more money to send me to the U.S. so I can gain some more proper education That's how it is. So, back then when growing up as a kid, I didn't know what chocolate is. So, it's all these treats that normal kids would have and I didn't have that sort of luxuries. And I didn't actually have my first birthday until I got to the age of eight years old. So, I didn't get to experience a lot of stuff that normal kids would have in their life, but that's the beauty of that, so I appreciate life more than normal people would do. Every little thing that I've got now, I really appreciate the whole thing going now you know.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah, it's great that you had that contrast because then you don't take what you have today for granted.

Huyen Truong: Yeah, exactly.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. And so your first entrepreneurial experience at the age of five, so you sold candy. So, what sort of candy was that?

Huyen Truong: Well, candy was a rare commodity then. Back then even rice was a rare thing, people didn't have enough food. Candies and wrapping and my parents were trading candies from Thailand to Vietnam, so I saw that they got some left over stock and I decided to ask my parents if I can sell this one to all these kids in the areas that I was living in. And I made some profits and I started selling many different things, small things, here and there, just to get some cash into my things that I wanted when I was a kid, yeah. And I really enjoyed the ideas of selling things for profits and I think the entrepreneurship actually started really early and seeing my parents doing business over the years, it's also another life lessons and I was being inspired by their journey and I don't know when it started, but I guess that was the age of five, yeah.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah, okay. So, things were pretty tough early on, but mum and dad persisted and started to become quite successful. Tell us a little bit about your observation of that, what happened there, because you obviously got to get to America eventually. So, tell us about, so what was your parents' journey, a little bit, I think that's interesting, it'd give you a bit of context, as well.

Huyen Truong: Yeah, it's very interesting, because they are typical entrepreneurs. They've been through different types of businesses that I couldn't even count the number of businesses they went through and the thing about them with us, they never gave up. And finally they found the breakthrough when they were in their late 40s, when a lot of people at that age started thinking about retirement already, but they didn't give up until they found something. And now they're running a multimillion dollar business and they're still very much enjoy doing business over there. So, that's what I learned from them, is the good old persistent word. I mean, I learned that nothing in this world can take the place of a good old persistence. Talent won't, education won't, It's all about persistence and the drive that takes you where you want to be.

Jeff Bullas: Right. So, mum and dad are doing a bit better and obviously that gave them the opportunity and the means to actually then send you to America. So, did you do an undergraduate degree in Vietnam?

Huyen Truong: Yes, actually. I spent my bachelor degree actually in Vietnam and then I should, oh I have to work on my English to be ready for America and I moved to America pretty much right after I finished my, I gained some several years working experience in digital marketing. So, I started my digital marketing journey actually really early in 2000, early 2000s. And that's when I, as soon as I finished my bachelor degree, I went on and I started selling digital banners in PR advertising and I have always been on the digital marketing track ever since. So, I've got almost, I want to say probably almost 20 years, 16 years, but I round it up to 20 years experience in digital marketing.

Jeff Bullas: Okay.

Huyen Truong: Yeah.

Jeff Bullas: So, yeah that's quite a long time and there's been a lot changed in that time, hasn't there, since 2000.

Huyen Truong: Yeah.

Jeff Bullas: To 2020.

Huyen Truong: So much changes, yeah.

Jeff Bullas: Because Facebook didn't even exist in 2000.

Huyen Truong: Yeah, actually I started selling banner ads on popular websites and Google, who actually just started being on the market back then in 2003, 2004, yeah. And I think they didn't really come as a, really like one of our solutions to business back then until probably 2005 and that's when I started doing more Google ads and stuff like that ever since, yeah.

Jeff Bullas: Okay. So, you've done your degree, which city was that in Vietnam that you did the degree at, was it-

Huyen Truong: Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

Jeff Bullas: Was it Hanoi, okay, cool. So, what was the call, going, why go to America to do, because you went to America to do your MBA, didn't you?

Huyen Truong: Yeah, so I did my MBA in America and so, actually one thing I knew that I wanted to do actually, I always want to be overseas and I wanted to go to America to obviously better my education, right? I was aware that I didn't have the best education that I had growing up in the village school. That's why I thought, well I have to make up for that and I obviously have a clear idea that I want to go to America to get the best education I could possibly have. And I made it happen. And completing my MBA and then working a little bit in San Francisco and then obviously, you know back then America was actually going through a GFC from 2008 to 2010. And lots of people didn't have jobs and that's quite an unfortunate time for students graduating from MBA programs and couldn't find a job. So I relied on my classmates who'd still be there and are still there. Decided to give up what I call American dream and you know, to stay back in America and packed my bag and moved to Australia.

Jeff Bullas: So Australia. Why'd you choose Australia? Australia's on the other side of the world. I know because I live there. We both live there now. I was born here. So why Australia?

Huyen Truong: Well Australia, to know why, when I was 15 years old and I remember seeing pictures of the Sydney Harbor Bridge in one of my friend's houses and I looked at that picture and it looks really beautiful, it's like Sydney Harbor and I look at that and said wow someday I'll be there. And it was just instant, just a small thought. And finally I just, everything was connected, all the dots are connected and one day I just, I want to take a trip to Australia to see how it's like and I think between the time, two years in America, I took a break to do my internship and I went to Australia and have a great time there. And after graduating from my MBA, and with my decision of not staying back in U.S. and I thought well what will be the next place I would love to be? And Australia obviously is my top choice because I love people over there and actually I worked for an Australian company before going to [inaudible 00:11:30] so I got to enjoy the friendliness of people and I loved working with them so I thought well I got to be there.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. Well I'm glad you made the effort and so, we, I caught up with you shortly after you got here, I think. I was, we, I think we met in 2012?

Huyen Truong: Yeah we met in 2012 literally I think 14 months after I arrived in Australia. So I'm very lucky to meet you in the early days of my journey in Australia.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah it's been great to get to know you over that time and see your journey and you've been an incredible success and also for me just watching your journey and your success, it's amazing. It really is. You've come to the other side of the world, on your own, no friends, $100,000 in student loan debt. Sure you've got a little bit of a recognizance of Australia before you came over here. So you decided to start a business just doing search marketing, that was one of your first areas you worked on wasn't it?

Huyen Truong: Yes. Exactly. So I tell you the story, when I first came to Australia, the second day, I went to see my career adviser from the UTS University so I had to enroll a massive marketing degree from University of Technology Sydney to get a student visa to stay in Australia. So I met with a career adviser from UTS University where I enrolled to do Master's degree in marketing. And she asked me this question, "What do you want to do?" And I told her that I want to be one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Australia. And I had no idea how to make it happen, I didn't have any connection, I don't have any family, friends, anyone here. But I knew deep down inside that I would make it happen. And I asked her for the contacts from UTS to see if there is any opportunity for me to learn the first job. So she helped me to basically get me some contacts and I reached out to these people. And I found my first consulting job with one of UTS and that's where things started from there. So from one client, from that one client and then I started learning more and more clients from this one first client that I got.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. So, digital marketing, so you were focusing more on search engine marketing so that's basically, could you explain a little bit too, because a lot of people watching this are not that technical, they're not digital marketers, they might be business people.

Huyen Truong: Yeah.

Jeff Bullas: Or want to be an entrepreneur. So tell me a little bit what's, so search engine marketing, what does that involve? Could you explain it simply?

Huyen Truong: Well digital marketing is quite a big area but what we do mainly is obviously search engine optimization so optimizing the website to be ranking highly on search results on Google Maps. I think lots of people were finding it with Google Maps. So, that area is local SEO. And the results below that is organic SEO. So, there's three areas of SEO: Organic SEO and local SEO. And then search marketing is also includes the paid advertising as well. So those are the advertising that stay on top of search results when you search for something like for example restaurants near me or stuff like that. So, those are two main areas but now search marketing expands to content marketing as well. So you're doing a lot of content marketing, you probably know this very well. Content marketing is the key driver of you know, like all other web marketing because content is like currency for online business. People know and like and trust you through your content. So it's very important to have a solid strategic content marketing on your website.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. So, you got into digital marketing with quite a focus on search engine marketing and I remember that you're wanting, you said you wanted to be one of the top digital marketing companies in Australia, but you started to discover that it was incredibly crowded. There were all these SEO's search engine marketing companies, didn't they? Everyone's... then you have this competition from overseas to do it cheaply where you basically had teams of people in India doing it, you had teams from Australia doing it, you had teams in Vietnam doing it. So you had global competition. That original company was called, what was it...

Huyen Truong: Result Driven SEO.

Jeff Bullas: Result Driven SEO. So you made a very conscious decision to get out of just general and get into a niche. So you saw this competition so why did you choose, well medical or doctor marketing, or that niche, as well as plastic surgeons? Why did you choose that?

Huyen Truong: I'd love to tell you a story. So, when I started out, I obviously offered digital marketing services to all sorts of different businesses, right? From toy sellers to beauty salons to rubbish removal companies. So, all sort of different businesses. And then I realized that the competition is too tough and I asked myself how am I able to compete with all these giant agencies and be somebody? Instead of right now, honestly, back then I was like I'm nobody, right? Compared to all this giant pool of competitors not just within Australia but internationally. So, obviously I don't want to be a SEO agency, right? And then one time I met, I went to meet with one of the potential clients who's actually doing digital marketing agency but they've, they're focus is on building websites for dead people. Have you heard that? It's very interesting, for dead people, for funeral houses.

Jeff Bullas: Oh right, okay.

Huyen Truong: So people who die, actually their loved ones actually, would like to build websites for their passed away loved ones. And what an incredible niche and they're doing incredibly well. They have offices around the world and they have a solid stream of new business coming through. I said wow these people are doing very well just focusing on one niche. And that meeting was like an eye opening experience for me. And the morning after I came up immediately with something great and the rest was history. Now we obviously are one of top lead generators for cosmetic and plastic surgeons around the world. And we actually have plastic surgeon double, even triple, they're patient inquiries in six months. And we're building our reputation around being the queen of cosmetic marketing. And obviously I always like aesthetic, I'm interested in design, interested in beauty and you know I think this is a natural marriage between digital marketing, medical, I'm interested in medical, anything about health and medical I'm interested in. So beauty, health, and digital marketing, what a wonderful combination and that's how I found my passion. And after one year of coming up with that idea, our agency's grown what's like 166%. And we hit a seven figure revenue in less than three years after we launched the agency.

Jeff Bullas: So you're obviously, so the aesthetic industry, beauty, I know you love good clothes, and so it obviously came out of a passionate interest in that area and then you just started to really focus on that niche.

Huyen Truong: Yeah, yeah.

Jeff Bullas: So tell us a little bit about what sort of journey you would take a client on because you're talking to plastic surgeons who have no idea, and this is pretty normal, a lot of businesses have no idea what search engine marketing is or what content marketing is. They might know well I maybe need to do a Facebook ad or something. So what are some of the steps that you would take a client, because you've got to educate them as well, I know you've got a lot of content on your website. Take me through a little bit of the journey that you would take these, the doctors, on.

Huyen Truong: Well it was very simple actually. When I talk to clients I really want to keep it really simple to our clients. And usually I talk with them on high level point of view because all the technical literature they don't need to know. They just need to know how we're going to achieve that. And we usually talk about their market positioning, their market segmentation. Their overarching marketing strategy. And their own implementation will be falling in place. So unlike other agencies who just ask them questions, what keywords you want to rank for, or what services you want to promote, we don't ask those questions. We usually ask them who do you want to be? How do you want to be perceived in your target audience's eyes or minds?

Huyen Truong: Because a lot of them have no idea how they want to perceive their target audience. It's just that oh I want to do all sorts of different procedures you know? Pretty much like a typical business owner, I want to sell the products to everyone. Everyone is my target audience. And actually everyone is not your target audience. When you're speaking to everyone you're speaking to no one. So it's very critical for me to work with the clients in terms of working out who's the target audience. You have to be laser focused on that. Because it’s in direct proportion with how well you know your target audience. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can come up with a message and content that's relevant to them and resonate with them and connect with them. And then we can open their hearts and their wallets. So we always talk about who's the target audience, who do you want to be? Do you want to be in lead, like a leading surgeon in facial surgery, or do you want king of breast surgery, king of boobs? So you want to be like a mummy makeover wizard. You have to be somebody. And I just ask those sorts of questions so it's easier for them to answer than all these technical questions.

Jeff Bullas: So, you must be taking people on a bit of a journey then in terms of even getting them to focus, is that correct? Like say you're going okay so you want to be a specialist in facial surgery, is that really what you're good at and what you're passionate about? So you're actually helping them really get laser focused as well.

Huyen Truong: Yeah this is something that's happening in my journey of running business and I talk to many business owners and that's something that they usually have a problem with is to be able to identify who they are, who they want to be and who do they want to sell their services or solutions or products to? And that's the key question that they need to answer from the business and marketing point of view. Not just digital marketing. Digital marketing's just a tool for them to reach their target audience but they need to answer the key question when it comes to business and marketing.

Jeff Bullas: Okay. So you've got them focused, you've taken them on a journey saying okay you're going to be the king of facial surgery. King or queen. So in other words, that's your focus, right?

Huyen Truong: Yes.

Jeff Bullas: So what's, what are the next steps after that? So you've got them laser focused. They want to be the best in their, in facial beauty surgery-

Huyen Truong: Honestly yeah, so I think positioning is very important in any business. As you notice any luxury brands out there they've done a very good job in terms of positioning, market positioning. And after having a positioning set with my clients, what I'm going to do next is actually build up authority, like expertise for them through the content marketing. So again, we're coming back to content marketing, how powerful it is. So starting with the website, if they want to be perceived as king of boobs, for example, well you have to communicate that message through the website. So everything they're doing, every piece of content they have to communicate that key message to their target audience. And starting a website, the content on it, and also all the other lead magnet types of content. If some of you don't know what lead magnet is, it's basically a piece of content that you give to prospects in exchange for their contact information. For example, an eBook, or special report, or webinar, or physical printed book, so that's called lead magnet and even through that type of content you need to establish your expertise and authority through every piece of informational content you're producing on your website. So, that's what we have in them. So we have created all this content for them to build up their authority and expertise.

Jeff Bullas: So you're using a lot of, you're doing a lot of things like eBooks, it might be a template, it might be a landing page, so what's the other one I've noticed you focus on a fair bit is, and you do it for your own side as well, is video marketing. Which is another piece of content. Talk us through a little bit about what you do in the video and why that's important you think.

Huyen Truong: Well video's actually the future of digital marketing and I think by 2020, 80% of people consuming content on the internet is actually through video. So, video is how people connect with you. So, that's why we always suggest that clients focus on their video. With video content, you actually can recycle and reuse that for podcasts and you can repurpose the content for the block articles. So one piece of content you can reuse and recycle for many different platforms on your website. And with video you can connect with your prospects visually, right? And they can hear your voice and they can see you and connect with you and no matter where you are in this world, either you're in America right now being locked down, or you know, in Africa. Actually I have subscribers to my email list or my video channels from people from Mexico or South America, Peru, obviously America, UK, Europe, all sorts of different countries and that's how video can help you reach out to all these people from all sort of different corners of this world, yeah.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. So you're using, so as we know, but a lot of people maybe don't, is that content is used as like you said, a currency. Because you're creating content that's going to be optimized for the keywords and the laser focus that the surgeon or the doctor's wanting to focus on. And of course, the better your content, the more of it, and the higher quality in the optimization you have, that allows, that can be found on search engines. How important is being found on search engines for people in terms of their marketing, especially for doctors and small business?

Huyen Truong: I think for any business it's very important to get found. If you created a great piece of content, whatever it is, but nobody sees that, what's the point, right? So creating content is one thing but promoting that is equally or even more important. So promoting your content is very important and I think lots of people underestimate the importance of, how important it is when it comes to promoting your content. So how to get your content found and seen by your target audience, okay? So that's very important. And I think that's the key things that there's three questions in marketing that you need to answer. I think the first thing, or even when it comes to any piece of content that you're producing, so the first one is who is your target audience? Where are they hanging out? Are they hanging out online, offline? And how, the third question is how do you get your message seen by your target audience? If you can answer these three questions I think you're doing, you'll be doing marketing very well.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. So you, obviously then, you're really recommending that people not only create content and you talked about three important things, you have the search engine marketing, which is the cornerstone of what you do for the client because you want them to be found locally. In other words, for example, Sydney facial surgery or Sydney whatever, liposuction-

Huyen Truong: Liposuction Sydney, liposuction Melbourne

Jeff Bullas: Yep. Okay. And then the other hand then is important to actually paying for some, doing some paid advertising as well to actually get some traction.

Huyen Truong: Yeah.

Jeff Bullas: So-

Huyen Truong: Because paid advertising, yep.

Jeff Bullas: So what would you recommend to people to do paid advertising? So there's Facebook, there's Google, there's Instagram, it's a very confusing and a very big landscape now. 10 years ago Facebook didn't even offer advertising.

Huyen Truong: Yeah.

Jeff Bullas: Google did. So what are some of the things you'd recommend to businesses in terms of paid advertising, what you've experienced success with?

Huyen Truong: I think the digital marketing landscape has been changing so much for the last few years, especially in recent years. Especially what changes, the changes that Google has made on the algorithm or on a search result, that actually literally pushes the use of more paid advertising to be more successful. So we've run a lot of testing with our clients accounts and some clients we just run paid advertising only just paid paid advertising period, not even SEO and they're still getting traction with the investment they're putting in and they're getting good results. So paid advertising's getting more and more important, unfortunately. Because I think that's the game Google is trying to put in. Obviously they're trying to get more people paying for advertising. And that's the train you have to follow and we see very good results with paid advertising.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah I think certainly there's a future, and I've even had a discussion with my team recently saying I think we're approaching the end of, not the end, but we're approaching a pivot point where organic search results are becoming less important. It's very much becoming pay to play. And also there's so much competition organically to rank on the first page of Google. And so the reality is I think we're moving very much into paid digital advertising. Organic is just so tough these days. It doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, that's why getting into a niche, or a niche, is really important because it's easy to rank locally in a niche, isn't it, then generally globally? So I certainly agree with you.

Huyen Truong: Yeah. When it comes to paid advertising though, there's a common mistake that people are doing, is to sell the service on the ad copies. So if you see lots of ad copies that people put in, they tend to look quite the same. Like you know, for example, buy now or book an appointment or it's like proposing marriage after the first date, right?

Jeff Bullas: Yeah, that's right.

Huyen Truong: And nobody's going to buy from seeing your ads. They're not going to buy from that, they'd rather pick through the ads and look at what you're offering to see if you're convincing enough. And even, not even, you still have to follow up after that so you need to come up with [inaudible 00:31:34] process. So the purpose of the ad is to sell the [inaudible 00:31:37]. So basically your ad purpose is to get people to click on your ads, not to get people to book appointments or buy from seeing your ads. And then after they land on the website, on the landing page, you need to provide information that's attractive and convincing enough for them to make an inquiry. A lot of times, maybe 95% of the time, people are not ready to make a commitment on making an inquiry yet. They're still shopping around, right? And then that's how lead magnet comes into play. That's when you can capture the information and continue to follow up with them after they leave your website. Because 95, up to even 98% of the time people will leave your landing page, will leave your website without inquiring. So you have to come up with something really attractive to keep, at least to get their information before they leave.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah, that's a very important point when people need to discover you first. So, then you need to actually educate them and start building trust. And as you've very well said, that a lot of people are trying to sell straight away.

Huyen Truong: Yeah.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. So reality is number one, I need to have your attention, then I need to create trust and create credibility and that's where the role of content comes in as we take people on the journey. And the thing is a lot of people will say that the funnel for marketing where you get a click then it comes through, it's like a straight line. But as we know it's more a matrix than a funnel. It's really, they'll come in, they'll do a little education, now I've gotten aware of your name, they'll then maybe know who you are then they can go and Google search you, they'll come back, they'll look at more content, they'll look at your references and reviews and case studies-

Huyen Truong: Exactly.

Jeff Bullas: So and then we're getting close to whether they're going to pick up the phone or send you an email, so with the doctor going look I really would like an appointment.

Huyen Truong: Yeah.

Jeff Bullas: But that's one, it's quite a journey, it's convoluted and a challenge in any marketing is knowing where do the first click on query come from? Was it the video? Was it Facebook ads? Was it a Google ad? So it's a valid point and I think people understand that you need to get their attention first then you need to start to create that trust. And a lot of times, and that's the role of content. That role of content is to create that trust over time until they get to a point going I'm ready to actually make contact. And I've read some of the numbers in the past that up to 60 to 80% of the journey, the business is not aware that this customer's actually already been educated, looked, saw it, looked at your content until they do it. So that's what we have today with online marketing is that no one's, before there was Yellow Pages, now it's a journey which is quite often an invisible one. The only way we can track that is with data and that's why testing becomes quite important.

Huyen Truong: Yeah. I totally agree and I can't emphasize enough the importance of content marketing to all sorts of different businesses. We have clients who I have a call with them and I close, a very important, like a really big contract, over the phone without meeting with them in person. Because they check out my content. They listen to my podcast. They downloaded my eBook. And they check all the references on my LinkedIn, on my Google you know, my business listing. So you know, I've got to provide excellent content so you can sell more easily. So I don't have to do all this hassle and try to convince them that I'm the best. I've already demonstrated to them that we've done very well with our marketing even all the content we're producing and all the [inaudible 00:35:35] we've done with our clients. So they're already sold before calling me. So it's very important with content marketing and the thing with content marketing is it's not cheap. It's time consuming and it always requires a lot of, again, persistence and dedication from you. You as an owner and your team as well.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. And that states a very important point in that a lot of people aren't prepared to play the long game. Because creating content is not something, great content, is not something that's done overnight. And I think you mentioned the fact that you started to get some real traction in the first year but it was until three years in that you really started to blitz it. And I think a lot of people don't understand that the content marketing game is not as zero sum game, you actually have to build it one brick at a time, one video at a time, one tweet at a time, until you actually have a body of work that creates so much trust that they're going to buy off you over the phone, which is what you just mentioned.

Jeff Bullas: So what's the future for, you mentioned part of it, let's, just wrapping up here, what do you think the future of business marketing, digital marketing, is going to be? You've mentioned, I think, that it's moving much more into a paid task and tactic. What else do you think the future of search and digital marketing is over the next five to ten years?

Huyen Truong: So I think about the future of marketing, so basically I've always told my clients to think outside the box and think outside the location of where they are located. And think about online business because obviously, as you probably know what's going on with the whole world right now, even years ago I already advised my clients to open online stores, right? Online businesses. And now it's become even actually truer than ever that everyone needs to think about you know, the different scenario that when they're not restricted to one area anymore. So, if you have skills that can be marketed or products that can be marketed in more than one area, think about the bigger picture and try to market yourself nationally or internationally. And try to focus more on content building up your reputation and authority through your content so people can find you from all sorts of different corners of this world. You know, I've got clients from all around the world, they came to us. It doesn't really matter where you're located, people come to you. So, I think online business or you know, will be the future of digital marketing.

Jeff Bullas: Right. Yeah I think that's great words and great advice. So just to wrap this up, what are two or three things that you would recommend to businesses to do their digital marketing, or marketing, the best way possible? What would be two or three top tips that you would like to leave us with today?

Huyen Truong: When it comes to digital marketing I think let's start with your website. Websites are the foundation of all this. It's like a digital marketing hub so it's a very important part of your digital marketing strategy or activity so having a great website. So don't just be, or try to save some costs by using some platforms that, I know if somebody's trying to save some costs, Wix and stuff like that but those type of websites you can't really build custom features and project their professional image that you want to be. So invest in your website, content, use real images instead of stock images, which you never want to use stock images so be authentic. And that's a very important part of being successful in the online world because there's so many myriads of websites out there but if you come across as authentic and true to yourself people will appreciate that and trust you more. With online work it's all about building trust, right?

Huyen Truong: So having a great website, content, again is important, content marketing. Content here comes with different formats, I think should be more proactive with videos which is, as I say, a very important part of the digital marketing strategy. And that's how you can connect with your prospects. And when it comes to running a business or additional marketing, it's always changing you know? Be prepared to learn different skills once, because things are going to change a lot. And you have to prepare yourself to learn and continuously be involved in order to thrive in this world. I always tell people that in order to thrive in this nowadays world, you need to bring your whole self to the table. You can't really just think that oh, be limited to certain skills, you have to actually learn a lot.

Huyen Truong: I, myself, have to actually learn from how to, before when I started, I just started out doing marketing business and then I have to do technology and business consulting and then in order to do digital marketing I had to learn how to design and build a website, how to do SEO and Google ads. And now I have people do all that for me, with my team. And now I have to learn how to build up the processing system for the team to follow and then with the online marketing and online business I need to build up the skills in how to produce video marketing, video content and have to be a great writer. Public speaking skills. All the skills, soft skills, that you might not think that well I don't need at the moment, but actually that's a skill that's going to help you get to where you want to be.

Huyen Truong: So I think the key is you need to know what you want to do and who you want to become. And once you've got it, make it happen fast. And focus on your own game and believe that you can do the impossible. Nine years ago when I came to Australia as a poor student and an immigrant, not even in my craziest dreams I would think that I could build a seven figure income business and be mortgage free in my 30s. But I believe that you can achieve anything you want if you set your mind to it.

Huyen Truong: And finally, join the 4.30am club and it will change your life forever for the better.

Jeff Bullas: Okay. That's great advice Huyen. And you are such an inspiration, especially for anyone, especially for women and especially for immigrants that can make it on the other side of the world. You are a shining example of what can be done with persistence and courage. Thank you very much for sharing your story today. So just to finish up, if people want to find you, what's the best place to find you?

Huyen Truong: The best place to find me is on LinkedIn to be honest, I'm very active on LinkedIn. You search my name and you see my profile popping up and you use the last interesting videos that I'm producing and you see how I'm integrating not just video but also my acting skills, my comedy skills, and my writing skills, my direction, like video direction skills in there. And I put a lot of effort into producing these videos. So yeah, I hope to catch up with you guys over LinkedIn and if you have any questions shoot me a message and I'll get back to you.

Jeff Bullas: Okay, great, thanks for that. And what I'll do is I'll include your LinkedIn profile as a link in the show notes so everyone will be able to find you easily. Thanks Huyen, it's been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to catching up in real life soon. Maybe over some bubbles, I know you like a few bubbles and a little bit of champagne. Not too much, just a little.

Huyen Truong: Yeah. Thank you very much for having me today. I really appreciate the time that you interviewed me and also the friendship that we have over the last eight years. Can you believe it? Eight years already I've known you. And you've always been my great inspiration, especially when you told me all the stories of when you started and you actually not just joined 5 a.m., you joined 4 a.m. clubs so. We see how successful you are. So I guess the earlier you get up the more successful you are.

Jeff Bullas: It gets a little bit harder as you get older frankly, but that's okay. All right. Thanks Huyen, it's been an absolute pleasure.

Huyen Truong: Yeah, thank you very much and see you again.

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