EP - 034

YouTube CTA's That Convert

With Guest Mike Sherrard

Building a strong social media presence is less about chasing likes and more about cultivating genuine relationships that drive business growth.

The How To Sell More Podcast


November 15, 2023

In this episode of "How To Sell More," we delve into the strategic use of social media for business growth. Our guest, Mike Sherrard, offers a fresh perspective, emphasizing the importance of meaningful engagement over superficial metrics like likes and follower counts. This discussion is essential for businesses aiming to leverage social media effectively, focusing on genuine connections and tangible results.

  • Success on social media is defined by the quality of engagement and its impact on business goals, not just by follower numbers.
  • Clear calls to action are crucial in guiding audiences toward meaningful interactions, from lead generation to client conversion.
  • Authenticity is central to building trust and a loyal following. It’s about providing real value and fostering a community around your brand. 

Mike Sherrard's transition from engineering to real estate showcases the power of using social media strategically. His story illustrates how authentic engagement and targeted content can build a personal brand that resonates with and attracts the right clientele. Tune in to gain actionable insights on using social media not just for visibility, but for real business success.

Links to This Episode

Key Takeaways

  • The Power of Intentional Action over Vanity Metrics - Clarity in Calls to Action (CTAs): Users must be guided with clear CTAs that direct them towards the desired action, whether it's signing up for a webinar or scheduling a consultation. Ambiguity in CTAs can lead to missed opportunities for engagement and conversion.
  • Engagement Through Authentic Interaction - Leverage user participation: Encouraging users to participate, such as asking them to comment for access to resources, can increase visibility and engagement. This tactic not only boosts algorithmic favourability but also fosters a sense of community and belonging among followers.
  • Conversion-Oriented Social Media Strategy - Align social media tactics with business outcomes: It's essential to use social media not just for content distribution but as a tool for business growth. This means that every post, video, or interaction should contribute to converting followers into clients or customers.

Top 3 Reasons to Listen

Social Media Mastery: Uncover strategies to use social media not just for engagement, but for real business growth and lead generation.

Shift Your Mindset: Challenge your current business mindset and explore new perspectives on work-life balance and productivity.

Inspiring Success Story: Be inspired by Mike Sherrard's personal journey from engineering to real estate, learning how he leveraged his skills to pivot careers successfully.

Follow Mike Sherrard on Social

Website: https://mikesherrard.com/

Instagram: @mike_sherrard

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIZwIF-RyQxQNroTd5AFKNQ

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelsherrard/

More About Today's Guest, Mike Sherrard

#1 Personal Attractor at eXp Realty, Globally & Founder of High Converting Content | Personal Branding | Content Marketing | Social Media Strategy

Mike Sherrard has established himself as a prominent figure in the real estate industry, particularly in leveraging social media to amplify business success. His expertise has benefited over 3,000 agents, whom he has trained to effectively use social media platforms. As a top producing real estate agent, Mike has played a pivotal role in the rapid growth of his team at eXp Realty. His efforts are focused on assisting realtors globally to evolve into modern agents and to scale their businesses using cutting-edge strategies.

His accomplishments in integrating social media with real estate have been widely recognized. Mike has been ranked as the number one Social Media for Real Estate Agents Creator on YouTube, a testament to his proficiency and influence in the field. Additionally, his impact has been acknowledged worldwide, with a ranking among the Top 30 Realtors on Social Media globally. In a more localized context, Mike has achieved the number one position as a Realtor on social media in both Alberta and Calgary, underscoring his dominant presence in these markets. These accolades reflect Mike Sherrard's exceptional ability to harness the power of social media in the real estate domain, setting a high standard for others in the industry.

A Transcription of The Talk

Mark Drager: So Mike, I got to list off some of the stats. I don't normally do this, but you have built a huge following on YouTube and other social media channels. You're a top 30 Realtor on social media worldwide, and you've helped over 5000 Realtors scale their businesses using social media. And so we're going to talk about YouTube. But what's really interesting is, I mean, we just had Evan Carmichael on the podcast a few weeks ago. So if you want a real deep dive on YouTube, listen, go back, and listen to those three deep dives with Evan. But the reason why I wanted to bring Mike on is because he's done the YouTube stuff. He's built the YouTube stuff. But then, what's the next step of how do we generate leads? How do we generate money? How do we make money from all of the social media activities we're doing? And you, Mike, are an expert at that, right?

Mike Sherrard: Yeah, no, it's completely changed my business. So I'm super excited to be here. Thank you again for the opportunity, and I'm ready to dive in.

Mark Drager: Okay, so let's assume that anyone who's listening to this knows about YouTube strategies, or they've gone back as I've suggested, and they've listened to the Evan Carmichael, three-part deep dive that we talked about how to use YouTube. So let's set that aside for a second. We have YouTube content, we have a following no matter how big it is. What do you do? How do you turn those subscribers, those viewers, those people following you into business, into leads, into opportunities?

Mike Sherrard: Yeah, I think what you said there, in terms of whatever your following might be, is the key statement. A lot of people, when it comes to YouTube or any social platform, get really consumed with vanity metrics. And what's proven is that you can do wildly profitable things with YouTube if you are the master of driving traffic. So one of the things that I'm very much bullish on is that if you don't call to action, no action gets taken. But you also have to get clear on the action that you want people to take. So many people are accustomed to watching these big YouTube channels, and basically, the call to action is, "Please make sure you like, comment, subscribe." And I ask individuals who are looking to scale on YouTube, "Are likes, comments, subscriptions the end goal and the KPI that you're looking for, or are you looking for leads, conversations, and appointments?" So it's really important to be able to grow your audience and focus on that organic engagement. But the two things that have done really well for me are getting clarity on the offer and clarity on the call to action. The first thing that I'll do within the first minute after I hook people, is go straight into a call to action that is free or value-driven. Usually, it's some sort of free training or webinar, which is going to lead to a funnel. This is where the magic happens: I made one decision which has led to multiple seven figures a year. A lot of people say, "Click the link in the description for my free training," whatever that might be, my lead magnet, whatever. What I started realizing as well is that if people are going to click the link in the description, and it's going to be there anyway, then there's no engagement. So what I do is I just tell people, "Hey, comment below 'free training' or this specific statement, and then I will reply with the link to the free training." And what you'll see in some of my videos is I'm replying with the exact same link. But there are thousands of comments on something that otherwise would have gotten ten because everybody wants it. But now, when you call to action and tell them what you want them to do instead of just going to the description and clicking on it, I reply and engage with the conversation. That's been one of the biggest mediums: within that minute, call to action, that value-driven for the outcome you're looking for, asking them to comment to get that action, and then replying at scale using my team to create organic conversations. Then, midway through the video, you say, "If you liked this," and you've earned their like, right there. See, so many people say, "like, comment, subscribe," well, you haven't even given them anything yet. Let's earn that. But that's been one of the biggest game-changers: driving traffic to the funnel through organic conversation.

Mark Drager: Okay, let's break this down. So Mike, you just gave us this secret recipe, and I love it. And if I can, I'm going to point out some things that I've heard you say and some assumptions I've made from a strategy point of view. Let's break this down. First of all, we're creating content on YouTube regularly, and we're putting it out there. The first mistake people make is they don't drive people to the number one goal or KPI. And while viewers and comments and engagement and subscribers are all nice, if we want business, we need to get people off the platform. We need to capture their email, we need to get them into a conversation or a booking or something. And this is really interesting, though. Number one, you move it within the first minute. I've actually seen this. I've gotten into drumming and guitar channels, even though I'm not a musician, but I like the history of music and how they do it. And I've noticed that some of these really great channels will go like, "Oh, we're going to go through a drumming demo for this song." And like a minute in, like you're saying, they go, "Listen, if you want the free tabs or the guide or whatever it is that drummers use, I don't know, we've made it for you." So people aren't just coming up with one thing; they're coming up with a download or a topic or some kind of offer for each piece of content. And then right away in the first minute, they're saying, "As you're watching this, keep in mind that if you want this thing, I will totally give it to you." That's what you're doing. You're saying, "100%?" Okay, so that's step one. And then step two, rather than have someone just passively click on a link, you're actually hacking the fact that YouTube likes engagement—like thumbs up or thumbs down, or continuing to watch and click on a second video, or leaving a comment. All are considered engagement in YouTube's eyes. So rather than just get people to click on something, you're getting them to comment below. So that way, you actually force more engagement. Yep. And that doesn't like throwing people off or anything like it's just they just...

Mike Sherrard: Do it. There are some of my tutorials out there where there are literally 2,500 comments with people all saying "free training" "webinar," "social media guide" or "free tutorial," and the same link is responded to in every single one. And they still do it. Because again, a lot of times, people aren't going to go through the effort; convenience sells, right? So when you look at it, a lot of times, when you tell people to do something, they're just going to do it without thinking, "Oh, if I—because it's an extra thought—if I have to go through other people's comments." So it works incredibly well. And I can get to, and we could dive into this as well, but how to actually build the brand trust to get people to even want to comment, which is going to be another big takeaway that we can dive into.

Mark Drager: Okay, let's get that on. Second. So, are you using ManyChat or any kind of automated system that will allow you to put in a keyword and auto-respond? Or are you manually responding to everything?

Mike Sherrard: I think one of the biggest things is, you know, the customer journey at the end of the day is all we are, which is how people feel before, during, and after having an experience with you. And watching a video is an experience, right? So one of the things that we do, and I've got an incredible team, is they will go through and if your name is Mark, they will say, "Hey, Mark, thank you so much for the comment. Here's the link," and they will make it slightly different every single time because if you're mass spamming, YouTube knows that. But if you personalize it, it makes people feel seen, heard, and appreciated, and like it's not automation. So we humanize that aspect of it by getting my team to do it. I used to do it in the beginning.

Mark Drager: But I can just imagine the like Ctrl+P, Ctrl+V, type type.

Mike Sherrard: Yeah, exactly. But when you know, people, the number one thing that they like to hear is their name. So when you can reply with that, now they feel special. And now they're also more indoctrinated into the process of actually wanting to go click, whatever that free guide, training, or webinar is.

Mark Drager: Okay, let's jump into it. So you're saying that you have a strategy, or there's some kind of unlock to even be able to build up enough trust to get people to leave comments? Like, I hadn't even considered really, whether there's this threshold or something, or something that you have to do, from a psychological point of view, to have people even feel comfortable to comment. So what is this?

Mike Sherrard: Big time, and I think the person who's the best at proving this is someone like Alex Hormozi, which is that in today's day, information is no longer novel. And what a lot of people used to do is they used to use calls to action as the gateway to value. So what people would do is they would tease enough to get people curious. And then the only way to get something of value, something tactical and practical that you could implement that day, was to go to this free guide, get upsold, whatever the situation is. But when you look at the ones that are winning, what they understand is that information is no longer novel, what people are paying for, what people are curious about, is intimacy, proximity, and strategy. So what you'll start to realize, and this is what I've been able to do in order to excite that massive engagement, and even just launching something recently, and having an overwhelming response from it in terms of sales conversions, is that I religiously scan the landscape of my industry, and I consume other people's content. I think one of the concepts that's important is, that if you want full-time results from something, you need to put full-time effort into it. So I'm consuming religiously what the benchmark of what everybody else is doing. I buy everybody else's programs that are in my industry, I look at what they're selling and what they're charging. What I do on my YouTube channel is I say, "Okay, here's the landscape of what other people are providing. I'm going to go six layers deeper and give you more value for free than they do in their paid $2,000 to $3,000 programs." So when I do that, when people come in, they say this in my comments all the time, "Wow, I've gotten more from this one free video than a $5,000 program I've paid for." Well, if you've created that customer journey for them and that experience where you become synonymous with overdelivering and quality, whenever you do go for that call to action, they're like, "Oh my God, what else can I get? How much more can I get from this? If this is free? Now, what happens when I go on this deeper and I go into a paid opportunity?"

Mark Drager: Can I ask about the purple car? It looks like you know, this isn't even a side note because I've gone back through all of your stuff, and you have the sports cars, the nice clothes, you're flying to really expensive private masterminds, you've got a great brand. You've got a great website. I can see you're wearing My Let's Private Mastermind shirt and stuff in your photos and everything. Do you bump up against like, Bro hustle culture, because it sells and it works on social? Because I've gone back far enough to see that wasn't who you always were. And so as long as we're talking about know, like, trust, help me understand, I guess, how strategic you are with your brand. And whether you're leaning into some of these things, like, you know, the planes and the money and the cars, and all of this stuff that I think tends to attract more teenage 20-year-old people who just want fast cash, as opposed to the types of entrepreneurs I typically work with. So talk to me about that decision.

Mike Sherrard: So a really great metric is the number one recruiter globally at EXP Realty, and the average agent is 55 years old. So when we look at who we're attracting, that's the metric that I want people to focus on. Here's the story of that: when I got started in real estate, I was broke. I had no money, and I didn't have money to advertise. But I had about $3K in my bank account. Colour psychology, purple represents luxury, royalty, and ambition. That's why I wrapped my car in purple. Just because the car has changed.

Mark Drager: Hold on, hold on. And it was a purple BMW originally, and now you're driving a Targa top Lambo, so you've moved up a little bit in your lease payments.

Mike Sherrard: Yeah, so I've got two now, you know, I've got the Lamborghini Urus as well. But here's the thing, Mark, which is the most important part. One of my first videos, which is one of my most disliked YouTube videos, was me at Lamborghini with a $2,500 bank account, saying one day, I'm going to have one of these, because I documented my journey on YouTube door-knocking in the snow, door knocking at minus 10, all of the things that I've done. The craziest part is that when I took delivery of that Lamborghini, I got thousands of DMs from people saying like, "I feel like I was taking delivery of that too," because they've seen your journey. And I know that's what you wanted to achieve from day one. So I think unlike many people, a lot of people come out with this hustle culture, as you alluded to, where they just—they somehow get their money, and then they're flaunting all of this stuff, because people have seen me retire my parents, take them on their dream trips, give back to kids, and document my journey from day one. I've never had to face that. And when you look at me, at the end of the day, like right now, how I dress 24/7—T-shirts, sweatpants, and sneakers—that doesn't change. The car might change because there's a passion of mine. But you'll see that if you go to my Instagram, I very rarely post the vehicle; I post value. So I think when you're looking at this from a branding aspect, it's important to be genuine, and cars are my passion. So of course, as I started doing better, the cars got a little bit nicer. But the essence of why I do what I do has never changed, which is again, over-deliver on value and look at the impact that I can make. So I genuinely have never fallen into that kind of bucket of younger people because I'm tasteful with it.

Mark Drager: And the people you're targeting, the men, women, late 40s, early 50s, 55, who are moving into your real estate brokerage or whatever it is that you're pushing or selling them into, they like this, they don't mind, they don't get turned off by it?

Mike Sherrard: Absolutely love it. And I get this feedback all the time, because I documented it, right? So for me, by documenting the journey and by speaking to it, you know, into existence and sharing this when I had no money when it happened, people were less fixated on the object, and more fixated on the process. So what I mean by that is like, yeah, I've got a car, but your thing might be a crazy fishing trip, or it might be a sort of certain journey with your family or whatever.

Mark Drager: Listen, man, I have clients and I have friends who invested millions of dollars into automated manufacturing equipment. That is impressive as hell, where I remember walking out of a factory once—70,000 square foot, family-run factory, metal manufacturing. And as we walked out at night, the plant was empty, the machinery was working, and the owner said, "You hear that? That's the sound of me making money as I go home tonight." And I was like, dude, you've got the most baller equipment in the world. But he doesn't brag about it, he doesn't talk about it, and he doesn't share his journey. And so what I'm kind of exploring with you is like, I get what you're saying, and you seem so genuine and so legit. I wonder if there's an opportunity for those of us to grab the thing like you did with the car or the passion or whatever it might be, and start sharing those journeys more.

Mike Sherrard: I think that's one of the most important principles that we can take from this conversation. You know, just to really solidify that conversation—the month before I got into real estate, I got my hair cut for the real estate photos. I told my barber, "One day, I'm going to be driving a Lamborghini, mark my word," and I was broke, I could barely afford the haircut. I just moved into my new lake house here, and it's in the community that I used to live in. I went back to the hairdresser, the barber was still there, and I pulled up in the Lamborghini. He's like, "Dude, I've followed you from day one. You said you were gonna do it and look at what you've done." So again, I think the essence of it is more so the concept that people are latching onto, which is being able to manifest, being able to not take no for an answer and listen to all the negativity and all those things, and be able to bring your vision to life, instead of looking at the object, looking at that journey that can be emulated by other people.

Mark Drager: So if we can circle around on the tactical stuff, thanks for letting me just dig into that a little bit more. Because I learned a long time ago, doing thousands of these podcast interviews over seven or eight years, if I see something and wonder about it, I always kick myself when I don't ask. Like, you know, like, it's just—I couldn't reconcile the real you and this thing that I thought you were, which I appreciate. So let's get back to the idea that if we're on YouTube, and we are asking people through a call to action to comment below this keyword, I can give you this amazing free tool. And we're not automating it, I have to imagine it's pretty complicated to keep track of all these comments, all these offers, all these downloads. You say you have a team, which is great. If I'm someone who does not have this team, walk me through the next few steps to get from, "I don't even do any of this, you know, I'm putting out the videos and I'm putting out the content, but I'm not capturing things properly." What are the next few steps to build a system like you have?

Mike Sherrard: 100%. So this is what I did just a year and a half, two years ago. So one of the things that I'm a huge, you know, kind of believer in is that, if it's not in your calendar, it doesn't exist. So I'm a huge advocate of time blocking and productivity and making sure you're managing your time. So would comments on a daily basis, checking them frequently become overwhelming? Of course. But what I did is I just blocked in a 30-minute window every single morning before I went to the gym at 4:30. And I would just sit there as I was drinking my pre-workout and reply to every single comment. And I would take it in, and I would be genuine about it. However, it became a repetitive meeting in my calendar so that I would prioritize it, because you will always make time for your priorities, right? So instead of just doing it on the fly, build it into your calendar. So I think if people are looking to get started, and let's say you're putting out content, the first thing is getting clarity on your offer. The second thing is once you get clarity on your offer, looking that unbiasedly against the landscape of everybody else that you're competing against in a similar space and genuinely ask yourself if you didn't know who you were, what you've achieved, or the value that you bring, would you click on your offer versus everybody else's. And I think once you can look at that through an unbiased lens, that in essence is you putting yourself in the consumer's shoes, which embodies consumer behavior—if you would do it, so would they, right? So get clarity on the—is that even, as Hermozy would say, an irresistible offer, right? Is that better than the landscape of other people? Once you get clarity on that offer, then you architect the customer journey, which is before, during, and after people work with you or have an experience with you. So ask yourself, after they comment on your videos when they click on that link, or whatever it ends up being, what is the experience they're going to have there? And is that going to be memorable? And you really have to think about this, because at the end of the day, you know, Mr. Beast says this, which is if you want to get better at content, just put out better content. Like if you're not growing, it's because your videos suck. Well, if people aren't engaging, it's because you might need to tweak the offer to make it more enticing and make them more valuable, right? So if other people are putting out free content that's better than your paid stuff, you've got a really big problem. So flip it upside down and give more free stuff than other people's paid content, to the point when you ask for that call to action, it becomes a no-brainer when people are looking to engage with you.

Mark Drager: Episode One of how to sell more podcasts. We had Jeff Lerner on, and he ended our conversation by saying that information is free, and transformation is paid. And that's how he operates his business. And I think it works so well with everything that you're sharing. The only thing I would say for offer development—I call it a damn good reason to buy. Because I think that puts the point a little bit more forward than the idea of an irresistible offer. Or I've heard people say the Godfather offer, right, like an offer you can't refuse. But mostly it's like, you got to give people a damn good reason to buy, and it can't be—it can't be a reason, I would say, I'd like your thoughts on this. I would say it can't even be a good enough reason for you to buy, because you know your stuff and you love your stuff, and you live in a bubble, and you think it's awesome, and you would totally do it because you made it for you. I feel like your damn good reason to buy has to be for someone who is not interested at all, and not even like you at all. But that's my own approach to it because I am cynical and skeptical and think there's never a good reason to ever do anything.

Mike Sherrard: Definitely. Well, it's good to say that, but I think that's what separates the ones that are making under six figures and the ones making 7, 8, 9 figures is I've over the last few years of putting out content, I've been able to genuinely put myself in somebody who's unbiased in their shoes, and say, "Would I actually click on this? Like, I don't care that I know that it's valuable. I don't care what I know what I've done or my credibility, I'm actually looking at this through the unbiased lens." So I think that shift, that one very shift that most people struggle with because they are biased, once you can get to the point where you're genuinely authentically unbiased, your life will change forever. Because it's not just your offer, it's your thumbnails—would you click on your thumbnail versus the top three that are currently ranking for that search title? Watch those three videos, would you find your video more entertaining, educational, and valuable than the other three? Once you can get to that unbiased ecosystem in that space, you'll be able to print money and you'll be able to print leads because you're able to view through the consumer's shoes. But because most people struggle with that, that's why their offers are suffering.

Mark Drager: So make sure—our final question for you—I end every single podcast interview the same way because I would love to know, what is your number one tip or strategy for us to sell more?

Mike Sherrard: The number one tip or strategy to sell more is that unbiased lens. I think once you can look through the consumer's shoes, you're going to be golden. But I think I'll take it one step further because we already talked about that. My biggest thing would be trusting the process, looking at what other people have done, and emulating that. I think a lot of people look to reinvent the wheel. They're looking for that novel, new shiny penny, unicorn opportunity. You look at what Evan's done, you look at what all these other people have done. They've given you the roadmap of what's proven to work, bring that to your space, put your own flavor on it, and you'll never have to worry about it again. Because guess what, these people like Evan with millions of subscribers, have done the research for you. They've proven what works with a much bigger budget and following. So if it works for them, bring it into your own space, and you're going to be set from day one.