podcast

sleon productions Podcast #36: Carlos Vazquez, The Miami Marketer

Carlos Vasquez known as the Miami Marketer, has been getting paid to leverage technology to connect brands with humans since 2003. It all started with a prank call to Fidel Castro and from that point he’s had the advantage of building campaigns for major companies.

Carlos Vazquez information:
https://miamimarketer.com

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Active Campaign
Create messenger automation in IG, link to resource
https://www.activecampaign.com/

Ammo CRM
https://www.amocrm.com/

Publer
https://publer.io

Transcript

Santiago Leon
Hello, hello. This is the sling on productions podcast where we interview influencers, business owners, people that have gone through the strides and want to share their value. We also interview book authors as well.

Santiago Leon
Today we’re going a bit local, which we interview typically local here and there but I’m really I really get really excited when I interview more like local here in like the South Florida area from Miami to West Palm Beach. And we got a personality that I met a couple of months ago at wordcamp Miami which is a WordPress conference and obviously they were talking about like the WordPress, you know, platform what could be used. A couple of the sessions is marketing and we’ve got a local person this year. At our wordcamp conference, Carlos Vasquez, known as the mining marketer, and his buyers. He says he has been getting paid to leverage technology to connect brands with humans since 2003. It all started with a prank call to Fidel Castro. And from that point has the advantage of building campaigns for some major companies like the mighty marketer. Miami marketer calls Vasquez, welcome to the slam productions podcast.

Carlos Vazquez
What’s up my brother? I grew up in Miami hanging out the best way we can.

Santiago Leon
Like I said, we first met at the work ham conference back in early March before the pandemic, you’re full of energy. Can you tell us your experience from that conference?

Carlos Vazquez
Brother All right. So the The only reason that it appears that I was full of energy was because it was pure nervousness. I don’t know that’s a word but every time I’m standing in front of a crowd, Sharing anything that I’m passionate about, I get excited. My nerves are like taking over and I get to and then when I see the response of everybody feeling like they’re getting so much value, it just kind of pushes me like to this high. Like, I feel like this natural high because of it. In my experience, this was actually the this year was my second year doing work camp. And it’s always been like, so, so impactful in making me feel like I’m on the right track. It makes me feel like I’m really helping people. And when people are like, coming to me, I remember after my session, I had people follow me to the break room, so I can kind of just get them, pick my brain. also talk about the speakers. There aren’t that many people that care about it, and they don’t care about it. It’s hard to find them. So when word camp comes to me, it kind of puts us all together so we can kind of just share the goods and just geek out man and That’s been pretty much my experience both times.

Santiago Leon
Tell us a little bit about your journey.

Carlos Vazquez
Alright, so man, where do I begin? Okay, so I’m gonna try to fast forward as much as possible because my journey has been long and full of adventure. It involves BBs and involves the Marine Corps and involves prank calling Fidel Castro. So I’m gonna try to go through all of them as fast as possible. So my whole computer my love for computers really started like in early the early 90s, where my dad had a packard bell with a super VGA monitor. And that basically meant that the graphics look like comic book graphics, or like somebody drawing realistic paintings with crayons or whatever, it looks pretty good for the time. And then I saw him playing games and I told him Hey, Dad, I want to go ahead and play. I won’t play games because I had a Sega Master System. So you know, when you’re a young kid you always want again, so then he said it Sure, I’ll let you play games. But here’s how you’re going to have to learn how to play the games. And he gave his book on thought he got me a computer an eg a monitor, and had like, like 16 colors or whatever. And then he said, if you want to play games, you have to read this book, because this book is going to tell you how to find the game, how to start the game and how to play the game. And it was a book on DOS and I was like, bummed out because I didn’t want to read a book to play a game but because I really wanted to play and I knew that these games weren’t on the like a Nintendo or the Sega. I was incentivized to really dive in and long and behold, I got motivated, I got inspired and then I actually, he created a monster because they went from starting to play games to creating like Windows. Like management systems. This was before windows became really popular, like you can actually create like menus and all this cool stuff. Fast forward, like 1997 I learned how to make websites by using Microsoft front page. And I would right click the website View Source pasted in Microsoft front page, and then learn how to make sites like that. Fast forward to 1999. I joined the Marine Corps Fun fact, I was rejected by the Marine Corps as a computer guy because I didn’t pass the asvab test. I didn’t get enough score enough of a score to get become a computer person in the Marine Corps. And another fun fact in Miami Dade County Public Schools, they marked me as computer illiterate, meaning that I didn’t know these computers according to Miami Dade County Schools. Anyways, I digress. So now I went into the Marine Corps I went to the marine as a as a ammunition technician, that’s somebody that’s responsible for keeping track of all the ammunition that we send out to wars, delivering ammunition to the frontlines, and making sure that we have enough enough bullets to defend ourselves and and making sure that when we store the ammunition like grenades, the missiles, they’re not stored in a way where they can blow up. So a lot A lot of fun, fun stuff when it came to ammunition. But then when they the master Gunnery Sergeant got a whiff that I was good at computers. He went ahead and said, you know what I heard you, you know, you know how to use a computer? Why don’t you help us set up a network and I took a challenge and I set it up, he was impressed. And they ended up giving me a secondary job in the Marine Corps. And I became the computer guy for the entire battalion. Now fast forward to like, the year 2003, I finished my first tour in the Marine Corps. And I got a whiff that that could be a recruiter for the Marine Corps. So I as I was trying to become recruiter, I volunteered to, to do the morning show website. And certainly the single they didn’t have a web guy and websites really weren’t that popular. I mean, they were popular enough to know that everyone should have one, but it wasn’t what they are now. And I volunteered to the website in exchange I do for free in exchange, I’ll get access to like concerts, clubs, hang out with celebrities, and all that jazz. So one of the first things that I’m doing was create the website and we were known for prank calling a bunch of people. And one of those prank calls turned out to be a prank call to Fidel Castro. So with this prank call, I ended up creating my first funnel, where if you wanted to hear the call, you had to put your name and email address into the website and the website will capture your email address, and then give you a link so you can hear the actual call at the time we were using, like real player audio. And then from there, because of this little funnel, I ended up building an email list of over 250,000 email addresses. And that’s it. My whole digital marketing career really started taking off at that point because the radio station saw this as a huge opportunity to monetize it. They needed someone to manage the emails, manage the budget of the digital geek stuff, and I was just there I already proved my, my, my experience that I was able to do it. So this led me to have experience with Coca Cola, universal Disney, all these other major, major companies that had a deep pocket For the software, and since I already had like this experience, while the software in 2015, when the software became more affordable to level the playing field for small businesses, I was one of the first people that already had a good, good way to use all the software. And then that’s it. My business really grew from that point on because I was able to apply a lot of strategies I’ve already learned from the different years working with the other companies and applied to small businesses. And now what I primarily do is I I set these systems up for for businesses, small businesses, small to medium enterprises. They rely on me to train their staff. And now I primarily focus on creating virtual events. And using all my digital marketing experience to promote the events, find people and kind of help people build meaningful connections and an excitement and smile, my story

Santiago Leon
being a marketer. I mean, I I mean, I’m pretty much a web developer. But I do cross over into marketing sometimes. And I’ve seen tools changed throughout the years, how has tools changed back then compared to right now?

Carlos Vazquez
I would say that they’ve become a, the user experience is very big right now for a lot of these tools. So back then, you had to be a, you have to be pretty big on the developer side, and understand the geekery the code, understand what you’re reading, like, I didn’t know how to write it. I still don’t know how to write code. But I can read it. I understand code. And I know what to tweak based off of what I’m seeing and I won’t break. I won’t try to write the code from scratch but I can make edits to something and know what I’m still pretty comfortable with it. But now, a lot of the the tools are very visual. And what they’re trying to do is make it so that you can pretty much pick up right where visually what you need to do so the tools have become a lot easier to use. I think the harder part is trying to apply the use case to a real world need. Like, for example, like, one of my favorite tools is active campaign and active campaigns very robust. It’s very easy to put something together but getting the idea to, to know what to build is probably the harder part. Now it’s really up to your imagination. So it’s no longer that you have to know how to code you just need to come up with something that you think would be helpful for, for what you’re trying to accomplish.

Santiago Leon
What is the biggest demand you hear a lot from prospective clients and maybe have become clients? Is it Seo? Do you hear a lot of demand for Do you hear about you know, Facebook presence? What have you been listening a lot lately.

Carlos Vazquez
So, when I am SEO used to be it’s actually still a buzzword people throw out there when they’re talking to like, they sound like me, but it’s not because they know what it is. It’s just that they hear it over and over. And SEO in my opinion is not as strong as it used to be, it’s not as popular as it used to be when it comes to like making, moving the needle with your marketing. What I really understand what people really want is, I need sales, I need to make money, I can’t pay the bills with traffic, I need to pay the bills with sales. What can you do to help me make money off of my website? And that’s been pretty much the real underlying need that most people have. Like, they’ll ask about, Oh, can you do social media and Seo? You know, I say I’m capable of it. But I really like to dig deeper to really find out what they’re trying to accomplish. And after asking those questions, the real underlying ask is basically, how can I make money to pay you? That’s pretty much what it comes down to. And then I tell them, Look, we build the systems that generate those leads, and then we use the automations to push that person to the next step, which usually is a phone call with you and then it’s up to you to close that deal.

Santiago Leon
Which still media like I’m pretty excited about today, that that you’ve been using more lately, of course, tick tock has been become more popular with the pandemic. But which social media platform is still the most powerful right now?

Carlos Vazquez
Okay, so Facebook is the most powerful one. And the beautiful thing about Facebook is that they also own Instagram. But I think that the secret weapon right now that people aren’t really leveraging is being able to automate some of the Instagram stuff and I’m not talking about just regular outreach. For example, when I helped when I hosted an event, I you could tell people to go to go to Miami market or calm slash download and you can access my, my guide, whatever, that’s what people would say. The other thing is texting, Oh, do text the text to word mm to whatever the phone number is. But what’s been really, really interesting right now and I don’t know, by the time you’re listening to this, I don’t know if it’s going to be still popular. But this is like Something that’s really effective. And that’s being able to create a messenger based automation inside of Instagram. And why can actually get people to opt in, send me a message in Instagram. And they’re automatically added to my CRM and I can automatically send them in a link to whatever the resources and they’re actually inside of my CRM. A lot of these other automation bots out there that I’ve seen out there. They’re very complicated. They’re expensive. And you really can’t do much you can’t automate like you can’t create like a full messenger experience with those people. So I’ve been able to do this with a software called mo CRM, a mo CRM, and it’s been a total game changer because that right there could bring in Skype messages, Whatsapp messages, Instagram messages, Facebook messages, messages, Facebook, lead ads, a chat on your website, like it could bring all of these messenger based inquiries Or initial communication with someone and put it right inside the CRM. And then you can automate that entire thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if, while Tick Tock I haven’t seen like the messaging aspect of that yet, but they also have like a telegram. They have WeChat this, that’s another one. They also have Twilio integration, you can do Voice over IP. So this has been like a major Game Changer and very under the radar over here in the States that’s been Instagram has been a nice little way to get leads to come in. Because people are more open to clicking on follow and sending your message on Instagram versus the other ways that we are used to right now.

Santiago Leon
glad you brought that up, because coincidentally, this week I had two prospective clients reach me out on Instagram, especially a via message. And I didn’t know about like, like the whole Instagram message bot. I’ve seen Facebook Messenger bots and they work great. But the Instagram one that could be a game changer.

Carlos Vazquez
Yeah, wait, do you wait to see, I’ll send you, I’ll send you the link, man. I mean, I don’t get any affiliate, but I am a partner for mo CRM. And I can send you a link so that way they know that I’m the source of you going through it, but I’m telling you, it’s a game, it really is a game changer. Because it does allow you to create the automations for the messenger of Instagram. And you can attract trigger words. And the entire conversation is inside of the platform. So you don’t have to go to Instagram to continue the conversation. You can just do it right from the platform. It’s all web based. And they also have an app for iOS and Android. So you can basically message them on Facebook, Instagram, all to the same exact platform. So you’re not going crazy with all these different areas.

Santiago Leon
You’ve become very more techie or glitchy for sure because you know, this is not something that a lot of people will get into but of course with your dos experience For your data, I think this really helps out, obviously, like the algorithms have been changing through Facebook and Instagram. Is it necessary to boost posts now?

Carlos Vazquez
Right now I would never boost a post, I really would never boost a post. Because I feel that boosting a post does that Facebook has gotten better with allowing you to, to kind of tweak it to be a little bit more custom to what you’re looking for. But boosting a post in my opinion, it’s a waste of time, because you’re just spending money to get people to look at a pose. And that’s not if that’s the case, I would rather focus that money on completing a specific objective. And that objective to be watching a video that’s my favorite objective in Facebook watching a video because it creates like these funnels, these video funnels where there’s no question that somebody’s actually engaged and interested. So for example, If you’re creating like a three minute video, and you upload straight to Facebook, what will happen is that Facebook is going to find people who are going to watch this video. But then Facebook allows us to create segments based off of how much of a video they’ve watched. So if you if you go ahead and put like a three minute video, you can say, hey, Facebook, how many people watched 25% of the video, how many people watched 50%, how many people watched 75% or more, right? And now I can tell Facebook, but cool, I want you to go ahead and retarget the ones who watch 50% or more, and have them see this next ad, because now you’re going to show the ad to people who are likely to actually engage with you versus just trying to see who’s going to stick. So that’s why I love the video views. video views objective with Facebook. And if you combine that with like a funnel where I mean, lead ads are still pretty cool. Lead ads is where the the capture of the of that person is done inside of the platform. So you can actually get their name that Email Address automatically, they don’t have to leave the the platform to send it to you. And if you have like, like Zapier or some other bridge tool to send that data to your CRM, that’s what that’s a way where you could kind of just avoid having to buy a bunch of other software like a funnel, page software or anything else. And you could just go ahead and just build a list of really highly engaged people, and then drive them to opt in and then take it to the next step with you. So that’s been my favorite objective with all Facebook views, and then delete that

Santiago Leon
was more important, having more likes on your page, more followers, or is it the content itself is what’s more important,

Carlos Vazquez
the content, but I would like to add a caveat to that content. Making the content valuable is what is going to be effective for that person. Because at the end of the day, when you’re looking at the Internet, your your, you have so much so many options as a user that it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. So there’s a bunch of there’s a bunch of distractions. So if you are a business owner and you want to earn trust, the only way to do that is by giving content that’s valuable to people. And creating the right content allows you to build credibility, earn trust, and if you’re consistently in people’s faces by giving value versus just being a bunch of like spam, throwing a bunch of spam out there, that’s more important than just trying to get a bunch of likes. In fact, I can start an ad campaign with a page that has zero likes and still be very profitable, because the likes really don’t mean anything anymore. It’s like they’re just more like, hey, look at me, I got a bunch of likes versus wow, look how much money I’m making or how many leads I’m generating because of my content,

Santiago Leon
which I agree because I saw one realtor that had amazing video content, he was interviewing Tom Ferry Grant Cardone, and he had like, hundreds and like millions of views. But his Facebook page likes was like 300 400. But he was still getting views with his videos. Yeah.

Carlos Vazquez
Yeah, you can pay listen to it’s Facebook is like one of the best platforms to drive the right eyes to your to your content. So it doesn’t matter how many likes you have. The likes are cool, but it’s not. It’s not as valuable. Listen, if if likes are important to you, then you’re probably somebody like, like in the entertainment space where you have to sell to sponsors, a lot of sponsors, they don’t care about how much value you’re giving, they just don’t see how many likes you have. So, if you’re looking for sponsorships to become an influencer, they look at those numbers. They look at those metrics. But if you don’t have those likes, then they’re looking they’ll look at you like Well, you’re not popular. Why would we want to, you know, spend money on you as an influencer. So that’s the only time I will see likes being very important. But for small businesses that don’t really need to be influencers like that, then no that does not That impacting or I don’t think gonna hurt you by not having a ton of likes.

Santiago Leon
What’s more important, the big story I GTV or regular IQ video

Carlos Vazquez
that’s a good woman. This is what I’ve learned. Every on every platform just because you don’t use it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an audience. So I’ll put that into my world. I don’t I don’t really look at it stories that much. I really don’t. I’m looking at the feed. And I will click on an id like the one those longer videos I GTV style where you can watch more than a minutes worth. I will watch that. But I’ve done ads for all different mediums because you can have separate ads for each one. And just because you don’t use it doesn’t mean you’re going to get people liking or commenting or whatever, what I like about the stories aspect of it and then combining with something like mo CRM Is that not not only do you get the ability to swipe up and because Instagram doesn’t allow you to have links inside the form the actual platform, but the big story to swipe O’s are very powerful. And you can you can initiate a message with someone and if you’re using mo CRM, now the inside of your CRM so i g stories seems to be very, like an under undervalued I think it’s underrated for sure right now until marketers discover it and then they ruin it.

Santiago Leon
Which was a quote, I cannot forget when you told me at wordcamp let’s go into texting. Which that quote really is the texting. I know Texans become way more popular. Tell me where is it at right now? Is it the way to go?

Carlos Vazquez
Yeah, man. So here’s the thing. It’s not that it’s the way to go. It’s that you if you had to kind of imagine like being an octopus, the octopus has like the center or the Head, and the octopus has a bunch of different arms. And if you want, if you want to be able to eat as an octopus, you have to use your arms to grab the food. If you only have one tentacle to try to live for food, you’re really minimizing your chances of eating. So that’s why the yes use all of your arms to try to feed your yourself no matter where they’re coming in. So I like to you have to combine the different mediums. So you can really feed yourself because if you only depend on one, that might not be the one that’s working right now. But everything I feel like has a season. And when you’re combining all all those different mediums, you’re likely to really increase your chances of being successful with that. So I wouldn’t say texting is that texting is not dead. It just has its audience. So there are some people that are rather texts, but they’re so beautiful rather message on Facebook. There’s some people that would rather message on on Instagram. There are some people who do LinkedIn, there’s some people that do email so you have to combine them all because if you don’t, you’re You’re all by yourself.

Santiago Leon
definitely agree. And like you were saying the marketers will try, you know, ram it through or just butcher it eventually. And then there probably is some other spam act for text messaging how they did with emails.

Carlos Vazquez
Yeah, man, for sure. I mean, there’s already a TCPA, which is a telecommunications, telecommunications Protection Act. And, you know, they have rules already in place. And I know that the data that GDPR and in Europe, so, you know, people are cracking down, which is, I think it’s good. It’s good for the industry, because we need to, we need to be able to think of the end user versus trying to sell to them. Because at the end of the week, our end users also we have to like, hey, okay, cool. We’re, I know I have these clients, or potential clients, they’re like, Hey, I just bought this list of 50,000 email addresses or I just bought this, this list of 50,000 text, phone numbers, can you automate these messages, all I need is just 1% of the sale. I’d say that everything is worth it. And I’m like, it doesn’t work that way. If it was, if that was the way everybody would do it. That’s basically what it comes down to. So, and you know what, and I’m sorry to take up so much time, but although marketers ruin it, there’s still a market for it, there’s still an audience for it. So I know that email is one of those areas where it’s been oversaturated and has been spammed and but still emails are very effective, you just got to find different ways to make sure you make it to the front, and you’re adding value inside of that email. And it just to combine it just because you don’t use it, or you don’t use it for yourself doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be something people would react to. So I as long as you’re providing value, you could kind of just make go over the noise and stand out from a bunch of other people. Because you know, it at the end of the day, they’re still audiences that are willing to consume content in that specific way.

Santiago Leon
I agree. Totally with you with the emails I became a believer of emails about two, three years ago still use it today. I think it’s a good way to have a list. Because there’s been cases where you know, some of my clients or even myself where you have Facebook pages, you know, just shut down by Facebook or your Twitter or your Instagram for no reason. And but you have that list just a backup because you know, the social media, they own that space like they could do whatever they want. So it’s always important to have a backup like email, list campaigns and everything else. Which leads me to my next question is he tells a few tools that you’re using today that are must haves for marketers or business owners.

Carlos Vazquez
Okay, Active Campaign. Hands down is the tool that every business needs, for for marketing, for sales and for operational needs, meaning you can automate the intake process for yourself in the business, you can automate internal notifications for your team to handle Forget your your timesheet like you can automate a bunch of things inside. Ammo CRM is one of those under the radar tools that I, I really believe in so that way you can streamline the whole lead capture process and keep track of everyone you talk to. And let’s say one more tool. You know what a puzzler seems to be one of those tools that I am very happy I got, which is, it’s a way to automate and send out messages. It’s kind of like Hootsuite, but it’s different. So I better in my opinion, Hootsuite, I think kind of just lost its way a while back or too many people heard of it so that they’re not they’re not as innovative as they used to be. So cobbler is one of those really neat ones to kind of just send your messages out to all your different social media platforms. Hey, so those three are my favorite go to PUBL er,

Santiago Leon
p br Yeah, well, definitely. Have this in the show notes. I know Carlos will send me some links, and definitely get that started because marketing is for almost everyone. Carlos, what is the best way to reach you online?

Carlos Vazquez
Miami marketer calm Instagram just go to just find my marketer one word. And I answer every every message I receive. Maybe not right away, but I answer, I definitely answer them.

Santiago Leon
That’s very true. That was what you did, because I know you’re pretty busy guy. But I think the response time is key for a good business, isn’t it?

Carlos Vazquez
Absolutely. And that’s why the bot really helps. Because the person that right now remember marketers haven’t ruined this technique yet. So as long as and if you include that typos in your messages, it kind of keeps that hold that authenticity there too. So yeah, the bots have really helped out set up that first response

Santiago Leon
Carlos Any closing words?

Carlos Vazquez
Now, man, they don’t get frustrated. Automated My living my slogan.

Santiago Leon
There you have it. Automation is probably one of the key words in this podcast and definitely, we encourage you to do that. You can follow us s Leon productions calm or ATS Leon on i G and also Twitter. And we’ll definitely This is a great podcast, great conversation, a lot of tools that I definitely will be using. And we’ll definitely be posting on the notes Carlos. I appreciate you coming on to the Leon productions podcast.

Carlos Vazquez
My pleasure, my brother thanks for having me, man. Hablamos, dale

Transcribed by https://otter.ai