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IAM961- Founder Helps Businesses Grow Through Content and Copywriting

Podcast Interview with Carmine Mastropierro

Carmine Mastropierro is the Founder of Mastro Commerce, a marketing agency that helps businesses grow through content and copywriting. He's worked with Dan Lok, Neil Patel, Marketo, GoDaddy, and others.

  • CEO Hack: i) Book- Getting Things Done by David Allen ii) Looking down at different things in my life and reflecting on the progress and direction to keep me mentally on track
  • CEO Nugget: Hire and delegate sooner
  • CEO Defined: Being a leader and decision-maker

Website: https://carminemastropierro.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarmineMastrop1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Carmine-Mastropierro-2347380705534163
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmine-mastropierro-9366b211b/


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[00:00:15.09] – Intro

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I Am CEO podcast.

[00:00:47.20] – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Carmine Mastropierro of Mastro Commerce. Carmine, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:57.79] – Carmine Mastropierro

Awesome. Thanks for having me.

[00:00:59.39] – Gresham Harkless

Definitely. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read more about Carmine so you can hear about all the awesome things he's doing. Carmine is the founder of Mashro Commerce, a marketing agency that helps businesses grow through content and copywriting. He's worked with Dan Lok, Neil Patel, Marketo, GoDaddy, and many, many others. Carmine, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:19.00] – Carmine Mastropierro

Absolutely. Let's do it.

[00:01:20.20] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Let's do it then. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take us through your CEO story? We'll let you get started with all the awesome work you're doing.

[00:01:28.09] – Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. For sure. I think just like you and probably a lot of people listening goes back to childhood. I was the kid selling, trading cards, and making lemonade stands. I was always hustling and making money, and I didn't know what to call it business or entrepreneurship at that age, but I loved it. And I was doing it all the time. So I think it started there, and that's where I got my entrepreneurial spirit from. And then I was always good with tech and computers and things like that. So by the time I got to high school, I was learning how to do freelance web design and writing and all these little things.

And by no means was it a full-time income thing, but it showed me that business has potential. I can make money online and it's a real thing. And I just really loved it. So then, by the time I was getting into college, that's when I started to take freelance writing very seriously. I was learning about affiliate marketing, and e-commerce, just throwing everything at the wall, seeing what sticks. And then freelance copywriting was a thing that I just loved. And so I doubled down on that. I started building my website, doing social media, learning about funnels, email, and the whole thing.

And I just doubled down on that. It was my greatest skill and is what I love the most. And even though I still was doing websites and things like that, it was what I was, pretty much, like, the most well-known for with my clients was the content and copywriting side. So then when I doubled down on that, it led to just so many opportunities. I was getting good referrals and networking.

As you said, I went on to write for Neil Patel, Marketo, GoDaddy, and all these really big businesses. Do a lot of, c-suite Forbes ghostwriting as well. But, you know, once again, it just started as that entrepreneurial spirit, you know, as a child. And then I just really fully invested in it. I went to school for business. But then I think just freelancing and doubling down on that one skill is what took me to the next level and where I'm at today.

[00:03:01.50] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely love that. And I think so many times, and I appreciate you for sharing that because I think so many times, we think that you know, an overnight success they say the secret to the overnight success is it takes ten years. I think so many times, like, getting the opportunity to hear how you experimented and worked in different aspects, and then you found your place. I think so many times we think that people wake up, and then they automatically sometimes zone in on one. But especially in a place like digital marketing, and there's so much going on, being able to kinda experiment, find out what your place is, and then really I guess, lean forward in your calling is huge.

[00:03:32.00] – Carmine Mastropierro

For sure. Yeah. In marketing, everything we do changes really fast, so you gotta stay on your toes and keep learning and whatnot. And I love the saying, it takes twenty years to become an overnight success or, the harder I work, the luckier I get. I love that stuff because I think that one of my major keys to success in anything is just, putting in the time every single day, every single week. You can work really hard, and enjoy the flexibility of being an entrepreneur, but you have to put in the hours.  And if you do that over months, over years, and years, and you just love what you do, that's when it comes to fruition. And at first, especially if you're new, you're not going to see the results and the money you want. But if you just master it and you learn that patience and that hard work, it just takes you so far.

[00:04:08.80] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I almost believe like you hear quotes that say that you don't have to be passionate about what you do. But if you are passionate, it's gonna give you a leg up because of the work, the consistency, the not seeing the fruits of your labor initially all the time. Sometimes you need that passion to keep you and fuel you towards that goal that we have.

[00:04:26.89] – Carmine Mastropierro

A hundred percent. And I was doing web design, all these different services. But really, I loved writing the most, and that's why I pivoted to it and just focused on it the most. And I'm sure most people listening are familiar with Gary Vee, Gary Vaynerchuk, the founder of VaynerMedia. And I love his idea that if you love it, you'll put in the hours. But some people just love business, and that's good. But if you can niche down on a specific skill or service, product, industry, something like that, and you just really love it, you're passionate about it, then you're just gonna happily put in the work every day, and it doesn't feel like work.

[00:04:58.50] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I think it speaks to an abundance mindset where you don't have to choose either or. You get to choose both. And if you're passionate about something and you love doing it and they both align, then you really get the opportunity to niche down in a phenomenal place. And so I wanted to hear a little bit more about where your niche is down. Could you take us through a little bit more on what you do and how you set the class you work with?

[00:05:18.50] – Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. For sure. I'd say there are about three, like, major pillars for what I do for clients in particular. On one side, you have direct response copywriting. So that's going to be writing sales pages, sales letters, ads, pretty much something where the consumer is responding to it directly, and we're gonna be measuring conversions, leads, revenue. And that's kind of like one of the main services I focus on, I've niched down on. Another big thing that I love doing for my clients is SEO content writing, where essentially I'm going to be creating blog content that targets very specific topics and keywords that bring their buyer persona, their target audience to the website. And then I'll help them align that with the funnel.

So I'll create lead magnets for them, or if they already have those, you know, maybe like free templates, ebooks, cheat sheets, things like that, will essentially bring traffic to their blog, to their website, have people opt in for that lead magnet, and then it can convert into marketing qualified leads. So normally I'll do, like, monthly retainers for x amount of content per month and lead magnets and whatnot. And then the third thing I love doing, and I tend to mix it in, especially in the back end once I'm working with a client, is marketing consulting. And it's like a catch-all term.

So what I like to think about it is strategy consulting and just tailoring it bespoke to each project. Because if I work with somebody and then in the back end, the funnel isn't looking too good, I have a lot of experience with that, so then I can go ahead and fix that. Maybe they need some help with email marketing. I'm good with that. Outbound sales, lead gen. So my main services in the front are copywriting and content writing, but then the consulting in the back end helps me just add in extra little details and help the clients out.

But it's those three main pillars. And as well, outside of the services, I've been getting into course development and creating cool digital products. I have free courses that teach people how to do good copywriting, and how to be a better marketer. I have paid courses that kind of take those things to the next level. But right now, it's been mostly mostly on the service side, and then I've been dabbling in digital product development lately.

[00:07:03.19] – Gresham Harkless

Nice. I appreciate that. And it kinda gives those different, you know, pieces and how people learn as well too and having those digital, those digital goods, so to speak, that you have of course that expertise that you have as well. And I almost feel like, so many times and I don't know if you would feel the same way. Content is always good, but content with the strategy takes it to another level. So I feel like you being able to have that experience in the the consulting hat that you may not be using on a specific client, but you're probably unconsciously using is beneficial because it helps you to not only create that content, create that opportunity, but take it a step further as far as helping them to get to their goals.

[00:07:38.30] – Carmine Mastropierro

Oh, for sure. Because I think there's a big difference between just any content marketing and content marketing that moves the needle and generates a good ROI. And that comes from understanding the funnel. You know, I've worked with a lot of big businesses, even ones that are venture-backed. And I was always super surprised to see that they don't have a really good funnel fleshed out. And that's what makes content marketing and content writing in particular really succeed, is having that top of the funnel. So pretty much attracting a really wide audience with your blog posts, your social media copy, email, and so on. And then somewhere in the middle, you need to segment all those people and find out who's more serious.

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And that's where your lead magnets, maybe it's the ebooks I said, cheat sheets, getting case studies too, white papers, depending on your buyer persona. And then once you have those people in your CRM and your email marketing, that's when you can start hitting them with the free consultations, the demos, trials, and closing them. So the funnel is so, so important. But also with content marketing, SEO is huge. If you're producing any kind of content, you need to learn keyword research, you need to learn how to on-page SEO your content. That's free traffic. It takes a little bit of your time, but SEO is such an amazing skill.

And then you can essentially blueprint that for all your blog posts. Exactly how to do your keywords, where to place them, you know, the word count for each piece and x y z. And then when you publish it, you're just maximizing kind of the traffic and exposure you can get. Also, email marketing is so important. It plays into the funnel. If you understand content marketing, you're gonna have that top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. You have your SEO. And then if you have the email sequences set up in the back end to essentially let that funnel just go on autopilot, you're gonna have really good and effective content marketing that generates ROI and moves the needle because a lot of it doesn't.

[00:09:09.20] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And the quicker you can kinda understand what does and what doesn't, allows you to put the resources in the correct way and the correct and open down the correct fashion that you want to. So absolutely appreciate that. And so I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And you might have already touched on this, but this is what you feel kinda sets you or your organization apart and makes you unique and kinda cut through the noise.

[00:09:29.60] – Carmine Mastropierro

For sure. Yeah. So essentially, like, the business itself, it's a marketing agency. Like, Master of Commerce is my DBA, but I do it through my brand, which is just me, my name, my face. And I've been surprised, but in a way not surprised how amazingly that's worked. Because when I'm working with founders, CEOs, and CMOs in these big companies, they're always really interested in just working with one person who can do a really good job. They can outsource to you and they can have a real relationship with you. So I think my branding has been a huge asset for me. It's really paid off. It also just lets me be one-on-one with all my clients and develop a real friendship and organic relationships. And I love that because we just end up on the same wavelength. We have long-term engagements. We find other ways to grow and help each other.

And I think just having that personal brand nowadays, especially with everything being digital, it's something we kind of miss, like that human touch, especially with a lot of places. You can't go to networking events. You can't go to conferences. So if you can have that personal touch, that personal connection online in some way, I think it's amazing. And it has a huge ROI. So I think right now, the personal branding aspect is probably a big part of my kind of business as a whole, the secret sauce.

But also when it comes to the actual services itself, if we're talking about content writing, we're just mentioning, I think having a system. If you can learn to outline every single blog post before you write it, do proper keyword research, and simplify your, on-page SEO, that's huge. That's going to save you so much time and generate more results. And also when it comes to the copywriting side, frankly, if you read any of the old-school David Ogilvy copywriting books, you're going to learn eighty percent of it.

So if you're a marketing director, if you're in B2B and you, even if you're not writing the copy yourself, but if you manage copywriters, educate yourself about the fundamentals of copy. It's going to change how you write copy, but also how you manage it and edit it with your team. So I think that's kind of some of the major keys to success in my agency right now that I'd love to share with people.

[00:11:22.10] – Gresham Harkless

I wanted to, switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:11:31.39] – Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. One thing I love doing, it's actually a habit I learned from Getting Things Done by by David Allen. If you wanna learn how to be a productivity beast, you have to go read this book. It's amazing. He goes over just all these productivity systems and habits you need to do. But one of the big takeaways from that book is that you know, I read this book probably five-plus years ago, and I still do this every single week. And it's called the weekly review. And there are different ways you can do it.

And even in the book, like, if you were to take all those systems and things he talks about, he says to mold it in your own way and have some fun and creativity with it. But what I like doing every single week, I used to do it Monday morning, but now I like doing Sunday evening because I look forward to the next week. And what I do is I look at all the major areas of my life, business, health and fitness, relationships, mindfulness, and education, and I just write down progress and things I've learned, and where I can improve.

And I just review every major facet of my life. And I also look at all my goals. I look at all of my projects for my business and I reorganize them. And it's kind of just a time to reflect on everything you achieved that past week, everything you need to do, where you're heading, your goals, your direction. And it just really keeps you mentally on track.

[00:12:39.50] – Gresham Harkless

I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice, could be around cop copywriting or content, or it might be something if you were to hop into a time machine, you would tell your younger business self.

[00:12:50.29] – Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. I think, looking back at it, one of the big things I would have done was hire and delegate sooner because, you know, there's a great book called The E Myth as well. And it's so easy to essentially create a job for yourself instead of a business. And I think one of the metrics or the benchmarks was that if you can walk away from the business and it runs itself, then that's a real company. But if you step away and nothing happens, then you have more of a job than a business.

And that's easy to happen if you're a freelancer or you run an agency because you might be taking on all the client work yourself and who's doing it. So I wish earlier on, I had hired and delegated and gotten more junior writers, more assistants earlier on. It would have saved me a lot of time and energy and headaches, and I would have been able to double down further, like, on my marketing efforts and product development and really important stuff.

[00:13:36.79] – Gresham Harkless

So, I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're open to different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Carmine, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:13:45.89] – Carmine Mastropierro

I think being a CEO, means being a leader and a decision-maker. It sounds like a big paradigm shift I had was when, you know, years back, I did start hiring and bringing some junior writers on board and getting an assistant and whatnot. I realized my workload wasn't necessarily drastically reduced. It more so, like, changed in a way. I went from writing the copy, writing the content, and doing things like that, to more so having the team do it.

And then I'm just like saying, yes, we need to revise this, here's a better strategy. And more so, like, leading them in the right direction, but also being a decision maker in terms of realizing what to say yes to, what to say no to, and then that leads the team and reflects and impacts their progress and what they're doing. So I think, yeah, one, it's being a leader and really taking your team and guiding them in the right direction and also being a really good decision-maker. Just knowing what to say yes to that's gonna move the needle and grow the business, but also knowing what to say no to that's gonna slow you down and maybe actually not bring the real progress or growth you're looking for.

[00:14:44.70] – Gresham Harkless

Nice. Yeah. I appreciate that leadership piece. And and and and like you said so well, like, I almost feel like knowing what to say no to might be the most valuable thing because you, you really can say yes to so many different things, but you wanna really wanna focus on what you and your team can do. And I love how you said that often it's not the number of hours that change. It's just how you're using the hours.

And often we become coaches. We become leaders. We become people that are saying, okay. How can you improve this and challenging or giving, I guess, a, a hug even, a virtual hug even to Yeah. To those people on our team, you have to start being that. So it's not how we're it's not the number of hours. It's just how we're using them. So I think that encompasses a couple like, encapsulates so much.

[00:15:24.60] – Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. It changes over time. It's kind of like your mindset and perspective. And as you're a business owner, if you're a freelancer right now, once you start hiring, building up that team, it's it's a really big paradigm shift. But I think it's a cool way to look at it. Start thinking of yourself as more of a decision-maker and a leader, and I think that just helps run the business so much better.

[00:15:41.20] – Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Carmine, I truly appreciate that definition, and I appreciate your time even more. What I want to do is just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best they can get a hold of you, find out about your podcast, your blog, and all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:15:54.89] – Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. Yeah. If you guys wanna learn more about me, I have a blog, a YouTube channel, podcast. Fresh was just on actually. And if you wanna learn more about copywriting marketing, and all the things I touched on today, carmenmastropiero.com. Best way to see all my content and learn about me. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn if you have any questions, Twitter, or Facebook. I have a Facebook group as well if you wanna join there and just ask questions about copywriting. But let's say, like, if you go to my personal website, you'll find everything about me and all my different resources.

[00:16:20.79] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes as well. So truly appreciate you again, Carmine, for taking some time out and all the awesome work that you're doing. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:30.20] – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

[00:00:15.09] - Intro

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Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I Am CEO podcast.

[00:00:47.20] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Carmine Mastropierro of Mastro Commerce. Carmine, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:57.79] - Carmine Mastropierro

Awesome. Thanks for having me.

[00:00:59.39] - Gresham Harkless

Definitely. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read more about Carmine so you can hear about all the awesome things he's doing. Carmine is the founder of Mashro Commerce, a marketing agency that helps businesses grow through content and copywriting. He's worked with Dan Lok, Neil Patel, Marketo, GoDaddy, and many, many others. Carmine, are you ready to speak to the IMCO community?

[00:01:19.00] - Carmine Mastropierro

Absolutely. Let's do it.

[00:01:20.20] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Let's do it then. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take us through your CEO story? We'll let you get started with all the awesome work you're doing.

[00:01:28.09] - Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. For sure. I think just like you and probably a lot of people listening goes back to childhood. I was the kid selling, trading cards, and making lemonade stands. I was always hustling and making money, and I didn't know what to call it business or entrepreneurship at that age, but I loved it. And I was doing it all the time. So I think it started there, and that's where I got my entrepreneurial spirit from. And then I was always good with tech and computers and things like that. So by the time I got to high school, I was learning how to do freelance web design and writing and all these little things.

And by no means was it a full-time income thing, but it showed me that business has potential. I can make money online and it's a real thing. And I just really loved it. So then, by the time I was getting into college, that's when I started to take freelance writing very seriously. I was learning about affiliate marketing, and e-commerce, just throwing everything at the wall, seeing what sticks. And then freelance copywriting was a thing that I just loved. And so I doubled down on that. I started building my website, doing social media, learning about funnels, email, the whole thing.

And I just doubled down on that. It was my greatest skill and is what I love the most. And even though I still was doing websites and things like that, it was what I was, pretty much, like, the most well-known for with my clients was the content and copywriting side. So then when I doubled down on that, it led to just so many opportunities. I was getting good referrals and networking.

As you said, I went on to write for Neil Patel, Marketo, GoDaddy, and all these really big businesses. Do a lot of, c-suite Forbes ghostwriting as well. But, you know, once again, it just started as that entrepreneurial spirit, you know, as a child. And then I just really fully invested in it. I went to school for business. But then I think just freelancing and doubling down on that one skill is what took me to the next level and where I'm at today.

[00:03:01.50] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely love that. And I think so many times, and I appreciate you for sharing that because I think so many times, we think that, you know, an overnight success they say the secret to the overnight success is it takes ten years. I think so many times, like, getting the opportunity to hear how you experimented and work in different aspects, and then you found your place. I think so many times we think that people wake up, and then they automatically sometimes zone in on one. But especially in a place like digital marketing, and there's so much going on, being able to kinda experiment, find out what your place is, and then really I guess, lean forward in your calling is huge.

[00:03:32.00] - Carmine Mastropierro

For sure. Yeah. In marketing, everything we do changes really fast, so you gotta stay on your toes and keep learning and whatnot. And I love the saying, it takes twenty years to become an overnight success or, the harder I work, the luckier I get. I love that stuff because I think that one of my major keys to success in anything is just, putting in the time every single day, every single week. You can work really hard, enjoy the flexibility of being an entrepreneur, but you have to put in the hours.  And if you do that over months, over years, and years, and you just love what you do, that's when it comes to fruition. And at first, especially if you're new, you're not going to see the results and the money you want. But if you just master it and you learn that patience and that hard work, it just takes you so far.

[00:04:08.80] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I almost believe like you hear quotes that say that you don't have to be passionate about what you do. But if you are passionate, it's gonna give you a leg up because of the work, the consistency, the not seeing the fruits of your labor initially all the time. Sometimes you need that passion to keep you and fuel you towards that goal that we have.

[00:04:26.89] - Carmine Mastropierro

A hundred percent. And I was doing web design, all these different services. But really, I loved writing the most, and that's why I pivoted to it and just focused on it the most. And I'm sure most people listening are familiar with Gary Vee, Gary Vaynerchuk, the founder of VaynerMedia. And I love his idea that if you love it, you'll put in the hours. But some people just love business, and that's good. But if you can niche down on a specific skill or service, product, industry, something like that, and you just really love it, you're passionate about it, then you're just gonna happily put in the work every day, and it doesn't feel like work.

[00:04:58.50] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I think it speaks to an abundance mindset where you don't have to choose either or. You get to choose both. And if you're passionate about something and you love doing it and they both align, then you really get the opportunity to niche down in a phenomenal place. And and so I wanted to hear a little bit more about where you niche down. Could you take us through a little bit more on what you do and how you set the class you work with?

[00:05:18.50] - Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. For sure. I'd say there are about three, like, major pillars for what I do for clients in particular. On one side, you have direct response copywriting. So that's going to be writing sales pages, sales letters, ads, pretty much something where the consumer is responding to it directly, and we're gonna be measuring conversions, leads, revenue. And that's kind of like one of the main services I focus on, I've niched down on. Another big thing that I love doing for my clients is SEO content writing, where essentially I'm going to be creating blog content that targets very specific topics and keywords that bring their buyer persona, their target audience to the website. And then I'll help them align that with the funnel.

So I'll create lead magnets for them, or if they already have those, you know, maybe like free templates, ebooks, cheat sheets, things like that, will essentially bring traffic to their blog, to their website, have people opt in for that lead magnet, and then it can convert into marketing qualified leads. So normally I'll do, like, monthly retainers for x amount of content per month and lead magnets and whatnot. And then the third thing I love doing, and I tend to mix it in, especially in the back end once I'm working with a client, is marketing consulting. And it's like a catch-all term.

So what I like to think about it is strategy consulting and just tailoring it bespoke to each project. Because if I work with somebody and then in the back end, the funnel isn't looking too good, I have a lot of experience with that, so then I can go ahead and fix that. Maybe they need some help with email marketing. I'm good with that. Outbound sales, lead gen. So my main services in the front are copywriting and content writing, but then the consulting in the back end helps me just add in extra little details and help the clients out.

But it's those three main pillars. And as well, outside of the services, I've been getting into course development and creating cool digital products. I have free courses that teach people how to do good copywriting, and how to be a better marketer. I have paid courses that kind of take those things to the next level. But right now, it's been mostly mostly on the service side, and then I've been kinda dabbling in digital product development lately.

[00:07:03.19] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I appreciate that. And it kinda gives those different, you know, pieces and and how people learn as well too and having those digital, those digital goods, so to speak, that you have of course that expertise that you have as well. And I almost feel like, so many times and I don't know if you would feel the same way. Content is always good, but content with the strategy takes it to another level. So I feel like you being able to have that experience in the the consulting hat that you may not be using on a specific client, but you're probably unconsciously using is beneficial because it helps you to not only create that content, create that opportunity, but take it a step further as far as helping them to get to their goals.

[00:07:38.30] - Carmine Mastropierro

Oh, for sure. Because I think there's a big difference between just any content marketing and content marketing that moves the needle and generates a good ROI. And that comes from understanding the funnel. You know, I've worked with a lot of big businesses, even ones that are venture-backed. And I was always super surprised to see that they don't have a really good funnel fleshed out. And that's what makes content marketing and content writing in particular really succeed, is having that top of the funnel. So pretty much attracting a really wide audience with your blog posts, your social media copy, email, and so on. And then somewhere in the middle, you need to segment all those people and find out who's more serious.

And that's where your lead magnets, maybe it's, you know, the ebooks I said, cheat sheets, getting case studies too, white papers, depends on your buyer persona. And then once you have those people in your CRM and your email marketing, that's when you can start hitting them with the free consultations, the demos, trials, and closing them. So the funnel is so, so important. But also with content marketing, SEO is huge. If you're producing any kind of content, you need to learn keyword research, you need to learn how to on-page SEO your content. That's free traffic. It takes a little bit of your time, but SEO is such an amazing skill.

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And then you can essentially blueprint that for all your blog posts. Exactly how to do your keywords, where to place them, you know, the word count for each piece and x y z. And then when you publish it, you're just maximizing kind of the traffic and exposure you can get. Also, email marketing is so important. It plays into the funnel. If you understand content marketing, you're gonna have that top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. You have your SEO. And then if you have the email sequences set up in the back end to essentially let that funnel just go on autopilot, you're gonna have really good and effective content marketing that generates ROI and moves the needle because a lot of it doesn't.

[00:09:09.20] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And the quicker that you're able to kinda understand what does and what doesn't, allows you to put the resources in the correct way and the correct and open down the correct fashion that you want to. So absolutely appreciate that. And so I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And you might have already touched on this, but this is what you feel kinda sets you or your organization apart and and makes you unique and and and and kinda cut through the noise.

[00:09:29.60] - Carmine Mastropierro

For sure. Yeah. So essentially, like, the business itself, it's a marketing agency. Like, Master of Commerce is my DBA, but I do it through my brand, which is just me, my name, my face. And I've been surprised, but in a way not surprised how amazingly that's worked. Because when I'm working with founders, CEOs, and CMOs in these big companies, they're always really interested in just working with one person who can do a really good job. They can outsource to you and they can have a real relationship with you. So I think my branding has been a huge asset for me. It's really paid off. It also just lets me be one-on-one with all my clients and develop a real friendship and organic relationships. And I love that because we just end up on the same wavelength. We have long-term engagements. We find other ways to grow and help each other.

And I think just having that personal brand nowadays, especially with everything being digital, it's something we kind of miss, like that human touch, especially with a lot of places. You can't go to networking events. You can't go to conferences. So if you can have that personal touch, that personal connection online in some way, I think it's amazing. And it has a huge ROI. So I think right now, the personal branding aspect is probably a big part of my kind of business as a whole, the secret sauce.

But also when it comes to the actual services itself, if we're talking about content writing, we're just mentioning, I think having a system. If you can learn to outline every single blog post before you write it, do proper keyword research, and simplify your, on-page SEO, that's huge. That's going to save you so much time, generate more results. And also when it comes to the copywriting side, frankly, if you read any of the old-school David Ogilvy copywriting books, you're going to learn eighty percent of it.

So if you're a marketing director, if you're in B2B and you, even if you're not writing the copy yourself, but if you manage copywriters, educate yourself about the fundamentals of copy. It's going to change how you write copy, but also how you manage it and edit it with your team. So I think that's kind of some of the major keys to success in my agency right now that I'd love to share with people.

[00:11:22.10] - Gresham Harkless

I wanted to, switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:11:31.39] - Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. One thing I love doing, it's actually a habit I learned from Getting Things Done by by David Allen. If you wanna learn how to be a productivity beast, you have to go read this book. It's amazing. He goes over just all these productivity systems and habits you need to do. But one of the big takeaways from that book is that you know, I read this book probably five-plus years ago, and I still do this every single week. And it's called the weekly review. And there are different ways you can do it.

And even in the book, like, if you were to take all those systems and things he talks about, he says to mold it in your own way and have some fun and creativity with it. But what I like doing every single week, I used to do it Monday morning, but now I like doing Sunday evening because I look forward at the next week. And what I do is I look at all the major areas of my life, business, health and fitness, relationships, mindfulness, and education, and I just write down progress and things I've learned, and where I can improve.

And I just review every major facet of my life. And I also look at all my goals. I look at all of my projects for my business and I reorganize them. And it's kind of just a time to reflect on everything you achieved that past week, everything you need to do, where you're heading, your goals, your direction. And it just really keeps you mentally on track.

[00:12:39.50] - Gresham Harkless

I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice, could be around cop copywriting or content, or it might be something if you were to hop into a time machine, you would tell your younger business self.

[00:12:50.29] - Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. I think, looking back at it, one of the big things I would have done was hire and delegate sooner because, you know, there's a great book called The E Myth as well. And it's so easy to essentially create a job for yourself instead of a business. And I think one of the metrics or the benchmarks was that if you can walk away from the business and it runs itself, then that's a real company. But if you step away and nothing happens, then you have more of a job than a business.

And that's easy to happen if you're a freelancer or you run an agency because you might be taking on all the client work yourself and who's doing it. So I wish earlier on, I had hired and delegated and gotten more junior writers, more assistants earlier on. It would have saved me a lot of time and energy and headaches, and I would have been able to double down further, like, on my marketing efforts and product development and really important stuff.

[00:13:36.79] - Gresham Harkless

So, I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're open to different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Carmine, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:13:45.89] - Carmine Mastropierro

I think being a CEO, means being a leader and a decision-maker. It sounds like a big paradigm shift I had was when, you know, years back, I did start hiring and bringing some junior writers on board and getting an assistant and whatnot. I realized my workload wasn't necessarily drastically reduced. It more so, like, changed in a way. I went from writing the copy, writing the content, and doing things like that, to more so having the team do it.

And then I'm just like saying, yes, we need to revise this, here's a better strategy. And more so, like, leading them in the right direction, but also being a decision maker in terms of realizing what to say yes to, what to say no to, and then that leads the team and reflects and impacts their progress and what they're doing. So I think, yeah, one, it's being a leader and really taking your team and guiding them in the right direction and also being a really good decision-maker. Just knowing what to say yes to that's gonna move the needle and grow the business, but also knowing what to say no to that's gonna slow you down and maybe actually not bring the real progress or growth you're looking for.

[00:14:44.70] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. Yeah. I appreciate that leadership piece. And and and and like you said so well, like, I almost feel like knowing what to say no to might be the most valuable thing because you, you really can say yes to so many different things, but you wanna really wanna focus on what you and your team can do. And I love how you said that often it's not the number of hours that change. It's just how you're using the hours.

And often we become coaches. We become leaders. We become people that are saying, okay. How can you improve this and challenging or giving, I guess, a, a hug even, a virtual hug even to Yeah. To those people on our team because you have to start being that. So it's not how we're it's not the number of hours. It's just how we're using them. So I think that encompasses a couple like, encapsulates so much.

[00:15:24.60] - Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. It changes over time. It's kind of like your mindset and perspective. And as you're a business owner, if you're a freelancer right now, once you start hiring, building up that team, it's it's a really big paradigm shift. But I think it's a cool way to look at it. Start thinking of yourself as more of a decision-maker and a leader, and I think that just helps run the business so much better.

[00:15:41.20] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Carmine, I truly appreciate that definition, and I appreciate your time even more. What I want to do is just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best they can get a hold of you, find out about your podcast, your blog, and all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:15:54.89] - Carmine Mastropierro

Yeah. Yeah. If you guys wanna learn more about me, I have a blog, a YouTube channel, podcast. Fresh was just on actually. And if you wanna learn more about copywriting marketing, and all the things I touched on today, carmen mastropiero dot com. Best way to see all my content and learn about me. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn if you have any questions, Twitter, or Facebook. I have a Facebook group as well if you wanna join there and just ask questions about copywriting. But let's say, like, if you go to my personal website, you'll find everything about me and all my different resources.

[00:16:20.79] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes as well. So truly appreciate you again, Carmine, for taking some time out and all the awesome work that you're doing. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day. 

[00:16:30.20] - Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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