The Sharpest Tool™

Roger Wakefield Part 2 | Network on Social Media Like You Would In Real Life

Roger Wakefield is the founder of Texas Green Plumbing, a Green Certified Plumber, speaker, and successful YouTuber whose channel focuses on plumbing and trade advice. He shares how using social media for local leads has brought his business growth and success.

Josh Smith (00:03):

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the sharpest tool where we take the sting out of marketing with everything that we're bringing to the table. My name is Josh Smith. I'm the vice president of marketing for home services over at scorpion and your host of the sharpest tool podcast. If you missed last week's episode, we had Roger Wakefield on with us. Roger is a master plumber with 40 years of experience in the trades. He's got every endorsement offered by the state of Texas and is green certified. He's a company owner, speaker trainer. And even as a YouTube channel, that's got over 50,000 subscribers. I want to take a minute to welcome Roger, back into this virtual booth on the sharpest tool. Roger. Welcome. Thank you,

Roger Wakefield (00:42):

Josh is good to be back. Last week was so much fun. I can't wait for this one.

Josh Smith (00:46):

Yeah. And I'm fired up about this one as well, because we're going to talk about one of my favorite topics, but before we jump into there, for those who may potentially have missed out on episode number one, and if you did miss out, I highly recommend you go back and check it out. A lot of good nuggets in there, but give us a brief summary about your company and what you do.

Roger Wakefield (01:04):

I'm a residential service company where you're just Northeast of Dallas, Texas. We're a full service plumbing company, but we specialize in slab leaks and leak detection. We run three trucks. I mean, we're not a big company, but we're a very busy company that does well in our area.

Josh Smith (01:20):

I love that. And we left off our conversation last time, diving into social and content marketing, which is one of the most undervalued areas of marketing. And quite honestly, for a lot of home service businesses is one of the biggest mysteries. How do you actually tackle social properly? You know, and we ended specifically with your philosophy of social, to local growth and how social leads to local growth. Quick recap on that. What does that mean to you before we dive into this?

Roger Wakefield (01:48):

Everybody wants to sell marketing to us because marketing is really easy because we can take keywords and we can niche down and say, look, I want to talk about plumbing in Dallas. And that's easy to do. Social media starts getting a little bit different because every time I put up a video, I mean, my video's available worldwide, but how do I communicate? And how do I reach my local consumers here in the Dallas area? And maybe not even Dallas, maybe specifically to Richardson the city that my plumbing company is at. And if you learn to do social right, and it's more than one aspect, it's just like building a website. You can't just build it. You've got to work on it. You've got to do things to it. You've got to have different aspects. Social media is the same way. It's not well, okay, I'm doing social. I'm going to just make a million Facebook posts a day. There's more to it than just one platform. And social's a little bit different that way. It's not like a website where you've got one spot. You do everything. Social media is multiple platforms. And you know, I always start out talking to people saying, you need to know where your avatar is. Where is your customer? Or they own LinkedIn? Are they on Facebook? Are they on YouTube? Are they on Tik TOK? Who are you trying to reach? And what is your message?

Josh Smith (03:07):

I love that let's dive in and break this down. Tangibly. Let's talk about networking. How do you view networking? And what are some of the tools

Roger Wakefield (03:15):

Networking itself is that is the thing that completely changed my game. And I say that because my wife kept trying to get me to go out and network. And she owns an etiquette and protocol, business, and trains, plumbers, trains, different types of people as to how to act. You get one chance to make a good first impression. And those are the kinds of things she teaches. So she kept trying to get me to go networking to networking events. Well, when she'd go, I'd realize like your phone's not blowing off the hook. It's not know magic or anything like that. And she tried to explain it to me. Well, look, everybody doesn't need etiquette training or they don't think so anyway, every single day, but people need plumbing. Everyday. People need HPAC. People need electrical and roofing and window cleaning and every single thing else that evolves around the house.

Roger Wakefield (04:07):

So she talked me into going to an event. So when we got there, I told her, you go your way. I'm going to go, man. We're not here to hang out together. And two hours later, when it was time to go, we're walking out to the car. And she says, oh my God, Roger, every time I look up, you've got a crowd of people around you. You're, you're waving your hands in the air. You're talking, what were you talking about? I said, plumbing. You know, people see my shirt. And it said, Texas growing plumbing, they'd come up. And they say, oh my God, you're a plumber. I said, no, I'm a drug dealer. I just wear this shirt because it really messes people up. And I start laughing and then we'd start talking plumbing. But I mean, you know, people want to tell you either what problems they're having.

Roger Wakefield (04:46):

People want to tell you what problem they've had, what another plumber has done to them. And it's, I mean, man, you can stand there all night and talk to people. And I kid you, not that first, not networking. We got three phone calls. The next week I met Roger at an event, I told him about a problem. I'd like y'all to come look at it or somebody else will call and say, Hey, I met a guy named ed. And he told me, he met you at an event the other night, I've got a plumbing problem. And he told me to call you. And I was like, wow. That was really, really easy. I think all trades people should be out networking. All you do is talk about the business that you do. People will love you for that.

Josh Smith (05:28):

You know, in, in so many ways, that's exactly the proper strategy to take when it comes to social media, right? You're telling people what you do.

Roger Wakefield (05:38):

Yeah. And think about it. If you're out networking, you don't just walk up. Somebody hand him a card and say, Hey look, call me. I guarantee you got plumbing problems. Let's book an appointment. I'll come out. Tomorrow is $500. Yada, yada, yada, people are gonna look at you. Like dude, you're nuts. Social media is the same way. When people connect with me on LinkedIn, you know, hi, Roger, I've viewed your profile. You look like a wonderful person. I'd like to connect. I hit, okay. Two minutes later, you get another message. I'm a business, a business specialist. You need to book an appointment with me on Calendarly. So set it up and I will tell you how to improve your business. Here's my link. It's like block. I would never introduce that person, that anybody in my network, because you know, we all love the pie, but we all hate to be sold to. And when you are meeting people at a networking event, people you like, that's what you're going to tell people about people that come up and just try to, to cold sell you and hard sell you right then I would never introduce you to anybody on no, it just, it doesn't work for me. That's the way I looked at it.

Josh Smith (06:46):

You know, you mentioned LinkedIn and I know this was something that we were, uh, talking a little bit about before the episode started. Tell us a bit about LinkedIn, your thoughts on LinkedIn and how you use it.

Roger Wakefield (06:57):

It started with me networking. Okay. So like we were talking about, and my wife and I both got really involved with a group here called master networks. And it teaches you how to bond, how to build relationships, how to find common interests, how to do things like that. So when I started doing LinkedIn, not I started YouTube first, but when I started using LinkedIn to reach the people that I wanted to be in front of now, most of our people are residential service providers for most of the people probably watching this. So what I did is I started looking at how could I use LinkedIn to get in front of not just people, but the people that can introduce me to people. So I started looking at real estate agents and I thought, I want to be the most informative plumber that there could ever be for real estate agents.

Roger Wakefield (07:47):

I want to teach them about plumbing. I want them to understand why a sewer water test is important. I want them to understand why an inspection is important. I want them to understand the value of it and understand why it's expensive to tunnel under a house. Why a yard relay or something should be checked or inspected or whatever it is. And I started using LinkedIn to grow locally. I started reaching out to local real estate agents and I would just tell them, Hey, I'm Roger Wakefield. I'll put out valuable content that can help you, help your customers. And I started building connections. I'm a plumber in the Dallas area on Northeast of Dallas. I think I've got about 13,000 followers. I have about 8,000 connections that I'm directly connected with, but I still put out good information that they can share with their customers. And there are so many real estate agents that reach out to me and say, Hey, look, I'm connected with you on LinkedIn.

Roger Wakefield (08:49):

I'm giving your information to somebody. I just wanted to call you and tell you. And I mean, Josh, think about it. If, if we go out networking, we're meeting one person at a time, maybe three or four, if you can get a group around you. But if we are on LinkedIn, I put out a post the other day that got like 5,000 views. Yeah. And imagine if you're connecting with people 5,000 people at a time, you're telling your story that you would tell at a networking event to 5,000 people. Now, those people are listening to you, taking your advice. Now you have become their trusted advisor. So anytime that a customer of theirs has a plumbing, problem, needs a plumber needs to talk to a plumber. You're the first person they think of you can't beat that. Yeah,

Josh Smith (09:41):

Definitely. You know, switching gears over to the website, blogs, you know, we at scorpion, um, we hear this a lot. How am I supposed to make new content about plumbing? Or how do I best use our social media when it comes to your website? Or what does it need to have? And what do you try and avoid?

Roger Wakefield (10:00):

Number one, a website doesn't need to be too powerful. I mean, you look at some of these websites and we had to start studying SEO. Whenever we had problems with previous marketing companies and to the people that did not listen to our show last week, go back and listen, because these are the same problems. Every company out there is having. And if you listen to that and understand why I started doing what I did, it's huge. But to me, a website needs to give people a story. It needs to let them tell you why you do what you do. And it needs to let them know how to get in touch with you. A lot of people want so many pages that, you know, Hey, if you want this, it's under plumbing. If you want this, it's under water heaters. You want this. It's under gas, water heaters.

Roger Wakefield (10:42):

And now you're making them click and move and click and move and click a move. Why not put the information out there where they can get in touch with you and they know what you do and don't get me wrong. I love multiple pages, but I mean, no, we're not Amazon. We don't need 570,000 pages. Cause we've got 570,000 products at the end of the day. We're plumbers. And most of us are pretty good at what we do. And we can say that in just a few pages. Now don't get me wrong. My website's not five pages, but I've got enough pages to tell them what I need, but I don't want them to have to go all around the world, looking for it. And what you said about a blog. And if every company out there would understand this, people give you content every day, meaning people call your company and ask them a question.

Roger Wakefield (11:28):

Every time people call and they ask you answer, why not make that video? Why not wrap that blog? And if you can do that and get that information out there, people are gonna understand you're bringing them value. You're not trying to sell to them. You're giving them good value. And when you give them good value, they're going to keep coming back. And the good thing is when you give them value, but it's something they can't do. They can't fix. Hey, I understand it's, it's the gas burner on my water heater, but I'm not changing it. It's gas. They're going to call you cause you have become their trusted advisor.

Josh Smith (12:06):

Yeah. You know, Roger, you saying that I'm like smiling ear to ear over here because that's the exact piece of advice that we train on. And we work with our business owners on it's the easiest way to tackle social media. If you think about it, I want to go back to something. You mentioned SEO, just for those who might not be aware of kind of the complexity of that. It stands for search engine optimization and ultimately what it is is how do you make your website valuable so that Google shows it in the search results. And what you're talking about, Roger is exactly how you do that. Because if you look at how Google has shaped and changed over the years, they've become more focused and interested on the context and the engagement factor when it comes to how you're searching. And if you marry that together with how people have changed their search habits, they've shifted more towards what we would call querier. Question-based searches. They're asking questions as if Google some sort of person, right? And so Google's now got to respond to that. What's the best way to respond to that? Well, who's the authoritative expert in the Eastern Dallas area. That's going to actually answer these questions that people are asking. That is a dynamite methodology that you have their router.

Roger Wakefield (13:23):

Well, and the good thing is, look, I've learned it from talking to the right SEO people and you know what we're talking about social media right now, let's jump on YouTube real quick. Cause what I do there is it's almost the same thing. I love long tail keywords. If I can make a question or a video to answer a question and I put in the raw content and I let YouTube, that is, let me surprise everybody here owned by Google. So when people go to Google and search something, if there's a good video out there, guess where they're going to send them to somewhere they own. And it's funny because Josh, the first time I walked into a YouTube class, I walked in accidentally and I'm must say accidentally. I was heading to another class and I walked by and there's a placard up front that says, get in front of your customers using video.

Roger Wakefield (14:14):

And I thought, wow, you know what? We've made a few videos about different things. I can do that. So I'll walk down. I sat down on the front row and the guy's getting up talking. He says, Google is the largest search engine in the world. And I'm thinking this guy doesn't know anything because Google is just where I store my videos. He knows nothing or YouTube. Yeah. YouTube. I'm sorry. He says YouTube is the second largest search engine. See, I don't know what I'm talking about. He said, he says, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. And I'm thinking he's crazy. And I'm looking around. I thought if, if this room was packed and I wasn't on front row, I would probably get up and leave right now. So I thought, you know what? I must sit here. And I sat there and I listened to him.

Roger Wakefield (14:58):

And over the next 45 minutes, I realized, man, I gotta get on YouTube. I got to start putting out videos to do something. We just talked about. You asked the answer. If you have customers that call and say, they don't know how to figure out content, tell them to call and talk to their CCR, the receptionist or whoever answers the phone say, Hey, what's the most popular question you were asked or, Hey, what questions have you been asked this week? That is a blog is a video being the Facebook post. It's the LinkedIn post it's, whatever you want to do with it. And people are going to read it because they have that question. And so, yes. And if you can be the guy that answers that question. Yes, man. You're it. That's it?

Josh Smith (15:41):

Yeah. What, uh, what social media platforms are you use? You mentioned YouTube. Is there anything else that you're pretty prominent on?

Roger Wakefield (15:46):

Yeah. I started out on YouTube because that day in that class, I was like, this is where I need to be. Once I got back, I started playing with LinkedIn because of networking. I knew how to build a network and thanks to master networks, I lose the things to do. Yeah. When I got on LinkedIn, I did the exact same things I would do if I walked into a networking event. Yeah. I didn't sell to people. I wanted to burning value. If I'm at a networking event, Josh and I meet you, I'm thinking, who do I know that I can reduce him to, that will help him? Or who do I know that he could help? And I do the exact same thing on LinkedIn. When people reach out to me or reach out to connect with people is because either I think I can help them. Or I know somebody that they could help. As long as I keep building relationships that wait a minute, it is amazing. But LinkedIn became my second platform because I started learning how to get in front of the people that could put me in front of more people that was reaching out to real estate agents, bringing them value. And then every time they knew somebody looking for a plumber to put me in front of them, that was phenomenal. Yeah.

Josh Smith (16:58):

YouTube over 50,000 subscribers, what's working. What's been the secret sauce.

Roger Wakefield (17:06):

Well, and it's funny because we're almost up to 60 now. I mean, we're to the point right now, we're getting about 400 subscribers a day. The cool thing is, and I want your people to think about this. Cause I started my YouTube channel as Texas green plumbing. And then I changed it to the expert plumber because of a contest I'd won from American standard. And then I changed it to me, Roger Wakefield, because I wanted to grow that brand because I want to build me and help people and do different things. But the whole thing is even today, after we've been known as two years in about four months, we still answer those questions that come in. We still put information out that people are looking for to this day, two years and four months, I don't get on and sell. I don't get on and tell people we're running a us all water heaters.

Roger Wakefield (17:56):

I don't do anything like that. I actually either teach them how to fix their own water heater, how to fix whatever problem they've got or why a tankless water heater may be better than a tank top depending on their situation. And if I can be the person to answer questions for people, it's huge and learning to use it in the beginning and learning to use SEO for social media, just about anybody who has never searched plumbing can pull up their phone, pull up their computer, go to YouTube, hit the search bar and put in plumbing. Normally my channel is the top one to come up. Normally, you know, everybody wants on the first page of Google, which has 10 listings on YouTube. There's 20 listings. And normally on YouTube, I have anywhere from eight to 12 of the top videos list. Think about that. That would be like four to six listings in the first 10 on Google. How many businesses do you know that would die for that? Yeah. Any business owner that really wants to get out in front of their customers can do it through social media very easily. Really?

Josh Smith (19:03):

Yeah. You know, I think that is one of the most missed opportunities when it comes to, to social media advertising, we have this, this kind of fantasy a little bit that Facebook and Instagram are kind of, you gotta be there. You gotta be on the tech talks and the Snapchats to whatever is the current trend of social media platform. And while they have their place, I don't want to disregard them that they're not effective or they can't be effective. Well, they have their place. But I always go back to is what are people on the platform for? And the intentionality behind the searcher they're behind the person using the platform completely and dramatically changes the use of the platform and the benefit that you have with YouTube that you don't have with Facebook and Instagram is it's a search engine. People go there with the intention to find information.

Josh Smith (20:00):

They go on Instagram with the intention to see a cool photo. They go on Facebook with the intention to see how their cousin and I was doing. You know? And so the intention is totally different. And I find that to be a common myth that needs to be dispelled. I'm curious from your perspective, Roger, what are some of those myths that you've seen business owners have when it comes to creating video content, whether it's YouTube or whether it's other social media platforms, what are some myths that you have to work to like break down for them to buy into the idea?

Roger Wakefield (20:31):

The first one is everybody says, number one, I can't do it. Number two, I don't have time. You know, it's not worth it. And let's just start with those. Number one, I can't do it. I walked into a YouTube session, not thinking I was ever going to get in front of the camera. I'll walk down. And I was like, wow, there are literally people that get in front of the camera every day and talk about what they do now. Remember I've got 40 years experience now. So at the time it was 38. I'm the lock-in talk plumbing with people and talk about it intelligently. I know what's going on. I'm one of these people. I still study plumbing. If there's a new tool, a new technique, a new methodology, anything at all I want to know about it. And I think that helps keep me at the top of my game in the industry.

Roger Wakefield (21:18):

But people say they can't do it. If you told me three years ago, you're going to be in front of the camera half the day, every day for the next few years of your life. How to say Josh you've been drinking, it's not gonna happen. I'm sorry. It's just, that's how it would have never crossed my mind. And then the people that said they don't have time. When I first started my YouTube channel, I literally got up every morning and came in an hour early because I wanted to look at my content. I wanted to set up my computer. Cause we, we started with a little web cam and I wanted to give people information. And I started doing that and the better I got at it, the more comfortable I felt at it, the more I talk the longer I talk. And I really think the better videos we started making, nobody has to be perfect to start, but you've got to start in order to get perfect.

Roger Wakefield (22:09):

And we do not try for perfection. We try to get 1% better every time we make a video now. And that's it. If I can just get a little bit better, if my words sound a little bit clearer, if my camera's a little bit sharper, what can we do to get just a little bit better? And then the last one saying, it's not worth it. I am a plumber from Richardson, Texas. I mean 20 miles Northeast of Dallas, Northeast to downtown Dallas. Anyway. So I'm not in what anybody would consider a plumbing hotspots of the world. Anything at all like that, this town that I'm in has a a hundred and some odd thousand people. So it's not like there's anything major plumbing wise going on here. But the funny thing is right now, and you're talking about subscribers and we are we're, we're getting close to 60,000, but the neat thing that some people don't see, we're getting about 750,000 views a month.

Roger Wakefield (23:07):

And that's nice. The other thing is people are watching our channel right now for about 38,000 hours a month, a website. It gets the people's attention when they are looking for anything at all. And they end up on your website, you have their attention. And I had a worldwide marketing company hire me to do a lunch and learn a few weeks back. This marketing company has almost 500 offices worldwide. And the one thing they told me is, look, we don't do social media. And what they're doing is what's from 2000 to 2020, it's the websites it's blocks it's information like that. But look at what people are engaging with, look at where people are doing. If they can keep somebody and Joshua know the numbers better than me, but if you can keep somebody own your website, you know, your, your average view duration, how long do people stay on and how many pages do they click to?

Roger Wakefield (24:09):

And things like that. When I started talking to them and realized what kind of numbers they were looking at when I explained to them that I'm getting, I mean, think about it. If people were coming to any website, you had 750,000 times a month. If people were staying on there five minutes, every time they came, because that's the opportunity that we have with social media, every video that you make, there is good value. That is good content. That is literally you trying to give something to somebody. People are gonna watch it. And the good thing is they're going to come back and watch it again or watch something else that you did. That's huge.

Josh Smith (24:47):

Love that, Roger. Well, I think that's a great place for us to wrap things up and there were some great tips right at the end there, which actually answered my final question about getting any additional tips. As we round this out to a close Roger, where can people find out more about you, about the expert plumber about Roger Wakefield, the podcasts that you do, the videos that you do,

Roger Wakefield (25:09):

The best thing to do as family on YouTube, you can look for Roger Lakefield. If we're not connected and you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, the good thing about people doing that, they can see how we repurpose because we'll take that YouTube video and we may put it on Instagram. We may put it on LinkedIn. We may put it different places. And a lot of times we do, but connect with me there. Those are fantastic. We are getting a podcast started. That's what I love about watching yours, getting great ideas. And you know, that's going to be called the trade talks and that'll probably be out in here in a couple of months, but I've got to tell you, Josh, I love what y'all are doing. I think I've never heard anything bad about score scorpion. And I've got to tell you that's the big deal because I talked to probably 2000 residential service companies nationwide on a regular basis. People that I know, and I've never heard anything but good things about scorpion. So thank y'all for what y'all are doing for the industry.

Josh Smith (26:05):

I appreciate it. And likewise, it's a mutual feeling. Oh, we, we live to elevate the trades and I know you do the same. It runs in your blood. So we're very grateful for you and everything you're doing, sir. So thank you, Roger. Thank you, sir. And thank you again for spending such valuable time with us. We really appreciate it.

Roger Wakefield (26:23):

I love it. Thanks for the opportunity Josh.

Josh Smith (26:25):

You bet. And for everybody listening, wherever you might be listening out, if you found today's episode valuable and somebody needs to hear exactly what Roger has been talking about today, please do us a favor and share the video around. Definitely hit the like button and give that subscribe button a little tap, a little smash if you're into that sort of thing. So that way you can continue to get more of this awesome content, open up your podcasting app, make sure you're subscribed and also send a review over on iTunes. They really help more people find the sharpest tool podcast and definitely get back to sharing this with a friend. We appreciate everything that everybody's doing. And until next time from all of us here at the sharpest tool, we'll talk to you then

Speaker 3 (27:13):


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