Steve Brown, How to Start Thinking System and Not Website – InnovaBuzz 363

Steve Brown

Steve Brown, ROI Online

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Steve Brown of ROI Online, a HubSpot platinum agency partner and the first StoryBrand certified agency.

Steve and his team at ROI Online have worked with hundreds of clients, from solo entrepreneurs to Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies, to grow their business by implementing a holistic business growth system. Steve is also the author of the book “The Golden Toilet: Stop Flushing Your Marketing Budget into Your Website and Build a System That Grows Your Business”, as well as the host of the ROI Online Podcast.

In our discussion, Steve talked to me about:

  • Looking at your website (or indeed any online asset) as a business process
  • Simple tactics to earn your audience’s focus
  • The four fundamental pillars of a successful business

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Listen to the Podcast

You are not the hero, your customers are. You're just helping them to succeed in the challenge they are facing. @SteveMFBrown on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Steve Brown of ROI Online

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • A website is a legitimate business process.
  • Customers are being programmed by big brands about what a great online experience should be. They expect you to get your act together and if you don’t it counts against you.
  • The Four Fundamental Pillars of a Successful Business:
    1. Clear messaging – What is the problem you are solving? What is your vision? How can you clearly communicate that with people?
    2. Marketing automation – using technology to recognise trends and expediting a user’s experience. 
    3. Sales automation – has to be congruent to your message.
    4. Strategic campaigns – opportunities in different places for people to find out more about you that directs them to your home (website)
  • Marketing is broken because of the word consumer. 
  • Design a marketing strategy that recognises that there is a person behind all these who has a family, dreams, hopes, and a problem they want to solve. 
  • You have the opportunity to convey that you understand someone and you will help them achieve what they need. 
  • You are not the hero, your customers are. You’re just helping them to succeed in the challenge they are facing.
  • Our brain loves and appreciates messaging and communication that honours the rules of the story. You need to have a framework or a system in place to succinctly create a great message that is simple and will make people feel safe and understood.
  • We are not in an attention economy. We are in a focus economy. Attention can be gained but can be easily lost. 
  • The colors, images, feeling, and environment that you are creating in your website are just as important as its words. 
  • SEO is a scam. It doesn’t exist. Trying to trick Google is like building a sandcastle. Hard work is hard work, and those who do the work will greatly benefit from it.
  • Connecting with humans is a long game. If you connect with one human, you make them feel understood and help them out in their story, they are beholden to you. 
  • You’d be surprised that most of your customers never went to your website. They were either recommended by a friend or they saw something special about you on social media. 
  • A strategic campaign is all about putting opportunities in different places for people to stumble into, get attracted to it, and directs them to your website to find out more about you.
  • Having a follow-up process is crucial. None of these strategies matter if you don’t have great follow-up process.
The colors, images, feeling, and environment that you are creating in your website are just as important as its words. @SteveMFBrown on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Steve’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – To see themes and patterns. Themes and patterns give you insights that your competition are not paying attention to. 
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Get it out there and test it. You can’t expect other people to see the vision you have and be all excited about figuring it out, if you don’t try and test it. Get your ideas out there and see what people think. 
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Podcasts and YouTube
  4. Keep project/client on track – Set proper expectations.
  5. Differentiate – Create a reason for people to not just give you their attention but to offer you one of their most valuable assets, that is their time. Create something of value that they can get from you for free that will inspire them and help them think of things differently.

To Be a Leader

It’s so easy to get a leg up on your competition if you just think that there are humans with faces, names, hopes dreams, and families, just like you, and all they need is just a little help to resolve their problem. They are not consumers nor credit cards. They are humans. Being human is a big differentiator and a big competitive advantage. 

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Steve through their website

Suggested Guest

Steve suggested we have a conversation with Alan Langer, author of The 7 Secrets to Selling More by Selling Less, Brian Burkhart, Founder and Chief Word Guy at Squareplanet, and Will Leach of Mindstate MarketingSo Alan, Brian, and Will, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Steve Brown.


Become a marketing, sales, and branding expert with The ROI QuickStart Academy! Click here to start your journey. 


Cool Things About Steve

  • He is an alumnus of the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program at Babson College. 
  • He studied economics, history, and political science at West Texas A&M University.
  • He’s the President of Amarillo
SEO is a scam. It doesn't exist. Trying to trick Google is like building a sandcastle. Hard work is hard work, and those who do the work will greatly benefit from it. @SteveMFBrown on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.