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Reality SEO: Gavin Hodgins: How I fiddled with my Digital Marketing rudder in 2020 (REALITY)

Reality SEO: Gavin Hodgins: How I fiddled with my Digital Marketing rudder in 2020 (REALITY)

Navigating stormy business seas, and the importance of coming back to port

 

In my Reality SEO episodes, I like to focus on real humans grappling with the Google beast and Digital Marketing.

Yes I get lots of marketing professionals, copywriters, and web developers passing through my slippery funnel of courses and resources, but I also get real business humans

Or those who, while they may know how to run a successful business, have studiously avoided dealing with the marketing side of things.

This week I’m talking to Gavin Hodgins, a Recipe course graduate and member of my mentoring community, the Digital Masterchefs.

Gavin runs FloatPac and Floating Solar, and prides himself on being the kind of CEO that gets involved in every level of operations.

Today we’re talking about Gavin’s ongoing relationship with digital marketing, the highs, the lows, and how he’s kept the passion alive all these years.

 

About Gavin

 

Gavin Hodgins is the CEO of Melbourne Australia based FloatPac and Floating Solar. Gavin worked his way through the ranks of FloatPac, notching close to 20 years of service, starting as a welding assistant on the factory floor, to becoming CEO in late 2017, and has been CEO of Floating Solar since its inception.

Gavin has a passion for all things Australian Made, leading-edge and lean engineering and manufacturing, and keeping ahead of the latest technologies to ensure FloatPac and its various interests remain ahead of the curve.

Gavin is an avid bass player and music lover and still hopes to tour the world playing music headlining stadiums before he leaves this earth.

He also started his digital marketing journey all the way back in 1998, studying the wares of Microsoft frontpage, designing websites in university to trade bootlegged live concerts.

 

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I love how Kate is so ‘real’ and now I’m obsessed with listening to the podcasts and starting to look at the SEO courses.

 

Thank you Kate.”

 

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Transcript

 

Kate Toon:
In my Reality SEO episodes, I like to focus on real humans grappling with the Google beast and digital marketing. Yes, I get lots of marketing professionals, copywriters, web developers, and designers passing through my slippery funnel of courses and resources. But I also get real business humans with real business problems. And those who, while they may know how to run a super successful business, have studiously avoided dealing with the marketing side of things. This week, I’m talking to Gavin Hodgins, a recipe course graduate, a member of my mentoring community, the Digital Masterchefs. Gavin runs FloatPac and Floating Solar, and prides himself on being the kind of a CEO that gets involved in every level of operations. Today we’re talking about Gavin’s ongoing relationship with digital marketing. The highs, the lows, and how he’s kept his passion alive all these years. Hello, my name is Kate Toon. I’m the head chef at the recipe for SEO success, an online teaching hub for all things, SEO and digital marketing. And today, I’m talking to Gavin Hodgins. Hello, Gavin Hodgins.

Gavin Hodgins:
Hello, Kate. How are you?

Kate Toon:
I’m very good. I always want to call you Gavin Hodgkins. I don’t know why.

Gavin Hodgins:
Everybody likes to call me Gavin Hodgkins, and I ask them where’s the K?

Kate Toon:
I know. Exactly. It’s like everyone wants to call me. No, I don’t know. I was going to try and make a joke there, but I’m too tired.

Gavin Hodgins:
Well, we could revert to my school days where my nickname was Hodgkin’s disease, but that’s a different story for a different day.

Kate Toon:
My nickname was Goofy. Don’t Laugh. It still upsets me to this day, I’ll tell you. Kids are cruel.

Gavin Hodgins:
They are brutal.

Kate Toon:
Adults are cruel too. We’re going to talk about that at the end of this episode. So hold on for that. I’m going to awkwardly read out your bio now. So just sit there and look pretty for a while. Gavin is the CEO of Melbourne Australian based FloatPac Floating Solar. Gavin worked his way through the ranks of FloatPac, notching close to 20 years of service. Starting as a welding assistant on the factory floor to becoming CEO in late 2017, and has been CEO of Floating Solar since its inception. Gavin has a passion for all things Australian made, leading edge, lean engineering and manufacturing, and keeping ahead of the latest technologies to ensure that FloatPac and its various interests remain ahead of the curve.

Kate Toon:
Gavin is an avid bass player and music lover, and he still hopes to tour the world playing music, headlining stadiums before he leaves this earth. He also started his digital marketing journey way back in 1998, studying the wares of Microsoft front page, designing websites in university to trade boot-legged live concerts. Gavin, when are you going to give up on the dream? Come on. It’s not going to happen.

Gavin Hodgins:
Yeah, probably it’s getting close. I think, I think the dreams,

Kate Toon:
Maybe I’m running CopyCon again soon. You can maybe get up and play the banjo on stage. What do you think?

Gavin Hodgins:
I did try and play a banjo there one day. I wasn’t that successful.

Kate Toon:
Really?

Gavin Hodgins:
So look, I’m happy to give it a crack.

Kate Toon:
If you want, you can open for me a CopyCon.

Gavin Hodgins:
Yeah. I think in the music industry struggling the last 12 months. I’ve probably got a few more issues to do with me jumping on the wall soon.

Kate Toon:
I don’t know. You could turn it all around.

Gavin Hodgins:
Life is about to get rough for you.

Kate Toon:
Now, on this podcast, we’re often used to talk about people’s SEO journey, But your journey is much more expansive than that. And we have known each other now I think three years, maybe four. I’m not sure.

Gavin Hodgins:
Three or four, yeah.

Kate Toon:
Yeah, so I know you did the recipe course back in beyond, but now you’re part of Digital Masterchefs. You tried to leave. I wouldn’t let you, you came back. It’s all been quite beautiful. But your business, really you’ve really dived into the digital thing. You’ve done website redesigns. You’ve launched new products. You really dug into social media. But take me back. Take me back, Gavin, let’s look back into the past. Four or so years ago, where was FloatPac at? What were you doing from a digital marketing perspective?

Gavin Hodgins:
Well, at that time, it’s probably worth actually going back one step further than that. Because when I started really getting involved in the marketing side of this business, 12 or so years ago now the company had a landing page that was just a landing page. It listed three products on it that it made and that was it. And its entire business was business to business. There was no consumer-based business with the company at all that was done by design. Over the years, retailers who we were dealing with started to really squeeze us on margins. E-commerce was becoming more and more popular. And so, we decided that we put it an online store up. Working with the retailers per say, you’re not spending enough time and money on marketing. We’re not getting enough sales. We’ll go and do the marketing. Everybody can within reason sell for the same pricing within laws and lots of this stuff.

Gavin Hodgins:
Let’s just go and see how it works. And it worked really, really well. The mistake that we made at that stage had to do with having our company restructured. So we have all these different brands that we sell, and we’d basically set them up as their own trading companies. So we have Flexitank and RainPac and fish packing. So all these companies had different websites. So when I went to do the SEO course, it basically was that that stage that we had an e-commerce site that was successful to a point. We were getting a lot of business for our website. I mean, some of the business we got when we put our old website up, probably eight years ago. It was quite a standing.

Gavin Hodgins:
But I had a niggling feeling that the SEO wasn’t being done right. I mean, you mentioned about front page and things that makes me sound like a dinosaur, but I’ve always had a sort of a feel for it. And I knew what was going on, but I just didn’t feel like I knew enough. So I went through the course, and it was by pure coincidence that stage that we were there too. So we decided that we were going to bring all the brands back into a single website. And I’d started seriously considering how we were going to do that while I was doing the course with you. And I had a bill that I was going to pay to my then developer to go out and –

Kate Toon:
I remember this because we were having discussions about how to have a hub brand and then the sub brand. And you had this major bill. Yes, I remember.

Gavin Hodgins:
Oh, I still have that zoom video on my downloads –

Kate Toon:
Oh, great.

Gavin Hodgins:
Because you paused the video and said to me, do not spend that money because it was a fair way of cash. I think it was about 35 grand or something like there’s a lot of money and it was just the case of that stage. I mean, the site was going to be built on, I think Magento. All these weird things we were doing. And we just had to make the decisions to sort of do the deep dive after I’d done the course and run the website itself. So that’s where we were when I did the SEO course.

Gavin Hodgins:
And now these days, our e-commerce has thrived for reasons that we’ll talk about later. The website in general performs a lot better. We get more inquiries. We’re much more astute in launching new products, and updating the site and GMB and all the stuff that you learned in the course has just become –

Kate Toon:
Second nature.

Gavin Hodgins:
Par for the course of what I spend probably an hour to 90 minutes of my day, doing every day now, just to keep it going.

Kate Toon:
Yeah. And obviously it was such a fantastic quote. I think you didn’t, you’re quoting something like, “This course saved me $35,000.” And he’s like, “Ah, that’s manna from heaven.” But I think, and so you combine the websites together and then you got on the roller coaster that is SEO and it’s not all been smooth sailing. Things have improved. Your site is sometimes been hit by some of the algorithm updates. You’ve seen the domain authority drop. You’ve seen great days and suddenly like huge lurches in your search results, like what the heck’s going on?

Kate Toon:
But I think what you’ve seen is over the four or so years, yes, it goes up and down. But generally, there’s a path to success, which you’ve been doing. But I like what you said there as well, that you’re spending an hour to 90 minutes a day doing stuff. For those who are listening. Because you’re the CEO. It’s like you should have a million doing that. But you said earlier, you’d like to be at all levels of the company for somebody who’s running such a large business with so many moving parts. What do you do in that hour? What sort of things are you looking at each day?

Gavin Hodgins:
The first thing I do is check my SEMrush. So it’s just become part of my… I’m here at 8:30 in the morning, get a coffee, sit down and just look at SEMrush. And firstly, just try and see if there’s anything that allows me. You mentioned before that we got hammered by the algorithm in December. That appears to have sorted itself out now. But that was, I mean, it’s probably part of just being a little bit of control of the site. When you’ve got someone who’s handling it totally outsourced, trying to find that information could take days. It now takes minutes. And so I spent some time-

Kate Toon:
It’s like your finger is too much on the pulse. And it’s a really good point to talk about, because I think I see people going, “Oh, I’ve dropped three in the ranking or my results have fallen off.” And often I will say, “Just wait a little bit, because there were always fluctuations. It will come back.” But it’s really hard to believe that when you’re checking it. It’s like when you… Stupid analogy here, but when you weigh yourself every day, and you’re seeing these little fluctuations really. You shouldn’t weigh yourself every day. You should be maybe looking at the whole month. You know what I mean? Is that a stupid analogy?

Gavin Hodgins:
No, no.

Kate Toon:
You know what I’m talking about.
Gavin Hodgins:
I think it’s developed one. I mean, the reason I check it every day is just my –

Kate Toon:
OCD?

Gavin Hodgins:
Probably OCD little bit, and just general business anxiousness. It’s just something that’s part of my routine that tends to just set my day. I find those if I don’t have a routine, but if I don’t do that, then at three o’clock, I go, “Oh, hang on a minute.”

Kate Toon:
“What was happening? What’s going on?”

Gavin Hodgins:
Yeah, it seems to just ebb and flow and it just helps me flow in my day. So it’s just become part of that way. But it’s more the sort of things of, I mean, apart from socials, which are all scheduled now and all sorts of this stuff. But making sure we’re responding to reviews on Google My Business, putting posts up there, which I’m still awful at. I just, whatever reason I’m still awful at it, but we do it. And just trying to make sure as a snapshot that health is not – you see site health change by one or 2%, whatever. See a rank drop with this, whatever that’s fine. But what I’m doing is just making sure that we’re not seeing those really, really big chasms of change.

Kate Toon:
I love that you do that. I mean, even I don’t do that. And it’s so important because you come in after a month and suddenly you’re like, “Why do I have 35,000 backlinks when I haven’t built a single one of them?” And by then, some of the damage may already been done. So I think that’s fantastic. You talked about keeping your socials up to date, staying on top of Google My Business, responding to every review is so important. It makes such a great impression. And then obviously, what are we going to move on and talk about is…

Kate Toon:
We’re going to talk about like last year, because last year was a big change for you, a big change of course on the Floating pac of your business. So another thing that you’ve had to contend with in 2020 is your social media has actually started working. So, people are starting to comment and interact. And with that, it’s both a blessing and a non-blessing. I can’t think of what the non-blessing is. Talk to me a little bit about what you’ve been doing in social media and what’s worked and what hasn’t worked.

Gavin Hodgins:
So what we ended up doing was we got involved with Face Masks, and FloatPac became front and centre for a little wall, thanks to another digital master chef Emma Redwoods with regards to PR on our making masks. And so when-

Kate Toon:
Just to qualify there, you already were in the business of sewing materials and doing the work. So you just changed production line a little bit. Was it because the orders from overseas were then restricted, so you couldn’t fulfil your orders? And so you had to use those existing skills.

Gavin Hodgins:
Yeah, so a big part of our businesses in our live fish transport system, which has nothing to do with sewing. But because we’re a smaller medium enterprise, everybody knows how to do everything. And so when China shut their borders, we had a very, very steep and violent and brutal revenue drop over 48 hours. And so we were just thinking about, and this is pre JobKeeper and all the stuff the government did. We were wondering what we were going to do. And we saw what was going on with masks overseas and the CDC to prove it said you should wear them and WHO. And we saw a few people who were doing a few things alone. And we thought, “Well, hey, we’ve got the e-commerce website. I can put something up. So guys, you design a product, you know how to sell it. We went to Lincraft and bought like a foam mannequin, and took some photos on my nice garden bench at home.

Kate Toon:
I love that though, because it literally, I remember this all playing out in Digital Masterchefs. I remember the day when all… And this is what I love about Digital Masterchefs. We all share this stuff, but I remember the day when your rev, your income went off the cliff. And then literally it was like two days later, you’re like, “Hey guys, I’ve just popped up this new product on the site.” We’re like, “What?.” It was quite a turnaround. It was very nimble, and it was quite ahead of the curve as well. So kudos for you for that. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Was it? I keep on doing the analogies. If you notice my sailing analogies, I keep doing it because this episode is called Fiddling with Your Rudder. So you fiddled with your rudder, you changed direction, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing.

Gavin Hodgins:
No. So we, we got the PR. So, when the Victorian government and the announced of the mass were going to be mandated. Emma and I did some person, got ourselves onto the nightly news here in Melbourne on Channel Nine on Friday night and Channel Seven on Saturday night. That was insanity. I mean, we would go on to Google Analytics and we saw 150,000 people on our website. I mean, FloatPac would see 100 people a day. So to see that was, I mean, it was exciting, frightening, all the different terminologies you can think of. And then, what our terminologies in the nicest way, the anti-mask brigade latched onto what we were doing, and just started hammering us. And so, it became a situation where we started getting bad reviews on Facebook.

Gavin Hodgins:
People who’ve never dealt with us, and they’re literally saying, “I never bought from this company, but I’m giving them one star so you don’t buy from them, because I don’t believe it you should be wearing a mask.” Well, we weren’t making anyone buy anything. We were responding to a government request that people should wear them. And then four weeks later, they mandated them, and you had to wear them. So, when you’re providing a service that the government pushes you into, I think we got caught in that sweet spot of a lot of people who’d never really thought that our government could ever do that to us. And now were probably a little bit shocked by it. But it got pretty brutal where we had people threatening to come to our office, threatening staff. And it was really out of control. So, yeah, we dealt with the really good side and the really bad side, side by side for probably 10 or so weeks. And-

Kate Toon:
I think it’s well, like you’re a relatively easy target because there’s nothing we can do to the government, but it’s really easy. We can’t leave them a one-star review, or we can, but it’s not going to have any impact. For those who are listening, because I reckon a lot of people have had the issue of negative reviews and negative comments. How did you respond? I mean, I saw a few tussles. I saw a few of this, but ultimately. Did you take the moral high ground? Did you respond with… How did you respond to that?

Gavin Hodgins:
So, I mean, between Google and Facebook is vastly different. It’s a vastly different process of responding. So Google, every review is responded to. Anyone who we could reach out to try and fix the issue, we reached out to them. I ended up with four or five staff who were helping us in the office with that stuff to make sure it was done in a timely fashion. Orders were lost. I mean, all the normal eCommerce stuff, when you’ve got a team of 10. And then all of a sudden you need three people to start tracking orders every day. It just takes time and effort. So we moved pretty quickly with it. And I said to the team, “We just need to be prepared that whatever we’re doing today, we might not be doing tomorrow. Your role tomorrow could be vastly different, but it’s an exciting time and just roll with the punches. And so-

Kate Toon:
And great to be able to keep all those people in employment in a very difficult time.

Gavin Hodgins:
And this was one of the things that we were talking to people about who wanted to keep hammering us. I mean, in a time when we were in the lockdown, a lot of people lost their jobs. In the space of two weeks, we had to go and hire 60 people to make masks for us.

Kate Toon:
That’s amazing.

Gavin Hodgins:
So yeah.

Kate Toon:
I have to say that’s amazing. I mean, that gives me goosebumps and I’m not –

Gavin Hodgins:
It was simply a by-product of the fact that we’d on the SEO side, what had happened was because we’d gotten on a mask early, by the time everyone started looking. I mean, you do searching and you’d see bonds and then FloatPac, and then Cotton On. So, I mean, we were in some pretty astute company in that space.

Kate Toon:
So basically, I can take all the credit for this?

Gavin Hodgins:
Absolutely. Yeah, sure.

Kate Toon:
I’ll expect my check in the post, Gavin. But the other thing is what we’re talking about. This is the negative comments, but other things I remember. There was issues around your site optimization and the speed, because simply these were so many people hammering your site. There was some hosts. Was there some hosting drama as well?

Gavin Hodgins:
Yeah, there was hosting drama. So usually obviously, when you’d upgrade your hosting, you’d be doing that at two o’clock in the morning when no one’s on the site. We’ve done it probably five times in two days, just because we had to. The big problem I ran into was the fact that I had WooCommerce log with zero. And I found out the hard way that zero, only allows a certain number of key joints or whatever they want to call it per hour. And they basically said, we allow, I think it was 1,000 transactions a month through WooCommerce. We were doing that in 15 minutes.

Kate Toon:
So you got throttled. Didn’t you?

Gavin Hodgins:
Yeah, so we got throttled very badly, which threw up a big problem because then we were using Xero to track the orders coming in. Nothing had been set up on WooCommerce, because we didn’t have to. And then all of a sudden we’ve got a huge amount of orders that we can’t tell what hasn’t come in to Xero. So we had to move right back to Woo, which in hindsight was great because it set the backend of our website up a lot quicker. But you do that before it happened. You shouldn’t be doing it while it’s happening, but you’ve just got to fly by the seat of your pants.

Kate Toon:
Well, this is it, all these, it’s like, this is what you should do. This is what the reality is. There’s some kind of self-help gurus like when anything bad happens, whatever, you just say good. And it’s like, “Okay, well, our site got hammered and it fell over, but we moved to better hosting. So it’s good. And our WooCommerce didn’t connect with Xero, but we fixed with WooCommerce, good.” And it’s true in a way. I mean, that’s part of running a business, isn’t it? But the resilience it takes and the perseverance to get through all of that.

Kate Toon:
And obviously, because we’re talking about digital here. The digital know-how to be able to go, “Ah, this is the problem, and I get it.” a lot of business owners at your level would be relying on some minion or some digital agency. “Well, Gavin, we can’t quite explain to you why Xero is not connecting”, and you’d just be having to sit there waiting for them to answer. So there’s a real joy in actually having your hands in the tools, and understanding what’s going on. Yeah?

Gavin Hodgins:
Correct. Yeah, absolutely.

Kate Toon:
And I think that –

Gavin Hodgins:
If we had have done what we did, and we were in control, you would have walked away from it. You wouldn’t have been able to do it. Well, I wouldn’t be able to do it without it costing me an absolute fortune. So that’s in the business fortune.

Kate Toon:
That’s it. So, the OCD, the checking, your SEMrush every day, it does pay off. Do you know what I mean? Because you are on top of everything and you understand everything. Got it. Honestly, it probably just needed a four week holiday, I lay down in a Vivarium after that year. It sounds full on. So where the storm has passed, I’m going to stay with the sailing thing, Gavin, you can weather. The storm has passed. You’ve ridden those stormy waves and now you’re in cool calm waters. Am I right?

Gavin Hodgins:
Yeah. I mean, we’ve, we made a decision to go and stock up with the masks we were making. So we basically just even flow now when things like what happened in Sydney, in New South Wales, and then Brisbane. That’s slowing down a little bit more now. So it’s become, whereas usually something like this would take quite a long time to become part of your normal day and part of your normal business and have people know how to do things, it’s happened for us in a week or so. So it’s been quite good that way. And I mean, over the Christmas period, I did have a little bit of time to sit back and, I mean, we had a Christmas launch issue wherever on obviously the launch last year was vastly different or any other year. And we did reflect and sit back and think, “Well, that’s something we’ll probably look back on a few years quite enviously of the time then, because I mean, it was exciting time.

Gavin Hodgins:
And particularly after what we’d experienced early in the year where you really do have a very serious problem to deal with. It was something that we’ll all fondly look back on. But yeah, some of the online… It’s opened my eyes a little bit to some of the things that you aim for. But until you’ve achieved them, you may not understand why you probably shouldn’t be only for them. And in hindsight, there were a few things that we did that I wouldn’t do again. But the benefit is hopefully something like that in a positive sense without the negative happening beforehand happens to us again. And then we just use that experience and learn from it.

Kate Toon:
Yeah. So it’s a real be careful what you wish for, isn’t it? So you have what you wish for. So, in wrapping up the episodes, I mean, you mentioned that there’s a couple of things you wish you didn’t do. I’d love for you to maybe tell us what they are and then also maybe a tip for other people. You don’t even have to focus on the negative if you don’t want to. Just keep it positive. Yeah, let’s keep sailing. Well, what were some of the key learnings you had from this experience? You’ve mentioned the fact that in-house saved you a lot of money and time. What were some of the other ones that you have?

Gavin Hodgins:
As much as I detest how much it cost me or us, or should I keep saying maybe how much it costs a business, having a “Buy now, pay later” for even cheap things like that did work very, very well. And it made sense. I mean, when you think about the fact that there’s people who have lost their jobs and the economy is not doing well and cash is all of a sudden tight. I was a little bit shocked as to how many people were using Afterpay. But at the same time, when I sat back and thought about it from just a money standpoint, it made sense. So that was something that I was quite glad we put Afterpay on. And it had been used a few times, but again, we’re not big e-commerce business, so we hadn’t really experienced what could happen there. We had to –

Kate Toon:
I think that’s where… Just to pick up on that point. I think that’s really interesting. And I think people underestimate that, because they’re like, “My product’s under $10. Who the hell is going to use Openpay or Afterpay. So I’ve just got Openpay on the Recipe for SEO Success. And yet people are buying $20 templates with that. We can’t judge everyone’s income levels at the same thing. So it’s not really a money perspective, but there’s quite a human perspective.

Gavin Hodgins:
Exactly.

Kate Toon:
Giving people multiple options and having Stripe and PayPal. Giving people the options to pay on credit cards so they can get the thing now when they need it. I think, these are things that we don’t think about from our side, but it’s a human way of dealing with people. Isn’t it?

Gavin Hodgins:
It’s interesting you mentioned Stripe, because we didn’t have Stripe on our website. We were running because we bank with the National Australia Bank. We’d always had the credit card facility with the NAB Merchant Facility, put through the site. But I won’t use the word mistake. It’s not a mistake, but I just wouldn’t do it again. When we were through the first trench of doing what we were doing with mask, we went and built a new website. Now, we ended up just parking it on a URL, and kept it as part of the Floatpac backend. So we hadn’t gone to a completely separate set up, but we’d moved it in a certain way. In hindsight, I’m not happy that we did that. We shouldn’t have done that. There were a few different decisions we had to make very, very quickly.

Gavin Hodgins:
Again, if I had some time, we probably would have made the decision not to do it, but we were getting creative with how we were doing things. But the benefit on that new site was that we put Stripe on there, and because I’d never thought about it. I never had to think about it. All of a sudden it dawned on me, well automatically I’ve got Google Pay and Apple Pay. And so, the amount of people who are using Apple Pay is phenomenal. I’d never paid any attention to it. So that was a really good learning curve there to understand how those platforms are working in on e-commerce as well. And even now that we’re not selling as many masks, we still have Afterpay on our FloatPac side. We’re involved now with Afterpay of a small business physical sales programme in February and March. We’ll be involved in those.

Gavin Hodgins:
Obviously, it’s become all the Buy now Pay later’s, but in particularly Afterpay have become a bit of a household name. So, being able to get the association there for us is important. And then also just making sure that the thousands of people who dealt with us in buying that who would never usually deal with FloatPac, it gives us, I mean, our email marketing list has boomed and we’ve got potential to be able to talk to those people about other things and look at other areas of… Is there other opportunities there? What’s going to come next in the world and things like that. It just changes your perspective a bit, rather than just being in the very niche space of what we usually deal with.

Kate Toon:
I love that. I mean, everything came into play. Really, didn’t it? You’ve got email marketing, you’ve got your website, you’ve got your SEO, your Afterpay, but also you talked about the PR and you’re featured on a number you’re featured on the news. You’re featured on that. That was kind of vaguely new to you as well. I’m going to use this thing again. It was like a perfect storm of digital marketing, and it all came together. Would you say that now, as you talked about, now it’s calmed down a little bit here in Australia, not in the world, obviously. But you are now… Because you’ve managed to just come up with this new idea. Are you kind of thinking of loads of other crazy new ideas? Are we going to see you kind of making underpants next week?

Gavin Hodgins:
Well, we did sit here and think about it and I think there’s a huge opportunity. I mean, the world in general. It sounds awful when you say it, but people have just realised we’ve all got to keep ourselves clean, really. I mean, it’s an awful way to think about it, but just in general.

Kate Toon:
You do? We do?

Gavin Hodgins:
Yeah, apparently it helps, but I actually thought about things like washing detergent for your clothes. So, there’s all these liquids that get treated with fabrics now to stop COVID and other viruses, and things like that. So there’s some opportunity there, but I mean, the thing that’s happened now as well as the really big business, the big multis have got into it in a big wise world, which is the way the world works. So we’ll sit on it and think about it. But yeah, I just want to be careful that we don’t end up being a jack of all trades and king of none.

Kate Toon:
Yeah, that’s it.

Gavin Hodgins:
Yeah.

Kate Toon:
I think now you’ve proven that you can do this. It’s like you could do anything. But just because you could doesn’t mean you should.

Gavin Hodgins:
You should. Exactly, yeah.

Kate Toon:
And that’s hard.

Gavin Hodgins:
Yeah, and even I’m doing a review on a website at the moment and just looking at some of our dropdown menus under the different brands, thinking, “If I can’t read all this and I know everything about it, then how does someone come in and do this who doesn’t know anything about it?” So-

Kate Toon:
This is it though. It’s all an adventure. It’s all a voyage of discovery, isn’t it? Because that-

Gavin Hodgins:
There’s another selling analogy by the way. I like it.

Kate Toon:
Yeah. I know what I’m doing, mate. I’ve done this before, but this is it. Like, you’ve sailed through face masks, past Face Mask Island. And now it’s open sea and you’re not sure which harbour you’re going to dock in. I like that. And you’ve got your core products back at home. Those are always going to be there. And it’s just interesting times. And I think that ability to persevere and to be resilient, but to be flexible and nimble in your business. I mean, I think that’s a wonderful thing. And now you’ve proven you can do it. It’s like, wow, it’s a superpower, because so many businesses get stuck.

Gavin Hodgins:
And the interesting thing with that is, I mean, FloatPac started over a picture on the bookshelf, that we started making lift bags for the government 40 years ago. There was a big accident in the America’s Cup last week in New Zealand, and a big boat flew in the air. Like, oh, you watch the video and go, “Wow, that shouldn’t happen.” And it started to sink. And so the lift bags are used to get those bags out of the water routes. And so it’s one of those things where it has sort of like it comes full circle, because we hadn’t forgotten about lift bags. But there’s other things we’re busy with and you go, “Well, hang on a minute. That’s right. We do that. We’re known for that. That’s what FloatPac. That’s the name of the company like it’s…” So it’s a good way to stretch yourself out and then bring yourself back. And actually, make sure you don’t stretch too far, it’s like a rubber band where it eventually snaps. Always be able to just bring yourself back a little bit.

Kate Toon:
You know what it’s really like? It’s like the boat coming back to port.

Gavin Hodgins:
There it is.

Kate Toon:
I think I did well with that. Gavin, it is always a pleasure to talk to you. And I’m so proud that you’re a member of our community. You bring such value and-

Gavin Hodgins:
Oh, thank you.

Kate Toon:
… different perspective as well to the… Because you’re a big fish and there’s lots of tiddlers in there as well. But it’s just such a joy to talk to you. And I’ve just so enjoyed watching your adventures this year. Thank you for spending some time with us today.

Gavin Hodgins:
No worries. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Kate Toon:
Well, there you go. It’s like an old sea shanty, Gavin with his beard in his room. “Let me tell you about the time when we did make the face masks.” I don’t know, I think I had too much coffee today. That’s the end of this week’s show. If you have any questions about Gavin’s business, his journey, his digital marketing adventures, then he is a member of the I Love SEO Group on Facebook. You can chat to him there. And as you know, I like to end the show with a shout out to one of my lovely listeners, today is BloomCreative from the United Kingdom. And they write, “This is my most trusted SEO resource. I love how Kate is so real. And I’m now obsessed with listening to the podcast and starting to look at the SEO courses. Thank you, Kate.” Well, that means my little efforts are working.

Kate Toon:
That makes me very happy. Thank you for enjoying the podcast. That makes me very joyful. And thank you very much to Gavin. Thanks to you for listening. Thanks to everybody in the world for everything. If you like the show, don’t forget to leave a five-star rating. We haven’t had any reviews for ages. So if you’ve got your phone in your sticky little hands, just take two minutes, throw me a review, because I’m running out. You can review it on iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify or wherever, and you’ll not only make me happy, but you’ll help others find the show. And hopefully, it will be a good resource for them. You can also head to www.therecipeforSEOsuccess, where you can learn more about Gavin and his business, and also check out useful links and maybe leave a comment about the show. Also, you can get a full transcript of the show as well if you are having difficulty understanding my appalling English accent. Finally, there is no finally, that’s it. Until next time happy SEOing.