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In this episode, I get to speak with Gaetano Dinardi. He started his career as a singer, then writing songs, and finally producing music with big names. He’s also a digital marketing leader and brings a very unique blend of raw talent passion to music, merge with business experience to a crossroads. I got connect with him through our Mutual friend Mike Shaw of

Gaetano relives his journey with us and reveals some fundamentals around how he used SEO and SEM through creating authentic and heart felt content around his music.

Gaetano can be reached through his website: and the many social media platforms.

Enjoy the episode!

Our Guest

Gaetano Dinardi

Hacks to take Away

  • A very unique blend of raw talent passion to music, merge with business experience to a crowd Road.
  • Where Gaetano got a lot of my work ethic and resilience from.
  • Being raised with a grandmother.
  • All these things we do on a daily basis that cannot be learned in school.
  • How he started singing songs in Italian when he was a kid.
  • Why I learned to like most of the technical stuff.
  • Hitting all the areas of the funnel with content and nurturing and all the stuff.

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Read Full Transcript

Junaid Ahmed 0:10
Thank you for tuning into hacks and hobbies with your host Junaid. In Season Two of hacks and hobbies were visited by our amazing guests coming from all walks of life want to learn their story, their struggles and their journey on how they got to where they are today. So stick around.

In this episode, I get to speak with gitano ginardi. He's a singer, songwriter, producer and a digital marketing leader, all rolled into one. He brings a very unique blend of raw talent passion to music, merge with business experience to a crowd Road. Now, of course, I'm reading this amazing intro about gitano or as his friends call him g from his website, which is really nicely laid out. I'm happy and very honored to have him on the podcast. Thank you so much eternal for coming on to the podcast.

Gaetano DiNardi 1:21
Yeah, thanks for having me. I have I've been listening to Hacks and Hobbies for a while and I think it's one of the coolest podcasts out there and I'm definitely humbled to be honest. So thanks for having me.

Junaid Ahmed 1:34
Thank you so much. That means a lot my friend. It's been it's been a pretty amazing journey and a hobby that I'm you know, that I've been doing for the past year and I've had the passion of telling stories and I just didn't know which medium to tell them. I did blogging a lot in the back, you know, back in the days and and then when I started hearing about podcasting. I was like, Oh, I want to jump into podcasting and tell stories. But I didn't know what the proper format would be. So back in 2012, I jumped in with two cousins of mine and like our let's do a podcast, we're going to talk about technology we're going to use because that's, that's something that we were, we would all talk about it on a group message that they've been that we've been going on, for the past two decades, the same group message right with same people. And just last year, I was like, You know what, I can't wait for anybody else to join me on this journey. I've gotta take it. I gotta take it and I gotta go and make it happen for myself. So I started podcasting and started talking about the many different hobbies that I had and, and as you probably heard on the podcast, last season, it was all about beekeeping, cycling, we do production, of talking about these things, and what I managed to do and then this year, preseason to have been talking to guests that took their passion to the next level, took their hobbies to the next level and made that their main focus. So here to learn about your story, man.

Gaetano DiNardi 3:18
I appreciate it. And, you know, what you've done is really special. I mean, to commit to something and you know, you have almost almost 300 episodes done now. Thank you. That's the one thing it's like people, they they, you know, they they don't really sometimes see like the big vision and the big picture and like to commit to something for that long. Yes, it is not easy to do. And, you know, I tip my hat to you for that.

Junaid Ahmed 3:45
Thank you so much. So Gaetano you started. So how did you get started? So tell us a little version of your journey of that, that can get us up to speed on you know where you come from. What, what what you're working on today how you got here today and then what's your next step going forward?

Gaetano DiNardi 4:10
Alright man, so I'll try to I'll try to keep this nice and concise, but there's a long history.

Junaid Ahmed 4:16

Gaetano DiNardi 4:18
So, my parents are Italian, you know, from Naples, Naples, Italy saw that or no, actually, and they, you know, they really were supportive and my upbringing, you know, with music or whatever I wanted to do. My grandparents had an Italian restaurant, so when I was young, like a lot of my time was spent with my grandparents. And that's where I got my work ethic from, you know, my grandma, she was, she was tough. You know, she used to wake up every day six in the morning and work till till you know, after midnight. And then she is to, you know, cook for me and my brothers. She would wash our clothes Like, while my parents were like working and stuff like so I really my grandma was the one that raised me but she was super resilient. She battled cancer for almost 20 years, she lived with cancer for 20 years and worked, you know, and ran the restaurant, as a chef, you know, and the cancer didn't faze her at all. And that's where I got a lot of my work ethic and resilience from you know, seeing my grandma, kind of kind of push through all these these life challenges was was something that was inspirational to me from the beginning. So, you know, when I was in college, I was like, What do I want to do? Why am I even here? Yeah. And you know, part of it was, you know, Italian families they see, you know, going through college as a process and getting that degree is like something is a huge deal. I guess was like you know, please appeasing them and doing what they you know, I thought was like the best thing. But for me, it didn't really do too much like, you know, I'm a demand generation leader. And there's no degree you can get and demand generation like, yeah, you can go to school to learn SEO like you can't learn paid marketing, you can't learn no a conversion rate optimization, right? Like all these things we do on a daily basis, you cannot learn these things in school. So a lot of the things I learned in school were largely theory based. And I decided that you know, music was always like a passion of mine since I was young. So Max, my grandma, she was listening to like Italian music and always like, you know, having Italian music on like, while she was cooking while she was cleaning, wash, you know, she was doing stuff with me, whatever. So I picked that up and I started singing songs in Italian when I was a kid. And I just had a natural gift for music. I was playing guitar piano. In high school. This was like the thing that I love to do. Like this is one thing that I was kind of known for, but I didn't know like, what to do with it. And then I started actually just like making beats and writing songs and stuff. And I started doing live shows in New York City and I made a lot of connections. And then one thing led to the next then, you know, now I'm in the studio with a lot of big producers and rappers and stuff because I had a really special skill or producing beats that were driven by guitar, which was unique, a lot of a lot of the New York City, you know, hip hop producers were kind of like these beat machine, guys, you know, they didn't really know how to play instruments. So I brought a different flavor to the table. And it helped me kind of get through a lot of stuff and make a lot of connections. So I started a music blog. And I started reviewing music companies. And this is how I got into SEO. Yeah, I realized that people were finding my content through search engines. Yeah, I wasn't promoting it. And I was getting all these random comments from people that I met my damn How the hell are people finding my content? And then I realized Like I stumbled into SEO

Junaid Ahmed 8:02
Yeah. Cuz you're creating content, very specific rate to the music area and people are searching like, Oh, this place is where you can go and learn more about what you're talking about.

Gaetano DiNardi 8:15
Exactly, exactly. So that was one way to for finding my content and i i love the idea of not having to promote and people finding it. Yeah. Because I let's be real promoting contents not fun it's in job. Yeah, I'm sure you know that by now. podcast it's, you know, it's work.

Junaid Ahmed 8:35

Gaetano DiNardi 8:37
yeah, so I fell ass backwards into SEO and I loved it. And at the time, also, I was finishing school, and that my first job ever was actually in sales. And I you know, I, during that time, I'm like, Damn, I hate sales. And looking back on it now. I'm like, you know what, I don't hate sales. I just hated what I was saying. Oh,

Junaid Ahmed 8:58
yeah, that's, that's the Because that's the most of most of the time. That's what it is. Unless you're entwined with the product that you're using, you can be easy. You can be selling easy like, we like cars, or we like music. We can sell music because we are still passionate about we are automatically. The what's that word? evangelist for that stuff? Right.

Gaetano DiNardi 9:24
100% man, yeah, that's what it comes down to. Yeah, the passion just wasn't there for selling, you know, consultant services. Yes. That's what I was saying. So, yeah, ditch that. And I met this guy, Michael King, who's one of the best, if not the best SEO experts in the world. And I worked with him at his startup company, which was an SEO agency called I pull rank. And I was the second person hired at his company and by the time I left, there's like 12 or 13 full Please know that's why that's why I learned like most of the most of the technical stuff. So my content audit and keyword research, SEO, auditing, conversion testing for websites, how you research all this fun stuff. I was working with huge clients man like I don't know where like he had a big reputation. So I was working with Major League Baseball, chosen condoms. Big real estate companies like you name it. I've done pretty much every vertical and SAS was also a big vertical. And I realized I love SAS, because it was less about, you know, maintaining these huge complicated websites because SAS websites are usually smaller. Yeah, and it's more about how do I think about lead gen? How do I think about the audience and really, you know, hitting all these areas of the funnel with content and nurturing and all this stuff. So from there, I went to a SEO, I ran SEO, at a software company called pipe drive, which is a sales CRM company. I was there for for about a year, over a year. Then I went to run SEO at a online courses company called go skills calm, based out of New Zealand. I work obviously from the US. And then I went to run marketing at a media company called sales hacker. I was there for about two years, the company was transforming from an events company to a digital company. So I kind of like took all the stuff that they were doing on the ground, transformed it to digital, took that company to get acquired by outreach, which is a software company based out of Seattle. They're not a unicorn company. So just nice little quote there. They're valued, you know, north of a billion dollars. Yeah. I didn't want to go and work there full time. I was just a consultant during that transitional period and today I'm running demand generation that nextiva, a business communications company that allows you to run your entire business from the Cloud, whether it's communicating with your internal teams customers, we have Voice over IP software, CRM software, all bundled together with with some other really cool tools. And that's what I'm doing today.

Junaid Ahmed 12:17
That's really cool, man. So as a director of demand generation, so how would you explain what demand generation is? Is it something that around attention grabbing, like what's grabbing the attention of the person interested in the products? So it makes sense Are you tell me

Gaetano DiNardi 12:40
Yeah, yeah, it's a weird term. I think a lot of people haven't heard of it and like, the people that have heard of it, I think they they kind of lump it together in this bucket called lead generation. They kind of they've had a confused demand generation for lead generation, but I'm they overlap quite a lot I think the difference is that if you're driving leads you know there's people out there in the game that are pure lead gen but that's all they do like they will do outbound emails outbound calls, try to get you know, leads for for vendors, right so you've called these like kind of lead hunters or there's tons of companies out there that just do this stuff. Yeah. But the problem with it is that it's just they get the lead and that's that's it. Right Halo. And there's not sometimes there's not even much brand behind it like this. Yeah, we got this lead. Like we did like some ads and we got leads. So that that's lead generation. When you think about demand generation, it's it's you know, you're kind of influencing all these things that happen before you know, before a prospect becomes an actual lead. And then once a prospect does become a lead, it's not like you pass the sales and you forget about it, you actually think about All right, now that we have this lead Of course, they're not, you know, not every lead is ready to buy. That's the other thing, you know? Yeah. So you're, what you're doing is, is creating programs that keep leads interested, while they're kind of deciding is this company's solution right for me, and you're keeping that you're working to keep them top of mind. And you're fighting for mindshare, because at the end of the day, these whether they're, you know, whether they're actively looking for your solution, or any solution or not on, what's probably happening is they're probably evaluating your solution versus others. So it's kind of a fight for mindshare. And it's the same thing you know, before they come and lead to you're fighting for mindshare. So it's all the things that happened before they come to lead and then it's basically everything that happens from stranger to I am about ready to buy.

Junaid Ahmed 14:53
Hmm, that's really interesting because the more I think about something, the look at something right I start doing my research like, Okay, I'm interested in interested in this specific thing. For example, one thing that I'm super fascinated about right now is, is transcription for my podcast, right episodes, its audio. I want to transcribed it. And I want to transcribe this as best as possible. And how can I use the technologies that are available right now to make my life easier automating this stuff? And I know one application that I've been using, it's called And it'll you get about 600 minutes per month. You can upload your audio files. It will transcribe the text course there's a lot of as human conversation and the people the way they talk. Sometimes the words are mumbled you know, the AI can't really pick it up. Then I was doing a search the other day about, okay, well, what's the difference between a trailer for an episode versus a bonus episode? versus a full episode? You know, why would somebody create this thing because I'm coming at, you know, almost 300 episodes or a seat because my numbering is like episode. The E 294 is like season two episode 94. And I'm like, Okay, how do I avoid adding more like adding more numbers, but adding more content? Right So, and I ran into this website people and they provide web hosting and and they're mentioning how Dave Dave partnered up with IBM Watson to transform tribe, your podcast episodes. And then you can take that content and grab snippets from there five to 20 seconds and share on social media was like, well, that's really cool. What are you charging me on a monthly basis? Because there's a price for everything right? And I don't know if I'm going off topic or what I'm trying to get to is, is you've when you're creating demand, you are looking into what's the thought process of somebody that's going to be purchasing a service or going to be signing up for a service? What is the thought process that somebody goes through and and I keep thinking, well, that's really interesting on how like I'm thinking and how I should be sharing this, like what I'm going through and in some ways, I kind of am with the podcasts but then in other ways, I'm not because essentially, this interview is all about gitano. And and how he, you know, came from where he came from and where he's going and what where his expertise lies. So kind of thrown in a little bit of what I go through in kind of evaluating what others are doing or what other companies doing. And building demand or building leads Semak sense.

Gaetano DiNardi 18:34
Yeah, man, I mean, not you, you probably went through quite a lot of steps. You know, as

a lot of steps, man, and

Junaid Ahmed 18:47
you know, and in

Gaetano DiNardi 18:49
every, every buyer has a decision roadmap of how they're going to buy a product and I'm curious how long did it take you before, like from when you started thinking

Junaid Ahmed 19:06
that you might have a problem all the way to I definitely need a solution. And then when you actually chose the solution, like how long did that whole thing take? Well, it's been it's been an ongoing thing for the past year, right, I would say, as I started podcasting, and like, initially, when I was podcast, he was just me talking, and I'm just putting out information about beekeeping and whatnot. And I didn't think about transcribing that stuff at all. I was like, you know, it's, it's there, and, you know, it's good to listen. But then as I started doing interviews, I was like, all right, you know, people might want to grab, you know, be want to be able to read this stuff as well. And I want to be able to grab content from there and use it as my description or use it as a text for creating posts on social media. But how can I make that better, so to look That the different applications that I had access to, or that I was introduced to, I was like, all right, well, I can use this for this for free without having to pay. But then there's this service that I can use that can automatically repurpose my content and put it on YouTube for this much price that I can pay. And then as I'm going forward, I was like, Well, I have very limited time on a daily basis. And I want somebody to be able to grab this content and put it on, on the show notes. So it's basically been a long process. And for the past two months, I was just focusing on creating more content and not really publishing it, but as I go, but come back and come back and you know, bring these episodes back out. I started thinking, you know, how can I start start I mean, this is just last night. I was like, you know, what's different Phoenix When people are like posting, like, how is how are people getting more, you know, getting more audience to listen to their stuff. Right? So I'm sure they have an assistant model like, you know, they're publishing every week, while I'm that I published every day, and then I stopped. And I'm like, all right, I've got 10 I got 1015 episodes, I should schedule them out. So they got weekly so he can expect Okay, hacks and hobbies, new episodes dropping, blah, blah. And I'm like, how can I use other marketing tech tactics? or How can I inform other people, or people that are on my list or people that are following me? How can I tell them you know, so there has to be some kind of consistency built in and there's several tools out there that can enable that for you. So, all of these things that I'm thinking through and I'm and I sit down, I'm like, all right, this is this is what I've researched right now. Let's put that on hold. Let's go to the next step. And now And this is not the only thing that I'm working on, right, I'm also doing video production, I'm also doing website development and also also going out and working with other people on other projects. So it's like, it's, I get to do these things in episodes of different parts, Okay, I'm done this part. And then every once in a while, I'll get a, a, a block of hours, a block of five hours, a block of three hours that I can sit down and focus on this thing and, and figure that funnel out or figure that you know, that flow and like, all right, this flow is working. Let's move on to the next one. It's automation is, you know, started let's focus on not bringing any content now bringing in you know, so it's kind of like a broken strategy over time. So it's been pretty interesting journey for myself.

Gaetano DiNardi 22:54
Yeah, I mean, you you've come a long way yourself, man. I mean, in this process, you probably You're learning how to become a marketer by by doing. Yeah. Which is kind of the same thing that I did with like my first blog by myself. Yeah.

It's it's admirable that you were able to

Junaid Ahmed 23:14
do that. Thanks, man. Thanks, man. Appreciate it. Yeah, it's just things like this, you know, that just keep me keep me awake, like I was up from was at 1130 to 4am just trying to figure out okay, what can I do? What's the next step and then there's so many things on my plate that I really think, you know, I need to hire somebody to do some of this stuff for me. And I'm lucky enough to, you know, bring some people and to do that repetitive stuff and like, all right, you know, this is how I did my podcast. This is how I want to you know, grab these quotes from all of these episodes that are that are already transcribed. And I've got an Excel sheet that I can now create some social media content Independent that I can schedule out to go and, you know, again, not spending money to spending time to automate these processes or spending some money but not spending money. I don't know how, you know, you spend time you're essentially spending money because now you know you're spending that hour, those two hours and figuring this thing out versus hiring somebody who's already done it a million times. Right?

Gaetano DiNardi 24:32
Yeah, that's, that's, that's,

that's that's the struggle, right? It's like, you know, do you want to pay a lot for somebody who's done like, who knows this perfectly and will do it for you right away? Or do you want to like, hire somebody and experience that will take longer? It's Yeah,

Junaid Ahmed 24:51
or hire yourself because that's where you do it yourself? Yeah, that's what people end up doing. They end up doing is day they're like, hey, That's that's the that's the reverse note or destination that people have that I have unlimited hours. Right. But that's, that's not true because we don't have unlimited hours. We were always we only have 24 hours a day in only a limited time, like, time does not come back. So it's it's a struggle. It's a struggle for sure. Yeah. Yeah. It's tough. It's tough. It's

Gaetano DiNardi 25:29
the price you pay for, for trying to build something.

Junaid Ahmed 25:33
Yes. So what's what are the next step? And so you started with the music and you started with the blog on the music industry. And being a musician, yourself and a songwriter yourself. It made sense for you to talk about those specific things right, but and then you said you fell backwards into SEO and content indoor demand marketing. Yeah, so How do how do you? Or how does a company like yours or the company that you work for help others or help other companies? And what what is some of the outcomes? Or what are some of the things that go into demand marketing or? And I think you probably might have, give us a little bit of a taste of what that is like,

Gaetano DiNardi 26:24
huh? Yeah. Well, dude, I mean, there's, it's it's so tough man that the biggest challenge in demand marketing is actually deciding what to do first. Yeah, there's so there's so many areas to tackle, you know, obviously, the company needs leads. We have to get really high quality leads coming in all the time. The other part of it too is you have to think higher up the funnel as well like the problem today is that every company is fighting over those leads. That are ready to buy now,right now.

And you know, it's it's it's just not the case that, you know, there is a large pool of people out there that are looking for a voice over IP solution that are looking to buy now, or soon. A lot of them are not ready to buy now, the about phone service. You know, people don't just wake up, businesses don't just wake up someday and say, You know what, I need to change my phone service. Yeah, they do it. They change their phone service because they don't like something that's happening with their current service. Or the biggest thing that's happened with small businesses that are growing fast as they start by using their personal cell phone number. And then they realize oh, man, like I'm starting to actually get customers now. But this business is starting to take off a little bit. This is awesome. But I can't have customers and people at work just hitting me up on my personal cell phone number. So what am I going to do? Yeah, business, I finally am at the point where I need a business phone number shit. So the first thing we probably go search is like, how do I get a business phone number? Or how many phone lines do I need for my business? And that's where we win. Because I think about all the things and all the questions that come up before, like, long before they need a phone service. It's when they start thinking about maybe do I need phone service, and I create a lot of content and search engines around that. So my goal is to try to catch these people before they fall. And you know, the most a lot of successful demand, marketers will think higher up the funnel. But it's not just about like creating big top of the funnel viral content that's going to spread the brand like, you know, if I did something like the biggest phone scams, right, right. That's a cool one. That's a cool idea to do that makes people say, Oh, that's interesting. Oh, who's this company that's writing about this? Oh, yeah, check them out. I don't really Anything from them though great, you know that's that's what is going to get like eyeballs to just brand some earlier already, huh? But it's not enough to get them to remember you when they actually need a phone. So it's thinking about this whole journey that happens before a business owner comes to that point where they know they need a phone. And then also big companies like why do big companies that have like huge IT teams Why would they come to digital phone service while they need to move to the cloud. A lot of these a lot of these companies, it's actually shocking how many companies are still using these big old school, they call it on premise phone systems, which is is managed through a private branch exchange or PBX on premise and these systems are very hard to manage Day. They're all hardwired by the way. Yep. So like, you know, a Las Vegas hotel would be a good example. Like, if you stay at the Wynn and you look in your hotel room, you're going to see Anna Anna via phone. And that via phone system is hardwired like there's wires running from, you know, the the hotel room to the command center to. It's all hardwired right now that system were to break somehow. It'd be super expensive to fix the whole thing. Yeah. But there's there's some command control center that's hardwired that's running this via system and it's, you know, it's probably huge. There's probably hundreds if not thousands of phone lines. So, the reason why a company like the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas would say, you know what, I'm tired of this thing. Let's move everything digital, is because it's easier to manage. It's cheaper. You don't need to be a huge IT team and it runs From the cloud, and you get analytics, and you get a lot of other benefits from running your phone system in the cloud that you wouldn't get, if it was just on premise like Yeah, when it's on premise, it's just like old school, you know, house phone in many ways, so you don't you don't get it as robust as a tool as you would get with digital but long story short, you know, we're thinking about all the problems that an IT team would have. Before they they get to the point where they start saying, All right, I need a phone because what what every every company is battling for and Google are the keywords that are, you know, I'm ready to buy right now. Like, you know, business phone service, small business phone service. I need a business phone system office phone system, like everyone's battling over those, but they're not necessarily thinking about the problems that happen before that. Yeah. So I'm thinking about it all. And that's what I'm doing every day.

Junaid Ahmed 31:54
Nice. Nice, just that's really cool. And it's Interesting, you mentioned the PBX systems. Back in the days I used to manage a network operating center where we had a digital telephone system set up, I think was called asterisk. And it would, you know, you would have to like hardwired these cards and then you would have a T one line come in, and you can support up to 12 phone lines that are that were all digital and in Voice over IP, and I was like, who I want to set one up for myself, and you know what it all takes to do it. And I was I was just really amazed at the technology because being a tech enthusiast myself, I dig into technology a lot more than the average person. Right? So when I wanted my home phone, I went to strange the same router like okay, how can I get a home phone for next to nothing and I learned about this little bit device that would work with Google Voice. And you can connect your regular phone to it. I was like, Oh, this is really neat. And I think there was another device to flag you by $410 or something. They'll give you multiple lines or single line but but doesn't have any of those benefits of digital analytics, I think. But it's it's really you start seeing, you know, you don't really need to pay that extra or pay too much to have more advanced services available as a business.

Gaetano DiNardi 33:42
Man Yeah, that's, that's that's the thing. It's like, you know, you kind of get what you pay for nowadays. Yeah. What do you know what's interesting what's happening in the phone service market is companies are realizing that just the phone is not enough.

Junaid Ahmed 33:57
Yeah, and

Gaetano DiNardi 34:00
phone service now as a commodity, unfortunately and like because there's so many providers out there it's like it's becoming like CRM.

Junaid Ahmed 34:09

Gaetano DiNardi 34:09
So I'm super expensive to like you know marketing wise to to run AdWords for some like some of these keywords dude are 300 bucks a click? Wow. Yeah, it's that crazy because of competition like it wasn't like that years ago like when Yeah, see the you can see the trends of how expensive the keywords have gotten over the years and three years ago, and you know, these keywords that are like 200 to $300 a click to three years ago, they used to be like 4050 of clear. Wow. So, you know, it's gotten it's got nuts and you know, the only way to not get into that ball game of like, you know, a race to the bottom essentially with spending on ads is To to get as much SEO going as possible. So you want to take away paid and get that traffic for free. Yeah, but SEO is getting harder to unfortunately. Yeah. So, you know, now it's like, all right, you got to start thinking about other channels that are going to create leads for you that are high quality and do and do it consistently. And that's, that's some things that I'm playing around with too. That's why now, what you're seeing is this kind of this kind of this shift towards account based marketing and account based sales, where it's less about casting a wide net more about saying, you know, these are like the top 100 companies that we like, want to go after and this quarter, and we have to, we have to create orchestrated campaigns that are going to specifically try to break through to somebody at these companies and then you start getting into personal based marketing where it's like, you know, we're going to create a campaign specifically for IT administrators. Yeah. And then you try to break into those, and then you coordinate with sales and you try to break in that way. Because to get the big, the big size deals, you know, that's the best way to do it, honestly, like, you're going to get some big deals coming in from SEO and AdWords and also affiliate sites and aggregators. Because now Google, like, you know, vendors that offer a product are really having a hard time ranking for keywords like best business phone service, right. And like, because Google knows that, like shoppers don't want to just see one thing. They want to see a list with reviews, and they want to see star ratings. They want to hear from people who are actually using the products. Yeah. What do you like, what do you not like, all these things? So Google is playing favoritism toward the aggregator and review sites. So now vendor website. Yeah, you have to fight for those top spots

Junaid Ahmed 37:05
on those lists, because they are Yeah, it's those aggregators are bringing content from all sorts of places, right? Yeah, they've got they've got lot more backlinks than somebody who's just a, you know, a single shop and they're building their own content. Yeah, totally makes sense.

Gaetano DiNardi 37:24
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So yeah. So now now it's

you gotta fight for those top spots. And a lot of it is really a matter of like, you know, just getting more reviews and getting the best reviews. Yeah, so now it's like, we've got to work with our customer support teams to figure out ways to incentivize happy customers to go and leave reviews, which is not easy to do. So it's this it's this whole engine, man, everything from SEO, PPC, and then you know, getting the reviews of course Then, you know, once we're getting these traffic, these very high traffic pages, you know, happening on the site for high high buying intent. It's monitoring these pages, looking at what's happening, running tests, looking at where they click where they scroll, where are they having a hard time finding the information they need. All these sorts of things that happen every day, make the engine run and I'm telling you man, when you're driving, you're steering the ship. That's this size. It moves kind of slow sometimes but we we try to, you know, keep it as agile and fast moving as we can. That says, that's what it comes down to one

Junaid Ahmed 38:38
very, very cool man. I love it. Well, this was a really, really cool conversation about demand marketing, which is something brand new, have never heard of it before. And your journey you know about how you got into introduced to SEO to marketing and to where You know where you are right now which is really cool. Few question that asked my guests these are you know, quick questions though you know towards the end just to get an idea of who you are as a person what is one hobby that you wish you got into and never got the chance to?

Gaetano DiNardi 39:24
Yeah, man, you know there's a there's a few

one thing that I always felt would be so awesome that I just never, never did was kicking field goals. I was just thinking the other day like, one of the most like, fire jobs would be NFL like kicker, maybe just kick field goals.

Junaid Ahmed 39:49
Yeah, I think I'll be sick that day. So do you do that's all

Gaetano DiNardi 39:54
they do is just kick field goals. Like that would that would be something that like I always liked. wondered and then of course my the other hobby that like if I if I could have chosen my life to go any other way I would have chosen for myself to be an Italian soccer player

Junaid Ahmed 40:11

Gaetano DiNardi 40:12
and be on the Napoli team or or you venters I love both of those teams and I I would choose to live in Italy and be as a soccer player.

Junaid Ahmed 40:23
Nice. I think I think one of those is still possible. Right? Maybe maybe All right, cool. What is your favorite movie? Or TV show?

Gaetano DiNardi 40:38
Yeah, Favorite movie of all time is casino.

Junaid Ahmed 40:42
Night. Joe Pachi Robert De

Gaetano DiNardi 40:44
Niro, of course. Yeah. Favorite TV show of all time is Seinfeld.

Junaid Ahmed 40:48
Oh, I love Seinfeld. Man.

Gaetano DiNardi 40:52
Seinfeld man such as a New Yorker. That's like I feel like New Yorkers really can appreciate that show. Maybe more. Yeah, other other people. Yeah. But that's just such a classic my grandfather who of course like doesn't understand much English yeah he laughs like crazy at the show. He doesn't even really understand it but he just likes like George and Kramer like the way they act and like trouble like he finds it hilarious

Junaid Ahmed 41:19
because you don't you don't really understand that show because it's a show but nothing like live show nothing. It's

Gaetano DiNardi 41:27
exactly yeah I'm also a huge fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm Of course created by Larry David. I'm a huge Larry David fan, Hugh Nice, nice. There's two people in life that I'm dying to meet. Yeah, Mary David is one and the other is Scott storage of very well known hip hop producer who I haven't met or worked with yet.

Junaid Ahmed 41:49
Nice nice man. Put them on your bucket list right

Gaetano DiNardi 41:53
on my bucket list man.

Junaid Ahmed 41:54
Fantastic. All right. Next question. Well movie would you choose? If you Got to play a character in it.

Gaetano DiNardi 42:03
I'm Batman. Nice Dark Knight. Yeah. Nice. I feel like that would just be so dope.

Junaid Ahmed 42:09
Yeah, absolutely. Alright, so who's your favorite superhero? favorite superhero? Batman? Probably Batman.

Gaetano DiNardi 42:16
Yeah. I I loved Michael Keaton as Batman. Back in the day. Yeah. I just thought he was the I thought personally, he was the best Batman. Yeah. He just he had a great great great great just in character and out of character. Yeah. persona Batman. I was like the Alfred and everything like and like how Danny DeVito was the penguins like that was I feel like the best. Yeah, I'm for Batman. That was that was you absolutely right. And

Junaid Ahmed 42:57
Batman was also one of my favorite Huge superheroes when I first was introduced to superheroes and so I didn't know didn't know a whole lot about superheroes till I moved to the states and 95 and around that time we had movies like Batman Forever and Batman you know the other Batman's and then I was really fascinated because besides Batman and and and we had blade think those are the only superhero movies that we knew besides you know Superman which is much earlier. And then when Ironmen came out in 2008 it just changed my entire perspective of what a superhero is supposed to be.

Gaetano DiNardi 43:52
Yeah, I mean, yeah, speaking of superheroes

tie this back to marketing real quick. there's a there's a concept called character diamond. Yeah. Where essentially um, I saw this brilliant brilliant brilliant presentation from Ryan deiss who is the CEO of digital marketer calm and he's he says that the reason why the best brands are successful is because they figure out how to create their brand like a superhero you know every like for example, like every brand should have like this.

This this concept of character diamond figured out where you know they they can kind of view their brand like a superhero where they have one superpower which is the North Star and then they have a weakness, which is the their kryptonite. So you have as a brand you have to find out like what is your superpower? Hmm, what is your kryptonite? Um, what are the things that you have that are what he would consider to be your non negotiables? Which kind of define like your character? So like, you know with like, with like, like, with spider man for example. Yeah. his weakness was always trying to like, you know, figure out like how to not be so awkward and real life

Junaid Ahmed 45:25
yeah and

Gaetano DiNardi 45:26
and kind of balance like you know his mom and like his girlfriend and like all this stuff and like Batman's Superman's weakness was like he was like bad with women. Like that was his quick like quite yet he's trying to always impress Lois Lane and stuff. So like, how do you how do you create and they always have like the same stories? Yes. So it's always like good versus bad, you know, and you can kind of see the same stories over and over again kind of repeating all the time just with different characters. And the point that he made it with this character diamond cutter concept was, if you can figure out how to create a superhero story with your brand.

Junaid Ahmed 46:07
That idea,

Gaetano DiNardi 46:08
yeah, if you can, if you can do that, then you won't have to do things like what Ford Motors has to do to promote their cars. Like they have to pay some random actor. Yeah, to drive their car and say, Oh, I love this new Ford. Yeah, the best. The reason why they have to do that is because they have no soul. Like they have they have no soul. So they have to borrow somebody else's soul. Yeah. You know what I mean? And, you know, that's why I like Batman and Superman. They don't have to do that. Because like, they have an interesting story. They have a soul. They have a narrative where a lot of these companies, you know, they don't like especially in the world that I'm in, like b2b, SAS tech, like a lot of these companies. They're just, you know, that there are massive people just trying to associate and they don't really have a soul. The point is, how do you not become that? How do you hide it? If you're a b2b company? How do you market more like Nike? You know, and as a reality, yeah, the reality is that they can't because they're not willing to do things that Nike is willing to do, like, pick aside. You know, they got behind Colin Kaepernick, and they said, I'm going to support this issue that we stand by, yeah, it would alienate some but be loved and favored by, you know, this group, and they went with it, and they picked it. Whereas, you know, most b2b companies today, they would never pick a side

Junaid Ahmed 47:32
they would pick a side because they they're like, Oh, my shareholders. Oh, they're gonna you know, have you Oh, my God, that's so. True. Exactly.

Gaetano DiNardi 47:41
Exactly. So long story short, it's better to decide then remain neutral.

Junaid Ahmed 47:45
Yep. So in the character diamond, there's other three points or four points. There's there's four points. Okay. So you said superpower kryptonite non negotiables and was supposed to fourth one week?

Gaetano DiNardi 47:57
Yeah, so the non negotiables is kind of the Nike fan. Okay, and then the fourth one is like just accepting what your quirks are or your your your kind of like your flaws right? Um, it's different from kryptonite. That's that's like your your weakness.

Junaid Ahmed 48:13
Yeah, thats was going to kill you.

Gaetano DiNardi 48:15
That's what's going to kill you. Right? But your flaws are things like, you know, like with with Superman, for example like he's dirty. Yeah, he's not not good with women. Yeah, he's like,

Junaid Ahmed 48:24
he's okay with that. And he's okay with that.

Gaetano DiNardi 48:27
Yeah, yeah. So I don't know what it would be for like some companies that I've worked that but like maybe for maybe for nextiva would be that we have a really like, I think for nextiva our quirk is that we we hire unusual people. We we openly accept like weird if you want to call it weird, I guess or maybe unorthodox, right? Like, yeah, a lot of companies wouldn't hire me. Even though I'm really good at what I do, they still wouldn't hire me because I don't fit the script. Should not I'm saying like I'm too. Like I'm too much of a rebel and and that's part of my character diamond. Yeah. The music, the music thing like the whole, you know how a lot of people say, like I'm looking for sales Rockstar, I actually do kind of bring some of that personality to like my videos to the way I talk like, you know, I'm the only person on LinkedIn sharing music videos that I have done

Junaid Ahmed 49:33
so that you don't like,

Gaetano DiNardi 49:36
yeah, a lot of companies wouldn't like that they will be sharing your music videos you should. You should be sharing like our case studies. Yeah.

Junaid Ahmed 49:46
So nice. I like it. I like it, man. Alright, so I think the last question was if you were a board game, what would it be? Hmm, that's a good one. I would say after go from monopoly man, man, I've been getting a lot of monopolies. Last week and this week. That sounds awesome, though, because monopoly is a very celebrated game and it teaches you a lot of different things. It's amazing.

Gaetano DiNardi 50:19
Yeah, yeah. I just I love the feeling of like, you know, pass go and collect 200

Junaid Ahmed 50:28
Jail Free.

Gaetano DiNardi 50:30
Yeah, get out of jail free. Like if life was only that good. I mean, I've gotten pulled out of like, not literally out of jail, but I feel like I've had a few get out of jail free moments in life.

Junaid Ahmed 50:38

Gaetano DiNardi 50:39
And I think starting the music blog was definitely one nice as it led to so many other things. Yeah, it's funny looking back on it all how everything is connected, man. It's just, I guess the the takeaway is trust the process, trust your gut and just working hard and good things will happen.

Junaid Ahmed 50:57
Cool, man. I really appreciate your time. Thanks. So much now where can my audience find you?

Gaetano DiNardi 51:03
Yeah. And go to Instagram and just search official Gaetano

Junaid Ahmed 51:08
me there. Cool. I'll be sure to include those links on the podcast. show notes so people can get to the official gaytan Oh,

Gaetano DiNardi 51:18
yeah, man, that would be awesome. And it's been awesome. Talking to you and getting to hear some of your story as well.

Junaid Ahmed 51:24
Thank you, man, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

Gaetano DiNardi 51:29
All right. Take.

Junaid Ahmed 51:34
Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to this episode on hacks and hobbies. We absolutely appreciate your contribution. You can find additional notes on hacks and hobbies. com. please share the podcast with your friends and tell them what you learned about our guests today.

Transcribed by

Junaid Ahmed has been a user experience designer for over 15 years. As a UX professional, he uses the user-centered design philosophy to come up with solutions. Trust the system, it works!

“People say that we only live once, but I believe in living every day!”

Junaid has been interviewing people from all walks of life on his podcast Hacks and Hobbies.