Like a Web Site that Rocks? Just ask Jerry

June 15, 2007

Would you like to know how to make your web site pay off big time? Would you like to know bunches of web strategies, email marketing techniques and content ideas that even the experts don’t teach? Simple. Just ask Jerry Rouleau – if you can catch him.


There’s one thing you need to know, though. Jerry doesn’t teach web site optimization, email marketing or copywriting. He just does one heck of a job it.

And frankly, that’s the kind of expertise that impresses us the most. We’ll vote anytime for natural genius over self-proclaimed expertise.
We’ve seen this kind of genius from folks like Dan Sims (www.theagencyspeakers.com) and Shep Hyken (www.shephyken.com). Dan utilizes tons of the free and low-cost Internet business resources to make his business work, and Shep has figured out a way to make Google Adwords pay off for his speaking business (no mean feat). Neither of them holds workshops or hostage camps on those topics, but, boy, can you ever learn from them.

Dan runs a speaker’s bureau and we’ve written about his business in “Gunfight at the Speaker’s Bureau Corral.”

Shep’s an expert on customer service who wrote his own guest article for us called, “Adwords Has Been Very Good To Me

Same with Jerry Rouleau. Jerry’s genius is fueled by a very straightforward commitment to his customers’ needs. From this focus he’s figured out a bunch of ways to “super-optimize” his web site.

Jerry’s expertise and market niche is the systems-built home industry. The systems-built home industry includes the sub-markets of log homes, modular homes, panelized homes, concrete homes, timber frame homes. We’ve already written about his web site inventiveness in “News Alerts Make YOU the Expert.”

In that article, we wrote about how he uses “News Alerts” not just to stay up-to-date in his industry, but also to serve his customer base. He adds the best news alerts for each of his sub-markets and then posts them on his web site. This site is called www.systembuiltnews.com, and boy is it worth taking a look at – no matter what your business.

He’s told us that the email announcing new alerts gets his highest “click-thru rate.” That means he’s providing something his customers really want.

And, that’s the thing about Jerry Rouleau. We talked to him recently about a cool new web service we thought might be a good addition to his web site. He thought about it for a minute and then said, “I can’ t see my customers really needing it.”

He’s almost completely customer driven – not web-optimized driven, Adword driven or affiliate market driven. He makes decisions about what he offers on his web site based on what his customers need. Now, there’s a concept!

That’s why he created BuilderRadio.com, which is a series of interviews with “Experts on the Issues.” Yes, he interviews experts from the systems-built home industry – but he also interviews experts who will be of interest to his customer base. On a recent “Experts on the Issues” CD he interviewed the grand chef at a hotel where he was speaking. Why? Because the customer service throughout the entire hotel was so astonishing, he just wanted his customers to know how they did it. Yes, his customers are in business – and, yes, they have to provide customer service.

But, hold on to your IPod’s, folks. He’s just about to launch a “mega-audio” program. I like how he described his new program to us: “It’s 37-plus hours of audio with 65-plus speakers on 80-plus topics.” No big deal.

We call his new program “Builder Graduate School,” but in fact, it’s a combination of his various audio programs, such as “Experts on the Issues,” “Selling New Homes University,” “Lessons from the Pros” and more.

These are interviews, training sessions and special programs that he’s already recorded over the past year. What he’s done for his customers now is to put them all together in one package. And that package is an IPod Nano. That’s right, all 37 hours comes fully loaded and ready to be listened to on a spanking new Nano. Tell me this guy isn’t smart.

Customer focus is what is making this guy’s web presence successful. Here’s one last, quick example. Jerry knows the power of email marketing and he personally is sold on Constant Contact for that job. Even though he demonstrates the power of Constant Contact to his business audiences he doesn’t take referral fees for them.

“My expertise is in my own builder niche, not email marketing. I think my customers will benefit from the information about Constant Contact, but I don’t think I should make extra money from mentioning them. It just wouldn’t feel right.”

No matter what business you are in, if you want to know more about “optimizing” your web site, pay attention to what Jerry Rouleau is doing. He does it by optimizing what he provides his customers.

The main page of Jerry’s web site asks, “Looking for someone who Knows Your Business?” Jerry knows his – and if you follow his example, you’ll know yours too.

Note: Sheryl and I do not take referral fees from any of the sites or services mentioned in our articles or workshops. We are one of the experts interviewed on Jerry’s audio series, “Experts on the Issues.”



  1. Michael and Sheryl – Thanks for putting the spotlight on one of the most innovative people I know. I remember sitting in on one of Jerry’s seminars, buying his book and taking it with me on vacation. I read it three times cover to cover during that week, and still use it as a reference regularly. His audio program is raising the bar again. Who else would have thought of putting what amounts to a college course on an iPod and marketing it that way!

  2. I like Jerry’s philosophy and think he’s dead on as far as the importance of customer focus goes. I’d go a step further and say it’s even more important to focus on that 20% subset (Pareto Principle) of customers who provide 80% of your revenues. Using a professional speaker’s site as an example, would they rather attract the type of customer who’s going to shell out thousands for a keynote address or $9.97 for their latest e-book?

    I think you close the loop nicely when you say he’s not optimizing his website, he’s optimizing what he gives his customers. I guarantee if your web-delivered content is lasered in on what your target audience needs, wants and demands, you’ll have a well-optimized website in the search engines eyes (or algorithms 😉 ) as well.

    I’d be interested to know how he’s tracking customer satisfaction with his approach. Any insights there?

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