55: Yelp Help with Ralph Carrasco

December 13, 2018

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Yigal Adato: 00:00 Hey pawn family. Welcome back to another episode of the Pawn Leaders Podcast. I’m actually here recording this intro for you from Oxford, Mississippi. And so you might be asking yourself, what’s Yigal doing there? I’m actually here visiting a member of the Pawn Leaders mastermind and I get to walk through his store all day tomorrow and help them out with leadership with marketing and strategy so that he can grow his loan balance without giving up that life balance and do what we talk about on the podcast, which is make more stress less and live that epic life. On this episode of the podcast we are talking about online presence and you know just last week we were having a conversation in the Pawn Leaders mastermind group about Google reviews because that’s a metric that we’re consistently measuring in the mastermind and one of the mastermind members have this incredible uptick in reviews. Like he went from, I don’t know, 40 to a hundred and above 100 just a crazy crazy increase and I said, man, what are you using? And he said Yigal, I’m using podium.com so I did some research on podium.com and I saw them at the kappa convention about a month ago. We sat down with them. I saw their software, I saw the ease of use. I saw how it makes it so easy for the customer to leave you a review because you and I both know that they might love your service, but it’s really hard for somebody to actually sit there and go online, sign in and leave you that review. But podium makes that possible. You see, this mastermind member has even seen increased revenue because of those review increases. So reviews really matter, ladies and gentlemen, and the way you show up online determines who shows up at your pawnshop. So I spoke with podium and I got you guys a special deal. If you go to podium.com/pawnleaders, you get 10% of your monthly subscription, become the obvious choice online. Go to the podium.com/pawnleaders and get started and save 10% it’s an incredible deal. Check it out. On this episode, we’re talking with Ralph Carrasco who is a Yelp, I can’t believe I just said Yelp on the podcast who’s a Yelp consultant. I think I said Yelp because we all dislike Yelp in a certain way. So before you throw out your cell phone, before you smash it onto the car, Ralph really walks us through how to talk to people who leave you the bad reviews on Yelp, how do create a great profile so that you get more people walking through the door and just how to navigate those Yelp waters because it’s still an important website. So, this is my podcast with Ralph Carrasco. Hope you enjoy.


Yigal Adato: 02:46 Hey everyone, my name is Yigal Adato and this is the Pawn Leaders Podcast, a podcast that help you make more money, stress less, and live an epic life all while working at the pawnshop. Ralph, welcome to the show, brother.


Ralph Carrasco: 03:02 Thanks. Appreciate to having me on Yigal.


Yigal Adato: 03:04 No, thank you so much for being here. I know that we met kind of through a Facebook group and you had mentioned that you are a Yelp expert and you helped businesses grow their business using Yelp. Obviously you don’t work for Yelp, but let’s kind of talk about how you got into this and why you’re so passionate about helping businesses do better using Yelp.


Ralph Carrasco: 03:25 I appreciate that introduction. So in 2010 after a decade of serving in United States Navy, you know, we’re going with admirals and captains of ships. I exited so it could be with my family and my daughter. And as a result, I opened my own franchise. This was, you know, 2010 we’re east of San Francisco. It was the most economically repressed area in the nation, called my franchise and was like, hey, how do you help me? Like, I don’t have a huge marketing budget. What do you guys recommend? They threw some ideas. I was already working those. And then they said, well, why don’t you try Yelp? And again, I was fresh off the boat, new veteran, and they said, you know, and I said, well, what is Yelp? And they said, well, its big out in California. There’s a guy that’s booked two weeks out just from his Yelp listings and he has no marketing budget. And I said, what? I need to figure that out. And that’s what started my journey. And ultimately I took my franchise location to number one in the area with three times the amount of organic reviews as my counterpart providers. And we ultimately became the obvious choice.


Yigal Adato: 04:41 Nice. That’s awesome. So, I do want to read these out loud because I think they’re hilarious. Go to Pawn Leaders Podcast Community. I just said I have a Yelp expert coming on and what questions do you want to ask him? And we’ll get to the real questions. But some of these were super funny, you know, how do you sleep at night? What Satan’s like in real life. Do you go outside in daylight, does holy water burn you? What’s it like eating babies? On a scale of one to 10, how much do you enjoy clubbing seals? Obviously you can tell that some of the pawnbrokers are angry at Yelp. And I want to make it very clear to everybody listening. Ralph doesn’t work for Yelp, but you do help businesses gain more traction using Yelp. That’s exactly what you did with your business, correct?


Ralph Carrasco: 05:27 Yes, that’s correct.


Yigal Adato: 05:29 Awsome. So, let’s get into it. So you had a business and let’s talk about the main question that people ask. A lot of people feel that the APP doesn’t work anymore. Does Yelp still work for businesses?


Ralph Carrasco: 05:44 Yes, wholeheartedly. Yelp is the number one online business directory. And as a result, they’re integrated into many different aspects. So are you an android user or an apple user?


Yigal Adato: 05:58 I’m an apple user.


Ralph Carrasco: 05:59 Okay, perfect. So every time you ask Siri for information or to help you find a local provider, you can even do this right now. You can pull out your phone and say, Hey, Siri, find me a chiropractor near me. And as a result, down in the bottom right hand corner, when she lists every result, it says on Yelp.


Yigal Adato: 06:19 Oh Wow.


Ralph Carrasco: 06:19 Yeah. Apple doesn’t have its own local data anymore. Neither does Yahoo. Neither does bing. Many of the car infotainment systems when you search for something on there it’s all Yelp data. So Yelp is actually has more monthly users. You know, comscore sends out their ratings, but at times we’ve had more monthly users than LinkedIn, Pandora, Netflix, Spotify, it crushes TripAdvisor.


Yigal Adato: 06:49 Yeah, I’m sure. What about, so let’s talk about, I know that Google reviews are coming up. How do Google reviews compared to Yelp reviews at the moment?


Ralph Carrasco: 06:58 So currently with Google reviews, there is no filtering system. And so anybody with an @gmail.com email address or anybody with an android phone can leave a Google review. So it’s just open water. You can say whatever you want, you can bash. Additionally, there’s not a lot of support if there’s an unfounded review or if somebody just attacking the business where Yelp actually with their filtering process, and I’m sure we’ll discuss this, but they do their best to ensure that they bring the most relevant reviews possible.


Yigal Adato: 07:32 So let’s get into that. One of the questions I was asked in the community was, you know, how come a lot of my good reviews get, I don’t know what they call it. They get hidden in the b ad reviews stay up and what do I do to fight that? How do I get my good reviews showing and the bad reviews hidden or how do we figure that out? What’s the best process for a business owner?


Ralph Carrasco: 07:57 So for me, always I talk about the profile. I can’t control the reviews being filtered or unfiltered. I don’t, I can’t talk about the algorithm. Like I don’t, the people that I work with Yelp because I have a special partnership with them and I have a team at Yelp that helps me with businesses, with numbers they produce slide projections for people that we bring onto the agency. But nobody knows the specifics behind the algorithm. The best information that we can deliver is there is a short little video people can go on Yelp and watch it. Why are filters or why are reviews filtered. But really what it comes down to is, and what they’re saying is that if you have an individual who only goes out once every two or three years and then leaves a review about a place, well he’s not very credible or if he’s a new individual to the platform or like what a lot of people will do is make fake profiles. And as a result those will get filtered because they have no photos, there’s no social network circle behind it. They’ve only done like one or two reviews. So if somebody only has like one or two reviews and somebody says, Hey, will you leave us a Yelp review and then they only do like once every five years well Yelp doesn’t really find that as credible. As you know, someone who’s constantly leaving reviews, someone who’s constantly checking in, someone who has a social circle or like a Facebook account connected to their Yelp profile. So that’s why I talk about the profile needing to be strong versus worrying about just the reviews.


Yigal Adato: 09:31 Great. So let’s jump into the profile then. Let’s talk about the biggest mistakes business owners are making and then some tips. If you could give us a couple of strategies of a business that you know, can make a change on their profile to be able to increase their reviews or their business. So let’s start Ralph with what are the biggest mistakes you feel that business owners are making on their profile on Yelp


Ralph Carrasco: 09:54 So first and foremost, I call it my Amazon theory. So right around the time I was studying my business I was studying Amazon with them being the world’s largest online retailer. So if you look at Amazon, you only get four real buying options with like, let’s say you’re looking for a new microphone, right? Like as I was. And as a result, I typed in USB microphone in Amazon and what pops up, you know, you get 30,000 results for something. So first and foremost, you know, prime, no one’s going to buy anything if it’s not prime, especially if I want it, you know, next day or the next couple of days. Okay. So once you take that off the table you started looking at reviews or star ratings because that’s where people go. So then as a result, no one’s going to buy or two or three star product. And so if you have a two or three star business, no one’s going to engage with you. And then from that point, once you know, people pick two or three that looked like they have higher star ratings, then they’re going to go to photos. Have you ever gone onto an Amazon listing and you go to look at the photo and let’s say you double click it and it’s pixelated or it goes real small. All you’re going to do is just jump to the next listing because you’re already irritated. You’re like, if you can’t get your stuff together to sell me my product with nice pictures, then from that point I’m going to go to somewhere else because that’s what people do. They look it up to like four profiles before they make a decision.


Yigal Adato: 11:22 Got it.


Ralph Carrasco: 11:23 Is that kind of [Inaudible]?


Yigal Adato: 11:25 What was that?


Ralph Carrasco: 11:27 Is that kind of like how you shop?


Yigal Adato: 11:28 Yeah, I mean 100% for me. If the picture’s not good, then automatically,

subconsciously I think the shipping process is going to be horrible. The packaging process is going to be horrible. The return process is going to be horrible. So I just go to the next one. It’s like Airbnb, I travel a lot and I stayed at BNBs. If you can’t post a good picture, there’s no way I’m going to stay in your place.


Ralph Carrasco: 11:51 Exactly. That’s the other thing. So, my whole push is to help, I call myself Ralph Carrasco become the obvious choice. So I help people with their Air BNBs, they’re online social profiles and they’re Yelp. And so if you drill further, like you said, if the pictures aren’t right or let’s say the pictures are beautiful and you’re like, aw man, this microphone looks awesome. They put a lot of great content. I can see myself using this. Then you’re going to go further down and you’re going to look at the description, right? You’re going to see, is this going to solve my problem? Let’s say you’re buying a new mattress online, you know, is the dimensions okay? Is it squishy on the sides? Is it a spring? is it this? is that, there’s so many different variables that people want to know about nowadays, especially since, you know, everybody is avid researchers. I’m two years older than you and when I was growing up my mom, I was such an avid, why kid. Hey mom, why is this? Why is this, why is this, why is this? And she’d always be like, look it up. Or I’d be like, hey mom, how do you spell this? How do you do this? How do you do this? So she’s like, look it up. And I’m like, well, I don’t know how to spell it. How am I going to look it up? But our generation and our age group are huge researchers for that reason. We’re going to look and make sure that we make the best buying decision possible. So to answer your question directly photos. Photos are the biggest thing that you can do for your profile. So like you said, you go on Airbnb, do you use Yelp personally?


Yigal Adato: 13:26 I have, yeah. For sure.


Ralph Carrasco: 13:28 So let’s say, have you ever searched for a restaurant on Yelp?


Yigal Adato: 13:31 Yes.


Ralph Carrasco: 13:31 Okay. So just work with me. Just go down the line with me real quick. Let’s say you’re looking for an Italian food spot in San Francisco, right? You’re up in the area for an event or anything else. You type in Italian food, current location, you’re going to get listing after listing. The first four are probably going to be ads, right? Have you seen those Yelp ads?


Yigal Adato: 13:52 Yup. Yup.


Ralph Carrasco: 13:53 So then from that point below that you’re going to probably see plate of food, plate of food, plate of food, plate of food, right? With the business name next to it. So I then call it the match game and I say, okay, if I was to print off the first picture for all of these businesses, and then from that point give you a list of businesses, would you be able to match up the business name with the first photo?


Yigal Adato: 14:16 Okay.


Ralph Carrasco: 14:18 A lot of times people can. But the one thing that people spend an exorbitant amount of time on, especially with you being a business coach and helping other businesses grow is I’m sure you see a lot of times people focus on their logo and get stuck on their logo and their colors and everything else. So the first thing that I discovered is if I say Starbucks, Taco Bell, Airbnb, Yelp, those logos pop into your head, I imagine.


Yigal Adato: 14:48 Yeah, 100% of course.


Ralph Carrasco: 14:49 So that point I always tell businesses and what we do for businesses, we always put the logo first as the very first picture on Yelp.


Yigal Adato: 14:57 Okay. So let me get this right. As opposed to putting up, you know, my storefront or like the pawnshops, a piece of jewelry, the entrance of the store or you know, showcases. You’re saying the first thing that a business should do or a pawnshop should do is post their logo.


Ralph Carrasco: 15:13 Correct. And their logo on each and every picture. So we utilize Canva and as a result, I mean, have you ever worked with Canva?


Yigal Adato: 15:22 Yeah, I use all the time. It’s free. It’s great.


Ralph Carrasco: 15:25 It’s beautiful. It’s great. That’s what we do.


Yigal Adato: 15:27 So just to let you guys know, in order to find Canva, just go to canva.com that’s c a n v a.com. Awesome software.


Ralph Carrasco: 15:35 And as a result you can create your own photos on there. So, Yigal I’m going to ask you this question. You’ve been in probably hundreds of businesses, correct?


Yigal Adato: 15:46 Yes.


Ralph Carrasco: 15:47 How many of them look similar?


Yigal Adato: 15:51 So it depends. Like a lot of pawnshops look a little bit similar, but everyone has their own twists so,


Ralph Carrasco: 15:56 Right. So but can you remember in differentiating different logos in your mind versus different store entries and or faces? So my, go ahead.


Yigal Adato: 16:08 And you’re talking about logos. My client logos are popping up in my head right away as opposed to like their store entrance.


Ralph Carrasco: 16:16 Exactly.


Yigal Adato: 16:16 Am I right about that?


Ralph Carrasco: 16:18 So, I spent the last probably 20, 30 years dissecting how how people buy, how people shop, how people interact. And you know, for me, I’ve always been on a self discovery and self enhancement journey. And so by dissecting how I buy and shop, as well as being in the homes of all of my clients and asking them how they buy and shop, as well as understanding marketing tactics and just the way that the human mind operates. It’s all based of imagery. And so a cartoony style logo is huge for imagery and it sticks right into the mind. So Yelp is not only used for discovery, it’s also used as a directory, as I mentioned. So let’s say, you know, a local spot, nobody remembers phone numbers anymore. No one remembers addresses anymore. It’s all in our phones and we’re all just let it go. And so let’s say you have somebody who is looking for a specific pawnshop. And what they do is they go, oh, I think it’s this one spot, but they can’t remember fully what’s in their mind. But as you walk in, and I’m sure there’s a logo on the receipt, if they were to see the logo is the first photo, they’d be like, oh, that’s the one right there.


Yigal Adato: 17:39 Got It. So it kind of triggers are memory to go back to you as opposed to just find you the first time.


Ralph Carrasco: 17:44 Exactly. And so here is my number one pro tip for anybody that is

building their Yelp photos for their business. On Canva create all of your photos in an 800 x 800.


Yigal Adato: 18:01 Okay.


Ralph Carrasco: 18:02 That’s super pro tip. Like your photos will then as a result look beautiful across any platform you utilize.


Yigal Adato: 18:10 Yeah. And for those who don’t know what that means, it’s 800 by 800 pixels.


Ralph Carrasco: 18:13 Correct.


Yigal Adato: 18:14 It is essentially you can choose the size of the picture in Canva. It’s like a custom size, custom dimension. You put 800 by 800 and according to Ralph, that will be like the perfect size in Yelp. Correct?


Ralph Carrasco: 18:26 Correct. Because if you’re gone on to Yelp and you’ll see somebody’s head kind of chopped off or I get the same way, I’m like, what are you doing? Or you’ll see somebody who has a logo and it’s super rectangle. And so as a result, it chops it off. And so you only get like the center portion of that. So that’s why I’ve come to discover that the 800 works, because then you can use that same photo on Instagram, Facebook, linkedin, Yelp. So you just upload, you create a whole bunch all at once. You upload them, you brand them with your logo and you make them look beautiful.


Yigal Adato: 19:02 Hey, Pawn Family. I’m going to interrupt the podcast for one minute to give you an incredible offer. I’ve partnered with the guys at ceptools @ceptoolsatseptals.com to give away a brand new smart pro screen diamond scanner with $550. Again, it’s a brand new smart pro diamond scanner with $550. And all you need to do is go to freediamondtester.com that’s www.freediamondtester.com and enter to win courtesy of CEP tools good luck and back to the show with Ralph.


Yigal Adato: 19:35 Awesome. Very cool man. So let’s get in to, just a recap pictures like the quality of pictures are super important to put your logo as the first picture and then put your logo. What do you think? Like on the right side, on the bottom right on the bottom left. It doesn’t matter, just put your logo on every picture that you have. Correct?


Ralph Carrasco: 19:55 As I say, that way nobody can take your stuff because a lot of times what happens, especially in the property management world, you’ll have people who will take photos and then they’ll take them off of sites and then say, oh, we’re renting this, but if you have your logo dead center, especially if somebody has something unique or powerful that they want to showcase, you know, in their pawn store and from that point, no one can just take that picture.


Yigal Adato: 20:18 Got It. Ralph let’s jump in reviews. People leaving positive and negative reviews. On one point, do I answer? At what point do I stay quiet? You know, if you have a positive review, I think a lot of times a business owner will say, Hey, thank you so much for your review. We appreciate you coming into our store and hope to see you again. What happens when you get a bad review or one star, two star saying this place sucks. What’s your take on that, what should a business owner do to respond to that?


Ralph Carrasco: 20:50 So, I’m going to challenge you right here with this and this is kind of out of the box where most people don’t think through this is let’s say I walk up to you in one of your stores. And I say, Hey Yigal, man, thank you. I had a wonderful experience. You know, I got a fair price, I found this awesome treasure. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. How do you think I would feel if you looked at any while I was giving you that compliment and then turned around and walked away. [Crosstalk] You just turned around and walked away after giving you that compliment.


Yigal Adato: 21:22 I’d be like, what? No thank you. No, you know, nothing.


Ralph Carrasco: 21:26 Nothing. Right. So essentially my whole focus is to respond to everything in a very business style format. And this is where I also focus and help people is let’s say, so business owners were required to operate at a higher level across the board. Would you agree with that?


Yigal Adato: 21:47 Yes. As we should.


Ralph Carrasco: 21:49 As we should. So where I get frustrated is when business owners or managers respond to people, how people are writing to them. Correct? So let’s say, have you ever read a Yelp review and it’s just like a ridiculous 1700 paragraphs. And you’re like, Wow Dude, that you are really mad. Like that was a lot like you spent a lot of time, you’re just going off your thumbs were like touching fire. You remember moving so fast. So yeah. And so from what that point, I always recommend writing in a business letter style format. Hello Cynthia Comma, you know, enter, enter get some space break so people can read it easily. Talk about the situation if there was a problem except ownership, accept fault. If there wasn’t highlight operating procedures, unfortunately due to the fact of x, Y and Z. Make sure that we follow these protocols. That’s what I have people focus on. And then when you do the signature, be formal, leave your name, leave your position, and then the name of the company.


Yigal Adato: 22:57 Got It. So let me tell you a couple of things that we used to do back when I owned CashCo with my brother. Well, we’ve got a really bad review. We would do that. Exactly what you said. Hey, I’m really sorry. Because what happens in the pawn industry is somebody walks in, they have a ring, their grandmother gave it to them. They think it’s worth $80,000 it’s got 40 bucks in gold in it and you can only lend them, you know, $20 they’ll get very, very upset. Like they’re trying to screw me. I can’t believe it. So we would just kind of say, hey, you know the value of gold today is X, Y, and Z , and that’s why we can lend. We know that you think might have some sentimental value and we appreciate that. This is how our businesses run policy and procedures. When it came down to complaining about a certain employee or a manager, we wanted to dive in deeper. So we would send them a private message and we would say, hey, we know that your time is valuable. So we’d like to for you to come in and tell us about, or give us a call and talk to us about Joe the manager so we can improve this. And because we know that your time is valuable, we’ll give you a $50 gas card to do it. And a lot of times people would say, man, thank you so much. And it calls on the phone or they’ve come in and say, Hey, I had a problem with Joe and he was a little bit rude or if he just would have explained it a little bit better, I wouldn’t have gotten so upset. And so it kind of taught us what we needed to do to train our staff and it allowed for them to get something from us that was above and beyond. And sometimes they change their review so,


Ralph Carrasco: 24:32 Many times, you’ll actually see that when you’re proactive. And that’s why I was saying whether it’s a good or it’s a negative review, you need to respond and let people know. Because ultimately, because Yelp is a research tool, I’m gonna throw a statistics at you right now. Yelp operates off of a 99, 1% base or broad spectrum of scope. So they say that 90% of the people that use Yelp use it only for research purposes. Okay. 9% of the people that use Yelp will leave a review here are there a couple of times a year. And so you have 1% of the people that are on Yelp who are avidly leaving reviews everywhere they go. They’re part of the Yelp elite. So everything else. So realistically you have 10% of the people influencing 90% of the people. And so yeah it’s pretty crazy. And then so what happens, you have individuals who are in a research mode and if they’re trying to have the best experience possible, and I’m sure, especially in your industry, they want to make sure they make the best decision possible with the most trustworthy people. Is that correct?


Yigal Adato: 25:47 Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s why, you know a pawnshop you bringing your ring, your item and you want to make sure that you can trust them for sure.


Ralph Carrasco: 25:55 Right. And so as a result of ensuring that you’re responding to all of your reviews and being proactive, it helps people in that decision making process. Because what happens is let’s say somebody has a mediocre experience or they don’t know if they got kind of taken advantage of or let’s say that they didn’t have the best experience or they’re just dealing with a heightened sense of emotion cause grandma just died and they’re thinking they’re going to get all this money and they need to pay some bills and they’re just emotional. So if they go on there and they see that other people have had a mediocre experience or a two star experience, and then what happens is nobody’s replying to those to say, Hey, come in, let’s talk about the situation. They jump on the bandwagon and I call it the sheeple of bandwagon. And then you have people who are like, yeah, I had a negative experience as well and blah, blah blah and blah, blah, blah, where it was just a mediocre and they didn’t really know they were on the fence. But when they see other people are in fact, you know, going up against the door of the business and saying Rar, Rar, Rar, rar, they then want to become part of the sheeple and do the same sort of complaining. And so the inverse happens as well. When you have a bunch of people who are complimenting the business and complimenting the owners, they in turn will jump on that bandwagon as well.


Yigal Adato: 27:17 Got It. Makes Sense. So just to recap, answer everybody who leaves a review and don’t be an A hole, I’ve seen some crazy responses from pawnbrokers because every time I have a strategy call with a pawnbroker, I go into their social media before I checked their Yelp reviews to kind of see what’s going on. And I’ll see some responses where I’m just like, oh my God, like I know you’re angry. You got a one star review. But if you bash them, I promise you, anybody who reads them is not going to want to go in because they’re going to be afraid to get bashed. Please stop bashing the people who leave your reviews and answer like Ralph says, you know, just be very businesslike, cordial. These are our procedures. Sorry you didn’t have a good experience. If we can do anything to help you, please let us know. So with that said, Ralph, I also got a lot of questions about advertising on Yelp. A lot of people asking do the ads work? There’s a lot of high pressure sales tactics from Yelp and the concern that Yelp has lost, you know, 32% engagement. I think a report just came out for that. So what do you think about ads on Yelp? I’m a proponent, I think ads work. Well actually, this year, so in 2017 I finished up my seven year contract with the franchise because seven year, no more commitments and more contracts for me. Did enough with the navy and then with the Franchisor and I’m done. So I was helping other businesses with their Yelp profiles. We were starting to work, we were starting to gain traction. And then as a result in 2017 or last year, I went out on my own, like I said, and then yell, kind of heard what I was doing to build profiles to get such a high engagement rate. They invited me into their Yelp ads certified partner program, which is an invitation only program and I have to adhere to some very strict standards according to Yelp. So I’m coming at this with you know, almost a decade of knowledge, now with a year of backend knowledge from Yelp, really seeing how it works and having basically a test platform for all of my clients. Now with that said, 100% Yelp ads work, they do, we had a 1700% return on investment for Yelp ads for my painting client here in the California Central Valley. So yeah, 1700% but again, they were running ads prior to me and it all comes down to profile, profile. It’s how does your profile look? Are you, you really have to hone in on your pictures. And again, just like I was talking about with the Amazon theory, your star rating has to be legitimate, right? Like if you’re going to advertise, you really need to have a three, four or five star rating, your pictures need to look nice. And then from that point in your specialty section, your history section and your meet the owner section, that needs to be filled out legitimately and thoroughly. So people just like an Amazon listing, there’ll be able to know how the experience is going to go, what type of products and goods you know, the business works with, especially in your industry. I was listening to one of your episodes and one of your speakers was talking about he become highly niched and he was also talking about the Rolex industry for pawnbrokers. And so if you become highly niched as a pawnbroker, and let’s say you work in just musical instruments or just jewelry, you want to highlight that in your specialty section. So Yelp ads work, but at the core of it, they’re just exposure. So if you have a crappy looking Yelp listing or if you have a crappy looking Facebook page or linkedin page or your Google my business doesn’t look nice, then there’s no point in advertising.


Yigal Adato: 31:21 Yeah. And that’s across the board, right? What’s the point of getting SEO if your website sucks?


Ralph Carrasco: 31:28 Exactly.


Yigal Adato: 31:30 What’s the point of that? Why pay the money if it sucks? And why pay Facebook boost ads if your Facebook page sucks? I couldn’t agree with you more. And I’ve seen some really, really outdated pawnshop websites, so love it. Ralph, any other tip that you can give us before we turn off the show?


Ralph Carrasco: 31:51 Yeah, so the other pro tip that I always like to give to my clients is, especially in your guys’s industry, being a brick and mortar, a real business, paying the light bill, paying the water bill, people come in through the door is create a checkin offer. The check in offer is free, you can put it on your listing and from that point maybe you give somebody 10% off or you give them a free $5 Starbucks gift card if they check in. But the core of it is it allows businesses to engage with that client on a deeper level through the Yelp app and you can only use it checking offer once. So let’s say you do have a free $5 Starbucks gift card if you check in on the Yelp platform. Okay. Then from that point, the individual has to actually have it redeemed in front of the worker or the owner or the manager. And from that point they have to literally touch the APP and market redeemed. And from that point, that is the only way Yelp will go back and ping you to describe your experience. So they have to check in. Yelp actually says, Hey, you were just at X, Y,Z shopper establishment. Would you

like to describe your experience?


Yigal Adato: 33:12 Oh, nice. That would obviously bring in more positive reviews because they’ve gotten something in exchange. No just [Incomprehensible] One more question I have for you before we go, it just came to my mind and the question is I feel like a lot of pawnbrokers, especially pawnbrokers, because they’re so angry at the software, at the platform, they’re ignoring it, [Crosstalk] words of wisdom to that.


Ralph Carrasco: 33:37 So ignoring any problem in life is the worst thing that you can do. And so that is why my number one goal is to educate as many business owners as possible to help them in this process because they just don’t know what to look at. Yelp has a mobile app that’s available on Android as well as apple, and you can monitor everything right there. You can monitor your reviews, you can answer your messages, you can stay engaged, you can clean up your profile, but it’s no different than if you have your head in the sand and your revenue flow is depleting and you don’t want to look at why it’s depleting and you just stop looking. You’re like, oh, I’ll just take care of her later. After a while, you’re just going to self implode.


Yigal Adato: 34:22 Yeah, I agree. And one thing that we did was one of my friends, Brad was

the Yelp mayor of San Diego, I think they’re called. And I got to know him really well and we talked about like how to better improve the experience. So every city has a Yelp representative, I believe almost every city and I think you can reach out to them as well. But Ralph, I want people to reach out to you if they’re having trouble with Yelp, how to improve it, how do people find you to be able to work with you?


Ralph Carrasco: 34:50 So, I have my website, ralphcarrasco.com and from that point there is an option to schedule a free consultation. Kind of like Yigal what you were saying, we kind of go over everything, see where you’re at, see how we can improve, you know, your listing, see if we can run some ads for you, see how we can actually maximize. The other benefit is that I work with a team at Yelp who were in the top 5%. And so we’re actually able to provide real numbers and real data as to the amount of people in the area that are searching for pawnbrokers in across the nation. So, and we have that ability in Canada as well as United States.


Yigal Adato: 35:32 Nice, very, very cool. So if you hate Yelp [Inaudible] power of the platform, reach out to Ralph and I’ll put your website in the show notes. Ralph, thank you so much for being on with me, man. I appreciate it. And everybody listening, thank you so much for listening. If you’re not in the Pawn Leaders Podcasts Community, go to Facebook, just search Pawn Leaders Podcast Community, jump in. Let’s have a great conversation. Also, if you want to have a strategy call with me, a complimentary strategy call, go to pawnleaders.com And just schedule a call. And it’s a 30 minutes conversation where I talk with you, I help you grow your business and see what issues you’re having so that you can move up level of your pawnshop.
Ralph, thank you so much. Once again.


Ralph Carrasco: 36:16 Thank you Yigal. I appreciate the time and the opportunity.


Yigal Adato: 36:18 My pleasure, and everybody else. I’ll see you on the next show.

Yigal Adato

Yigal is a 3rd generation pawn broker, and is now a mentor, coach and educator with the pawnbroking industry.

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