010: Green Roofs, Email Marketing, and How to Land Big Clients with Cynthia Villalba

Laura Copywriting, Podcast [listen here!]

cynthia villalba with greenwallIn this episode, I sit down with Cynthia Villalba to talk about her company, Zona Verde, how she lands big clients, and why you should give away your best content for free.

  • How Zona Verde Mexico was born and why
  • Why building an email list early was crucial to Cynthia’s success and how she utilized it
  • Her first project with Zona Verde for a government agency
  • The benefits of green roofs on the environment
  • The tools that Cynthia uses to book big clients, like Coca Cola


Take Action Now!
1. Text GREENROOF to 44222 to get coupon code for the Ultimate Green Roof Guide   [code: VV29G for 50% off!]. First three people to text GREENROOF to 44222 will receive the book for free!
2. Have your question featured on a future show! Below:

puerto vallarta greenroofGuest:
Cynthia Villalba is a banker turned green roof guru in Latin America with a mission to improve the world through the green revolution.

Quote:
“That email list created the whole impact, the whole difference in my company’s life.”—Cynthia Villalba

Connect:
Guest: Cynthia Villalba
wordpress twitter fb instagramLI

And: greenexpress.com.mx  (currently undergoing maintenance!)

Host: Laura Petersen
podcast@copythatpops.com
twitterfbLI instagram

All Podcast Episodes:
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Transcripts with time stamp:
0:00
welcome to copy that pops
0:03
the only podcast that goes deep into the psychology and strategies behind getting
0:07
more traffic more conversions and more sales from your digital copy and
0:11
marketing efforts join Laura and her guests as they share actionable advice
0:16
step-by-step strategies and psychological research to help you earn
0:20
more with your online business than ever before
0:23
here’s your host Laura Petersen
0:31
everybody welcome to copy the pops i’m laura your conversion professor and I
0:36
wanted to start out by thanking you so much for the birthday wishes this week
0:39
my husband and I got to celebrate with a mini trip to croatia it’s just an
0:43
hour-and-a-half flight from here in germany and we stayed in split which is
0:49
right on the Mediterranean visiting national parks absolutely jam-packed
0:53
with waterfalls more waterfalls and have ever seen in one place in my entire life
0:58
it was just gorgeous and stunning I really highly recommend checking out
1:02
croatia if you ever have the chance
1:04
and this week’s guest is a dear friend of mine named Cynthia oughta from Mexico City Mexico
1:10
she and I originally met i think it was about seven or eight years ago as
1:15
housemates in Chandler Arizona for a couple of months we live together and we
1:20
always stayed in touch
1:22
I even met up with her sister Sandra and her dad
1:25
many years ago oh gosh i guess maybe it’s like five or six years ago now when
1:29
i studied Spanish in Guadalajara for a two-week break when i taught at the high
1:34
school level and one fun thing that we did then is we went to the city of
1:38
tequila and visited tequila factories that was a really fun day and then a few
1:43
years after that I was able to go back to Mexico and actually stay with Cynthia
1:47
in mexico city and see some of our projects firsthand and get to visit the
1:52
beautiful city of Mexico City as well
1:54
so Cynthia is a banker turned green roof
1:58
guru famous all over Latin America for her gorgeous and sustainable green roofs
2:02
and green walls and i personally find it absolutely fascinating that Cynthia went
2:06
from managing a team of over 14 people and nearly two million dollars in a
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weekly cash flow as a treasury manager to a leader of a green movement in
2:17
Mexico and beyond in this conversation she shares lessons that she’s learned in
2:22
terms of email list building giving away your best content for free and hooking
2:27
the big fish clients who in turn do all the marketing that you’ll ever need for
2:32
you when you really deliver on a great job
2:35
today’s topic is relevant to anyone who’s growing their business online but
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what’s more it’s important for all of us to learn more about green roofs and
2:42
sustainability
2:43
I was just inhabitants of the planet so it goes beyond just business
2:47
I really hope that you enjoyed today’s conversation and please join me in a big
2:52
heart felt bienvenidos amiga Cynthia via alba either Cynthia thanks so much for
2:58
joining us today
3:00
hi Lauda i am really happy that you invited me to this your space
3:06
por supuesto though hey uh huh
3:10
we have to do it in English my Spanish is rusty
3:13
it’s great that super intense but you’re no good at yeah well I love to ask the
3:23
first question of how do you introduce yourself when you’re just meeting
3:28
someone for the first time maybe at a networking event
3:31
oh ok well my name is Cynthia B yoga
3:38
i am the founder of so Nevada the ma keys which is it means green zone Mexico
3:46
and we build green roofs green walls and a lot of environmental we implement a
3:58
lot of environmental technologies
4:00
mm-hmm so fascinating so I know
4:04
uh-huh cool it’s really fun I know in some of the pictures and videos I’ve
4:09
seen of your work is just mind-blowing an amazing and I’m gonna have to make
4:13
sure to put some examples of that stuff on the show notes on the website so
4:18
people can see it as you know what the podcast you’re not only here but some of
4:22
what you do is so visually impactful it’s really going to see it
4:26
I am really happy that do like it we really enjoy doing it
4:30
yeah and so tell us some about where you’re from
4:35
obviously Mexico but what city did you grow up in as a kid
4:38
well I grew up in Mexico City and then i moved to while higher is the second
4:44
largest city and i came back to Mexico City
4:48
10 12 years ago and there’s we’re gonna battle it was born in mexico city and it
4:58
was born because we
5:00
well I wanted to create something that could tackle in some way the air
5:06
pollution problem that we have over there
5:09
hmm how bad is it is really serious
5:13
it’s so bad it’s it’s really it’s a above the recommended standards for the
5:23
for the Health Organization the health world or the organization it’s really
5:28
really bad quality of the air over there
5:31
yeah and so we needed more trees right right but it seems we do not we do not
5:39
have more space for trees and the only way to have more greenies and roofs huh
5:46
yeah that’s so smart but you were always involved in environmental things
5:51
necessarily what were you doing before you got involved in the green roofs and
5:55
green walls
5:56
well i was working for a bank
6:00
um that time I i was a banker was a financial girl and i had the opportunity
6:08
to present this project to hsbc which was working in this bag was being
6:17
introducing mexican economy they were building at a large tower writing from
6:23
of the angel of independence and they were trying to make it a green grand
6:29
building over there so I I built this is business case for them and and they said
6:37
yes
6:37
let’s go on and do the green roofs project so that’s how everything started
6:43
and from then I i realized i was good
6:47
first sales uh-huh and so you were you working for chase bank at the time how
6:54
did you even get connected
6:56
and to even know that this could be something worth proposing
7:01
well i was working for HTC and I thought it was a good idea to create a company
7:09
that sells green roofs because that was a tendency the trend in in europe and
7:16
the u.s. have like large industries about green roofs
7:21
they are all based in green roofs they create a lot of of jobs over there and
7:27
Mexico was has been always a little back back a back step on that environmental
7:35
field but right now they are like I’m leading the whole Latin America market
7:42
for environmental project so that was a trend
7:47
I if I could felt it you could you could somebody time it was coming and it was
7:54
needed and so you jumped right in
7:56
right exactly
8:00
but after that project it was not necessarily that everyone wanted a green
8:07
roof so I started with a simple web page over there after that project and i
8:15
started building a
8:16
ah least an email least over there so it was like maybe from 2004 2008 for
8:28
yourself of gathering information and that’s pretty early still to know that
8:35
you should grow an email list that’s pretty
8:38
I mean everyone talks about it now but back in two thousand four
8:42
how did you think of that as an idea of hey we should really keep in contact
8:45
with people via their emails right ride was not like right now that everybody
8:53
has a and email listing
8:57
uh-uh automatic device right
9:02
those times you just have to gather the information in an Excel or database
9:09
file
9:12
yeah it was not like right now well I just I just I just wondered if if so
9:18
many people was interested in green roofs then I don’t know
9:24
then maybe we could get there up together
9:28
uh-huh someday it was it was actually it was like something that I felt it was
9:34
fried doing but I didn’t know that it was gonna have a lot of impact in my
9:39
business and he did it did that email list created a whole impact the whole
9:44
difference in my listing in my in my company’s life
9:49
yeah so tell us about that progression
9:52
what did that email lists lead to well I i started looking for some resources in
9:58
that time there was not a lot of information but i found a the art of
10:04
nonconformity in 2009 around that year I from chris guilbeau it’s a really
10:12
awesome guy who wants to give you a lot of tools to to conquer the world is like
10:22
really fun to have read it and I started doing what
10:28
what he told me you have to give first something so I i used to have this email
10:37
listing and start sending information about green rose for free
10:42
and that let me to a product design on electronic product which was my first
10:49
ebook in Spanish about how to make green roofs and from them
10:56
people started by in these electronic product is emmanuel from them they
11:03
wanted more so we started doing a personal classes
11:09
green roofs or four groups interested in that subject
11:13
it was not enough for them the electronic book they wanted war and was
11:17
an all motors or business owners or a mix well it was some mix homeowners and
11:26
also they were architects from architectural of companies you know like
11:36
large companies and they where students from universities
11:44
we have a lot a lot of a lot of people very different on day on their
11:50
background where girls boys
11:56
maybe housewives and students and architects engineers biologists very
12:04
broad and diverse group of the anvil
12:08
I know we had the opportunity to met a lot of people in those essential our
12:16
classes those personal classes that we gave to these groups and from then
12:22
uh well we actually started having real projects so as you can see it’s it’s
12:31
just like giving people something and they will come back and rain
12:35
they will need more if it’s like an authentic interest
12:39
he wanted to teach them how to do the green roofs and the result was that they
12:45
wanted to hire us so we can do the green roofs for them
12:49
it was really funny that but yeah it was unexpected
12:53
No
12:53
he was it worked that way and that’s house on every started growing
13:00
I teaching everybody showing what we do with no with no jealousy you know
13:08
jealousy shillings like professional state had really jealous of what they
13:13
know we just wanted to share whatever we knew and and then we got back job
13:22
yeah so it’s a lot of funny
13:25
yeah that’s just amazing how that works get something for free with our
13:29
expectation of something in return
13:31
and you end up getting more than you ever thought you would right right
13:38
exactly that’s what
13:40
that’s how it happened huh so tell us a little bit about some of these big jobs
13:45
that you got as you start to crawl and become really well known in the market
13:50
well when we started the first project it was with a federal agency from the
13:59
government and it was not a really large project by now but by today’s standard
14:08
answer by today’s standards it was like he was a small green wall but the the
14:15
funny thing about that is that we were we were teaching about doing green roofs
14:20
I mean I it’s different the technology is different and the agency look to us
14:26
for building at green wall so we didn’t know how to do it
14:32
we just said yes to these uh huh
14:35
we’ll find out later how to do what do we need to cut this part of the
14:40
interview so they don’t find too huh
14:43
no that’s fine that’s fine they were part of our and godfather is that how we
14:54
can tell them
14:55
uh-huh yeah we can call them our godfathers
14:58
so we said I’m not going to tell the name of the agency
15:04
ok that’s pretty sure but um
15:07
Oh before we were doing this experiment we did another green wall a really small
15:15
one with a private client and we almost sell it with no profit in it right
15:24
we we talked with here and we were like we want to the green walls we don’t know
15:30
we do not know how to build them you want to try to build one with us and we
15:38
have we are not charging any profit
15:41
I don’t I and remember that even I i paid for the difference that ring though
15:48
right and at the end we found out how it worked and we were ready to to be all
15:55
that green wall on the federal agency wall and how big was less
16:05
how big was the screen wall and maybe describe a little bit to what a green
16:09
wall is because some people might not know so like right
16:13
yeah describing a little bit more it’s a it’s a structure we ha we set up a
16:23
structure that can allow the wall to to support the growth of plants in special
16:33
fabric
16:35
the plants are growing in a kind of farm kind of finessed I know
16:45
yeah you can call it a nest-maid off of these special fabric so the roots are
16:54
are growing and they grabbed the fabric when they when they go
17:02
older and older and they adapt to these fabric so they they they grow on their
17:08
wall vertically
17:09
it’s not a very natural way to do it I mean yeah they are used to grow in a
17:15
horizontal
17:17
way this way they grow in a vertical surface
17:23
it’s are involved it involves irrigation system
17:28
I you feed them through a chemicals or where it’s not can because it’s just
17:35
like a special substance
17:38
I do put into the water so they can have all the rotational man all the the the
17:45
the material 40 mm yeah yeah
17:50
so yeah that’s that’s occurring wool
17:53
so how big about was this first screen wall that you guys did you remember that
17:58
the size or scale of it
18:00
yeah it was around mm well I have measure in square meters high for sure
18:07
it’s around it was around 30 30 square meters 328
18:14
yeah something like that we need was really small
18:17
I think that’s me alone 330 square feet
18:22
I believe ok yeah I must be like that
18:26
ok yeah that’s not happening sighs so on
18:30
yeah yeah it was really cute
18:34
yeah oh so we we did it great
18:39
but the only condition with my team was that I we were going to say yes to that
18:47
project you were going to find out how to make it
18:52
we were gonna do it great
18:55
and we promise to to exceed the expectations of clients right so that’s
19:06
something that helped us a lot because once you have like a big fish
19:11
once you get a big fish he’s just worried about exceeding expectations and
19:17
they will talk with their friends about you right
19:21
and that was our our first marketing effort in our best bet
19:27
I they were talking to us because because of the great job that we did it
19:34
with these agency and we were out there in the word of mouth
19:43
you know you were telling me we were good that we were reliable that we you
19:50
know that’s have really good at levering effort
19:53
yeah that’s how we got to coca cola and two other federal agencies of government
20:00
and yes it’s because of the worth of house
20:05
uh-huh talk about the coca-cola project and that was different than the one
20:08
imports of I artha with the beautiful roof on the top right that’s not those
20:12
are two different ones
20:14
yeah those are two different ones the coca-cola project was the transformation
20:20
of a heliport
20:23
they didn’t use these to hell . anymore is that the word in English
20:28
yeah or a helicopter lands on top of a building right yeah right exactly
20:34
so they were a it was a space that was not used for anything it was just like
20:42
free
20:43
they forgot about that space right so I’ll that area so we wanted to create
20:49
something special and we build a three-level green roof
20:57
the first level that went on the top
21:00
it was it was especially designed for not requiring irrigation
21:07
I it was around around four hundred square meters
21:16
yeah and foremost a lot of hundred square feet
21:23
mm that’s okay
21:27
yeah that was large
21:30
and we used a khaki from Latin America and cat Mexican kak tee and these
21:39
heliport capture or the system that was living on the heliport capture the storm
21:47
water and needed to storm water tank so the rest of the levels could be water
21:58
with these same water that we already but that we were recycling
22:03
yeah it was a really cool project we also had another another area with
22:10
vegetables and foodies and yeah it was really fun that one
22:16
uh-huh he I remember that they use the letters on the restaurant with employees
22:24
yeah uh-huh yeah so that was a really cool project
22:30
did you get to your very presence they did you get to hear the reaction from
22:34
the employees when they found out that some of the food came from the building
22:40
well yeah they couldn’t believe it but they like it yeah thing is that you when
22:47
you grow your own vegetables
22:49
it’s totally different the flavor is like it’s like an explosion of flavor
22:55
your mouth
22:56
seriously it’s it’s so defined the flavor is so the fine is so different
23:04
than the regular vegetables that you find at the supermarket
23:10
mmm
23:10
some it’s really delicious when you grow up your own foot
23:15
yeah and maybe for a minute tell us about the amazing benefits of green
23:22
roofs in the environment because I I learned so much from reading some of
23:27
your materials that i had no idea how needed it is and how impactful it can be
23:32
in a positive way
23:35
yeah yeah it it takes carry it takes good care of resources
23:41
I’m and takes back some of the environmental services that we steal
23:47
from the land when we build the great when we build any building for instance
23:54
it’s a carbon diox– it sink and right now we have a problem because of the
24:04
climate change and there’s a lot of co2 on the atmosphere so any grain surface
24:11
can catch the co2 and transform it into oxygen and that’s what green roofs doing
24:19
the big cities because we have a lot of emissions from the cars in the industry
24:23
and and everything that it’s mixed up with the heat and its really dangerous
24:31
for instance in a in a city like Mexico City to breathe that air because it’s
24:36
like pollutants heated pollutants
24:41
it’s really dangerous so I agree roof
24:45
it’s like a term week isolation device also it holds down the building
24:52
it cleans the year it cleans the storm water because it’s a natural filter it
24:59
gives like peace of mind to the people so people cannot be so violent or
25:05
aggressive or he has a lot of psychological benefits and and also
25:12
increases the value of the property was another
25:16
yeah it’s it’s like a lot of it makes a lot of sense because it takes care about
25:21
the environment about the people and about money
25:24
wow so is that I know it’s like every roof needs to have a green roof on it
25:31
gets to where it gets you nowhere
25:39
yes
25:42
so is this movement is really starting to grow more in Mexico more in Latin
25:48
America are you see you’re seeing that trend increase
25:51
I think so yeah it’s not really slow down a little bit because of the
25:58
economical world situation but I i think that the trend is that governments to
26:06
start to legislate on that subject and we can see it in the latest news
26:13
Harry’s are just hair is just made a legislation for the new buildings date
26:21
they must have a building and I think you know their country
26:26
I think it I think is sitting in canada and several cities in the u.s. also they
26:32
have like legislation and the norm to be to teach the professionals how to do the
26:44
green roofs
26:45
I think it slowly is changing the culture but we need more
26:49
we need all the countries join together
26:54
haha pressure
26:57
well we’re gonna have to start beating the drum and spreading the news more so
27:02
I’m glad that you’re able to share this message here
27:06
yes turning and you work of course anytime and maybe turning it back a
27:13
little bit more toward the marketing side and copywriting lenny b just things
27:18
like that
27:19
what are some tools that you use in your business now to to grow to book these
27:26
big clients to to keep on expanding what are some things that you would recommend
27:31
to listeners are listening and want to increase their business
27:35
well I i guess that something really something that is getting more more more
27:47
important sees the facebook
27:49
yeah the facebook plan we recently tried something with facebook we we just
27:56
started some ads about some some products that we that we sell online and
28:05
we had a lot of views and a lot of comments and a lot of sales right so I
28:13
am I am going through that line right now but the other thing is that the
28:18
online courses we are developing online courses so we can do we can spread the
28:24
word of mouth
28:26
easy easy easier right before and maybe really reach far away
28:35
maybe latching the whole Latin American territory
28:39
so yeah yeah again really fond of that Flint
28:43
hello yeah look at plane here
28:47
yes and and those are really good tools and I i regularly use now actually I’m
28:57
just remembering Pat Flynn got his start teaching people how to get the lead
29:02
certification and your yeah yeah yeah yeah I i was i am really missing that
29:12
one that but it
29:14
I need to get chopped on that one yeah I missed that
29:18
well tell us about your did you work – I think you said or I think my husband
29:24
said cuz he’s in the landscaping industry so he loves loves this topic
29:28
something about you have one of the working one of the largest buildings in
29:31
Latin America that is LEED certified or tell us about that project
29:36
oh yeah it is bc Mexico is certifying 2005 was a nun was gud building so the
29:45
first project you worked on was this big massive one that is the biggest in Latin
29:49
America
29:50
yeah yeah that was the business case that I that I got into i was working for
29:57
hsbc mexico in that time and then I built that
30:01
why create I created that business case bill green roofs in the main tower so
30:09
that was around 450 square meters in that time that was the largest project
30:20
green roof project in latin america and the building the whole building got the
30:27
certification the LEED certification latium I think and that was the first
30:34
feeling that was certified in Mexico on in latin america in two thousand back in
30:40
2005
30:41
I i guess there are more green roofs right now in latin america i’m not sure
30:46
that these one is do I just want anymore
30:49
because it yeah that was 12 years ago range
30:54
hopefully it’s not the biggest anymore right gotta keep putting fracking
30:59
haha yeah right we need more projects more people interested more people
31:05
committed to
31:06
– well improving our environment right
31:11
it’s affects us all no matter what business you’re in no matter where we
31:15
live
31:15
right right because we will breathe and eat and yeah well how can people find
31:24
more information about you and what you’re working on social media websites
31:29
tell us about how we can find you online well I’m right now i am on Twitter ads
31:37
so Natalie and mix right I’m gonna leave it to you so you can go down to your
31:44
audience
31:45
i am at Facebook’s on about the AMX it’s the same and Instagram I am like you can
31:53
find me like a saint
31:55
– cool huh
31:58
yeah that’s a good one
32:01
heaven yeah so yeah feel free to contact me or ask me anything about about green
32:11
roofs mexico mexican spots to visit
32:16
whatever just start the dialogue right and for your website its zone of air
32:24
they . MX
32:26
that’s right sorry i forgot that point
32:30
don’t worry yeah and we have my reasons
32:35
online store it’s go green express.com duck and makes you feel free to visit us
32:44
at any of these websites and talk to us
32:49
so green express.com or green expect express . MX just depending on the
32:54
language
32:55
oh it’s at green express not come . and mix
33:00
oh you got to put both okay yeah
33:02
boat and one last thing you have a little giveaway
33:11
yeah d all you want to share about that
33:15
hey yeah well we we have a 50-percent of these count on our ebook last a book
33:25
called the ultimate grammar of guy you want that you are we were happy for you
33:32
to review for proofreading
33:35
thank you very much and we are giving away three samples of that book for the
33:43
first three people that applies
33:47
I mean you you want to explain the process
33:51
sure yes so we grabbed the word green roof and if you text that to 4422 you’ll
33:59
get an email where it will link up how to get the book and the discount code to
34:04
get it for fifty percent off but the first three people who do it
34:09
we’re going to give it a hundred percent off right right i say that right thanks
34:15
exactly it’s good so even if it gets snatched up and you don’t hear this
34:19
episode right away
34:20
you can still get it for fifty percent office still an awesome deal
34:24
yeah I hope you find it useful and you like it
34:30
yes well thank you so much for taking time with us today
34:35
I love this topic i love talking with you and I’m just really glad we were
34:39
able to connect
34:40
yeah I am so happy that you have you wanted to share our message and we are
34:49
really grateful for that and thank you very much for this absolutely talk to
34:57
you later okay thank you very much
35:01
good luck and uh huh hey I got all your erience audience sorry
35:06
yes a little Chico’s
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hello example would hide it goes love love Cynthia and all that she’s doing to
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improve our world one roof at a time and through teaching and sharing her
35:20
knowledge so that others can be empowered to do the same
35:23
your homework is to text green roof and that’s with no spaces make sure that
35:28
your auto sorry correct thing doesn’t put a space in there so Tex green roof
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to 4 4 to 2 to grab up that fifty percent off coupon code for Cynthia’s
35:38
ultimate green roof guide and the first three people who respond to the email
35:42
that you get once you text saying that they want the whole thing for free will
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get it and then back at copy that pop com forward slash podcast
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you’ll find the show notes and links to everything we mentioned in this episode
35:55
as well as Cynthia social media contacts so you can reach out connect and
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continue to expand your network
36:02
I can’t wait to talk with you next week so until then find ways to pop that copy
36:06
and spread your message thanks for listening to learn more and find
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additional resources visit www.copythatpops.com
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please subscribe rate and review with your enjoying the show and we’ll see you
36:20
next time