Brad Burrow Real Media Kansas City Video Production Services

Lear more about Brad Burrow and Real Media:

Meet Brad Burrow

Phil Singleton: Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of The Local Business Leaders podcast. I’m your host Phil Singleton. Today our featured guest is Brad Burrow. Brad has a full range of experience and a wide range of production disciples from broadcast, film and TV commercials, to high end B2B and B2C communications. He’s directed national spots for Biton USA, did I say that right?

Brad Burrow: Biton, correct, yeah.

Phil Singleton: All right. ESPN, Lowe’s and the Golf Channel. Experience as a writer, director, producer and editor. 18 years building a successful production company. Has a variety of working experience with a range of talented people including Ken Griffey Jr., Trace Adkins, Joba Chamberlain, did I say that right?

Brad Burrow: “Jobba” actually.

Phil Singleton: Joba, sorry. I thought that sounded wrong when I said it out loud. Josh Beckett, Bill Curtis and George Brett. He’s also worked with a variety of clients including the Cincinnati Red, the KC Chiefs, woo! The KC Royals, Kansas University, Maryland University and many more. Brad, welcome to the show.

Brad Burrow: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Phil Singleton: I don’t think I even mentioned your company name here so I’ll make sure I mention that at the beginning. It’s Brad Burrow from Real Media, right here in Kansas City.

Brad Burrow: Yep, you got it.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. Well give us a little bit background about how you got started into the business world. Your first days kind of walking out of college or what have you and kind of what put you path to where you are today.

Brad Burrow: Well you know it’s really interesting, I paid my through college playing in bands and really my goal was to try to get signed and become a recording artist so I spent many years working on that. I played full-time for 15 years and wrote music and did all everything you could do in the recording industry outside of getting signed. Through those processes I learned the creative process. Learning how to write music and lyrics and things like that which then kind of translated into learning how to connect with an audience. Learning how to create content that people enjoy and would respond to and that was kind of how I cut my teeth into getting into video production and storytelling.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. And then tell us about Real Media, how did that come about?

Brad Burrow: Let’s see how. I started Real Media in 97, before that I’d actually, like I said, played in bands and stuff but I had started a little company called Video Doctor, which I fixed video tapes for Blockbuster Video and ended up having every Blockbuster from Minneapolis to San Antonio and Houston sending their broken video tapes to my house in Olathe, believe it or not.

Phil Singleton: Wow.

Brad Burrow: I was on the cover of the Business Journal. It was a pretty crazy thing. The problem with that business is that it was pretty short lived because video tapes were going to go away. Technology was changing so I realized that I needed to do something different. I’ve got a marketing, bachelor’s degree in marketing from Wichita State, computer science minor. One of the things you learn in case studies is that business there’s a cycle to the businesses and so I knew I’d better do something, learn something different so I went out and bought a video camera and a little editing system and I learned how to make videos and that was the beginning of my career as a director and video producer. That was probably 25 years ago.

Phil Singleton: So that’s pretty much self-taught almost it sounds like. I know the internet didn’t probably have a lot of courses and things like that and blogs that could teach you. YouTube where you could basically self-study your way in a short period of time.

Brad Burrow: Very true. Actually the interesting thing about that, I made a lot of mistakes. I had to learn from my mistakes a lot and but I also don’t have kind of the baggage that comes with somebody that’s gone through film school. When you go through film school you think there’s only one way to do something. Well I never had that so I didn’t ever have that one way. My style was a lot different and still is today because of that. I go, I’ll work with somebody that’s actually come through a legitimate film school and will say, “Well you have to do an edit just like this.” Well no you don’t. You don’t have to do it like that. A lot of my work is based on feel and if it doesn’t feel right I keep working with it til it feels right and then usually it’s pretty impactful at that point.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. And how do you think things have, obviously you’ve been doing it for 25 years and 25 years ago the internet wasn’t what it is today so I’m assuming that’s changed video a whole lot. The way it’s consumed. Where it is. How it’s produced. Any comments on that piece of it from your perspective?

the quality of video on the internet now is way better than it ever used to be.

– Brad Burrow

Brad Burrow: Well technology in general but even the internet has changed. It used to be for example that if I wanted to have the potential of getting work from somebody, I’d have to send out a VHS tape with our demo reel so they could watch it see, oh yeah, these guys are good. None of that anymore. I can be on the phone with somebody and send them a link and they’re looking a video piece or whatever it is. It’s changed the selling cycle a lot which makes it a lot easier to sell. And the quality of video on the internet now is way better than it ever used to be. We used to spend hours compressing video to try to get it optimized so it play back good. It would take forever. Now, none of those things are issues.

But I tell you one of the challenges that we have as a business is that the barriers to entry to get into video production have come way, way down and it used to be you’d have spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get high end cameras, editing systems, edit bays, all the stuff that would go into just making a basic high end piece of video. Now you can go to Best Buy and buy a little camera and laptop and you’re a video production company. It’s really forced us to rethink our business model and rethink how we deliver content and all that. It’s the way technology changes and you got to roll with it and you learn to adapt. Ultimately still comes down to being able to tell a story and being able to impact somebody.

Phil Singleton: That’s a great point. One thing I think we can segue into, from my perspective doing web design, digital marketing, videos has become so hugely important right now as a way that, all talking about trying to get, everybody wants to get targeted traffic to their website or drive demand and drive traffic back to generally speaking the kind of companies that are doing it right, you’re trying to some way, shape or form are driving you back to the web presence which is usually their website. Video’s become so important because once you get somebody to a website, well you got to get people to know, like and trust you quickly and video’s one of the best ways to do that. Like you said, to tell a story or maybe see who the people are behind the company and get really quickly, build that trust up as quickly as possible.

Even though we and you and a lot of people in marketing know that’s really important, I still think not nearly enough of small businesses are doing this. I have my own personal opinion and that is I think people think a lot of this stuff these days is actually still expensive like it was and they’re just thinking, okay, man to write a book, that’s a huge project, maybe I’ll do it someday. To get it right, like a proper good commercial quality video for my company cost prohibitive. I’d like to do that. Sure I know it’s important but way too expensive maybe for the small business owner or podcast or whatever it is. The barriers I think are small but I still think they’re much more attainable than maybe some of the business owners or the small business community thinks they are. Can you speak to that? And what things small businesses can be doing to start incorporating video into their marketing and their business model.

Brad Burrow: Yeah. The first thing I would say is that the power of video and converting even in a eCommerce site. You have companies like eBags, I don’t know if you’re familiar with them.

Phil Singleton: Yeah, we’ve got several of their bags.

Brad Burrow: Yeah.

Phil Singleton: And I think largely because probably my wife saw their videos and bought them.

Brad Burrow: Exactly right. You see they’re very simple. One camera, sometimes two cameras but it’s somebody on camera that’s demonstrating all the features of a backpack or something like that. And you’re like, “Wow, that’s cool.” Well, they’re conversion rates are way higher than their competitors because of those videos. We’re visual learners that’s the big thing about video. It’s like I think one second of video is worth 1.8 million words. Our minds process the visual images so much faster and at so much more depth and retention with video and movement than from reading something that we can make decisions quicker.

If you’re not using video you’re missing out on a big opportunity especially on the eCommerce side of thing. Any small business. But most, like you said, most small businesses think it’s I can’t afford to do something like that. Well actually can. One of the challenges that we’ve had as a business model is figuring out okay, we’ve been a high end production for over 20 years. We’re doing TV spots. I’ve had spots with a 80 to $100,000 budget before. What happens is, the big, big brands are spending that kind of money. Well a lot more than that actually, on production but a little small business can’t really do that.

I wanted to come up with solutions for small businesses so we came up with a business model called Stream Stage which basically is about 10% of the cost of normal production. The great thing about it is, is you can create all this video content that’s still high quality. It’s still broadcast quality, you can see it on a national network but it’s very affordable. The way we do that is by doing it more in a live production environment. Understanding, we understand that there’s a big need for video and it’s only going to increase but the challenge is how to provide that at a cost that a small business can afford.

Real Media’s Stream Stage

Phil Singleton: That’s awesome. I definitely obviously full disclosure here, Brad and I met a short time ago, I think we’re already kind of like minds and very excited about collaborating and do a bunch of things. I am so excited about Stream Stage. Already referred clients to them and we keep doing so because I think this is such an important of the business. I’ve done some video, if you visited our site, our homepage, you’ll see that we’ve tried to do a little bit. I’m looking forward to work with Brad to do some more that’s better and more thought through because in the video that we’ve done on our website, we’ve noticed our conversion rates have gone up quite a bit. And we just barely scratched the surface.

And that’s one thing, like Brad you’re going to talk about a little bit more too, I think it’s like, it’s one thing to be careful I think about any type of content that we put out there that people will say is important or is helpful in terms of maybe generating leads or helping conversion. Sometimes we’ll say things like, every company needs to be blogging. I do believe this is really important to be blogging but once you just kind of say that word blogging then people just think like, they just do more blogging. I think it’s just like video. You just go out there and say, “Oh he said video important. Just go run out and do videos.” So they’re out shooting mindless stuff on an iPhone and dropping it on their website. That’s not really what anybody’s saying. You got to be thoughtful about the things that you’re doing.

Some of the things I think, and you can speak to this more, I think might be important forms of video are something where a person sees you talking. I always think it’s important to be able to see the staff myself. If it’s a doctor or a lawyer are somebody, at least at some point you can see the person talking. See their voice. Look into their eyes. Also, testimonial videos where you have other people saying you’re awesome, I’ve worked with you. And then maybe some types of things, you have a lot of experience with is just trying to figure out marketing message or maybe even trying to build story into something, some marketing videos.

Can you speak to those types of things? What people should really be working on ’cause I think it’s like, you just don’t want to always say video’s important, just go run out and get some video. Then you get price shop some video and then you get something that doesn’t have a lot of strategy baked into it. You put it up on website. You said more video, we did more video, we put it on our site. Nothing happened. Well it’s not just about the video. There’s got to be some strategy behind it. Can you speak to that a little bit?

It’s just like that in storytelling. If you’re going to create content that really impacts an audience, you’ve got a message and you need to know as much about your audience as you can because we want to know what kind of fish we’re trying to catch.

– Brad Burrow

Brad Burrow: Right. Yeah, you’re exactly right. I use the analogy a lot of fishing. If you’re fishing let’s say you want to catch bass. Well you have a pretty good idea where you’re going to fish. You know what kind of bait you’re going to use. You’ve got a good idea of how you’re going to get them into the boat. It’s just like that in storytelling. If you’re going to create content that really impacts an audience, you’ve got a message and you need to know as much about your audience as you can because we want to know what kind of fish we’re trying to catch. Are they a stay at home mom? Are they a business owner? Are they a millennial? For example. And then what’s your message and how does that message need to be communicated to that audience so that they’re going to be interested? That’s the bait.

The type of fish is the audience, the message is the bait or the lure and then the call to action’s how we get them in the boat. What we do to get them to bite? The more that we can know about those things up front, the more effective we can be in telling a story that’s going to impact. I call that storytelling with purpose. We want to tell them a story and there’s all kinds of studies and things that talk about how storytelling can impact our brains. It actually a story impacts our retention in different parts of the brain much more effectively than reading or even watching something.

There’s real power in that but if you know your audience and you know your message and you can tell a story that is going to really impact them in a positive then your call to action’s going to be a natural thing that’s just going to automatically kick in. You ask them to do something, they’re going to do it ’cause you’ve impacted them and you understand them. That’s what we try to do is really, really understand the audience and then everything are just tools that we use to do that.

Phil Singleton: It’s so awesome because that’s it’s such a deliberate repeatable process that you can just, that makes perfect sense. Okay, you go through this. We’ve got these steps. It pretty much works for everybody. Obviously I think storytelling’s really big all the way around and marketing in general is a really hot topic but you really help bring it to video in a way that’s really easy to understand. But then I kind of even see in my mind right now, it’s like okay, you got this process with the fish kind of analogy and then you bring that into a production environment that’s lower cost for small businesses. Let’s just say if you’re in Kansas City. I don’t want to hone too much in on Stream Stage thing. I do think it’s really exciting to talk about that because it just makes it so much more attainable for small businesses to get that really crucial piece of video content that I believe will really, really help people convert sales a lot more.

If you’re in a small business and you end up figuring out a way to get a good website, maybe get good traffic to your site and you’re just really trying to get that way to get people to convert, well some of things Brad’s talking about like the storytelling or having something quality enough that really resonates, that’s sometimes all you really need to help get people, push them that little extra distance to get them into the sales or the education funnel. You think about the things that really work for folks and you’re just like, gosh, I wish I had this piece to be able to put on my website to be able to benefit the way like some of these really high end production pieces are. Man, if you’re a local small, medium size business, got guys like Brad with his great company Real Media, it’s attainable. You can do it. It’s a great investment and I think it’s really important.

That’s one of the things we’re so excited with working with you because you finally got this piece of the puzzle in a way that can really help clients out. Really appreciate you coming to the show and sharing your story.

Brad Burrow: Yeah.

Real Talk – The TV Show

Phil Singleton: Where can we learn more about you in terms of like your website and maybe places that you like to hang out social, online? So people can follow.

Brad Burrow: Yeah, at Real Media we have our websites realmediakc.com, not Real Media but realmediakc.com/streamstage if you’re interesting in seeing how that works. That’s a place you can check that out. Go to our website. We have a LinkedIn page. We’re actually doing a, we’re using Stream Stage to create a show on LinkedIn called Real Talk. If you go to our LinkedIn page you’ll see show where we’re interviewing CEOs. Actually we’ve got Joel Goldberg from Fox Sports that comes in and interviews CEOs so we release videos every week on that which is going very well. And then Facebook page, Twitter and all those things as well. It’s a full-time job just keeping up with the social media side of this thing.

Phil Singleton: Right, right. And before I let you go, I like to ask all my Kansas City based guests, just kind of some of their favorite places to go, things to do in Kansas City. Places that kind of make them love being here. Places I guess if they’ve been away awhile that they’d either come back to and one of the first places they’d go maybe to eat or grab a bite or get a drink or refer a friend from out of town to.

Brad Burrow: Yeah. Well I’ll tell you, I have people come in from out of town all the time and everybody’s here’s about barbecue. Of course we’re the barbecue mecca. My favorite barbecue place right now is Q39 which I know you’ve heard about too. We live out in on the south part so they just moved out to the Antioch & College Blvd there.

Phil Singleton: Sweet.

Brad Burrow: Man that place is awesome. We could eat there every night every night.

Phil Singleton: That’s awesome.

Brad Burrow: And be just happy.

Phil Singleton: I think I was telling you, that’s like you’re probably the third or fourth person that’s been their favorite. I have yet to go there. It’s pretty funny ’cause on Father’s Day I was trying to figure out a place to give my parents. And I think they’d said they’d been there, maybe the original one once and it was like, ah, kind of too busy. They didn’t have good, super good impression of it. Course here it’s like, I’ve heard like three or four times it’s like the people’s favorite restaurant. I got to get out there and try this place out.

Brad Burrow: Yeah.

Phil Singleton: Sounds really awesome.

Brad Burrow: Yeah, you need to try it out for sure.

Phil Singleton: It’s on my list on the short list.

Brad Burrow: Yeah.

Phil Singleton: Thanks again for being on the show Brad. Looking forward to hear more from you. We want to welcome you back maybe and dig a little deeper into some of these other video marketing topics.

Brad Burrow: Yeah, love to do it. Thanks for having me.

Phil Singleton: Awesome.

How to Use Podcasting as Your Ultimate Sales Trojan Horse

Stephen Woessner is the founder and CEO of the Digital Marketing agency Predictive ROI and host of Onward Nation, a top rated daily podcast for business owners. He’s also the author of several books, one on search engine optimization, another one on viral social media and viral social networking. And his most recent one, which we’ll talk a little bit about today is Profitable Podcasting, a book that I just recently read and loved and we’re going to talk some more about that as well.

Episode resource links:

 

Meet Stephen Woessner

Phil Singleton: Stephen, welcome to the show.

Stephen Woessner: Thanks very much for the invitation to join you and thanks very much for being such a great guest on Onward Nation, you know, a few weeks ago. I really appreciate our time together and that was just awesome for our listeners. So hopefully I can return the favor for yours.

Phil Singleton: All right. Just to get started here, can you kind of fill in the gaps and let us know how you got started in a digital and what brought you here today into the business that you have?

Stephen Woessner: I think kind of like, you know, most business owners sort of being an accidental business owner but yet entrepreneurship really truly is in my family DNA. Predictive ROI is the fifth company that I’ve owned but I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. I mean everybody, back from when my grandfather immigrated here from Istanbul, Turkey and so we’ve all, you know, the 10 grandkids, we’ve all been business owners and so it truly is part of our DNA in my family.

And Predictive ROI really started when after I wrote my first couple of books that you just mentioned, I was at the University of Wisconsin at the La Crosse campus. So as part of faculty and academic staff and when the first book came out and then the second book came out, you know, it turned into consulting opportunities and speaking engagements and I wasn’t pursuing any of those.

And I just said thanks, but no thanks. I didn’t want there to ever be a conflict of interest with the university or anything like that. I was concerned about that. But then after a while it was, it was like, Gosh, you know, this could be kind of interesting. And so you know, one weekend one of the readers of my SEO book said, “Hey, could you help me build a keyword list?” And I said sure. And I said, “But you gotta pay me up front.” “Okay, how much?” And I said “$300,” and he hit me up for $300 on PayPal. And I’m like, oh my gosh, this is awesome. And then it just kind of started from there. And that was, I don’t know, about 10 years ago now. And Predictive ROI has been growing ever since.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. So that’s how you get started. It was basically just helping somebody off basically some SEO and it’s rolled into your own agency. And now, I mean, what do we do now? Can I ask like what’s your agency look like? What’s your ideal client look like? What kind of services are you providing?

Stephen Woessner: Well, you know, when we started the business here again, like most entrepreneurs, when you’re just starting out, you know, prospective clients come to you and say, “Hey, could you do this,” and “Hey, could you do that?”

And the typical response is “Yes we can and it’ll be this much.” And then pretty soon, you know, two, three years in, we’re doing all kinds of stuff in digital, right? And in just about everything that would fit into the quote unquote ‘digital bucket’ we were doing. And I don’t say that from a braggadocious perspective, I say that as a “Geez, that was kind of a problem in our business model,” perspective because, you know, we’re doing all of this stuff and doing it okay, but probably not doing it as well as if we really focused on a few things. And now we’re really focused on a few things.

We really focus on helping clients get very, very clear about what their point of view is, like, why they do what it is that they do, what their thought leadership is. And then we help them plant that flag firmly in the dirt.

– Stephen Woessner

We’re not a creative shop. We really focus on helping clients get very, very clear about what their point of view is, like, why they do what it is that they do, what their thought leadership is. And then we help them plant that flag firmly in the dirt. Like, “This is what we do here, this is who we do it for, this is who we don’t do it for.” And then we helped them develop thought leadership around that. We call that cornerstone content: content that we’re creating on a consistent basis, likely weekly and as either, you know, audio, video, blog content, whatever, that really pounds that stake solid in the dirt.

And then we’d create a channel agnostic strategy around that. So if it’s a podcast, we turn that into a hub that, yes, there’s episodes, but then there’s so much more than that, like you and I talked about during your episode on Onward Nation where the podcast episode like that one piece of audio, that’s cool, but can you turn that into Google reviews? Can you turn it into a blog post that drives then organic search? Can you turn it into a social campaign? So, we take all of that stuff and then ultimately how does that drive revenue back into their core business? So there’s always a monetization strategy. So that’s what we’re focused on now. And it’s been really, really good for us, being that focused on it.

Phil Singleton: Are you finding, is podcasting a part of it for a lot of these folks that are your clients or is it a part of … Does it work for some, not for others? Do you think it’s one of these things it’s more universal for most companies? Can you speak to that a little bit?

Stephen Woessner: I don’t think it’s universal for everybody. And the reason being is because certainly there’s some skill sets involved. Not everybody’s going to feel comfortable having a podcast and I totally get that. And and so there is some comfort level there, but it also needs to fit well with the business model too. And so we’re super, super focused on business to business.

So you had asked me before, and I didn’t answer it, I’m sorry, you asked me what our ideal client is and that’s typically an owner of a business to business professional services firm, across the number of different industries, but typically a B2B professional services firm owner that is doing about a million to $20,000,000 a year in revenue. They’re beyond the startup, but they’re not too big that we can’t support them any longer.

And then the podcast and the monetization strategy around it needs to drive business back into or drive revenue, excuse me, back into the core business, whether that is interviewing their top prospects as guests on their show and having a system that doesn’t feel schmutzy, but having a system downstream that then opens the door for an opportunity to do business together.

Perhaps it’s sponsors, perhaps it’s live events, perhaps it’s books or webinars or workshops or whatever. But there needs to be that strategy that absolutely without a doubt connects with the content and into their core business.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. And that’s really what I want to dive into a little bit more today, is kind of pick your brain on podcasting in general. And the first thing I want to ask is how you get about talking to somebody like me who say a little over a year ago I felt that podcasting was almost kind of a fringe marketing tactic or something that I didn’t realize was as mainstream that it is or becoming.

And then of course I got involved with it and it’s like, oh my gosh. Like, holy cow, what have I been doing and literally I tell people some of the things we’re doing with podcasts and is the highest ROI things I’ve ever done in the 12 years I’ve been doing this. But how do you get some … I mean, you know, for me, I did a little self study, read things from some thought leaders like yourself, but it didn’t take until you actually step into it and realize what’s happening

How do you convince people now that are like, that were like me? To be like, “Hey, this isn’t a fringe type of a thing. You do have to look at it.” And how do you get people to jump into it where I think a lot of people still just kind of have that like wall where they’re like, “Okay, podcasting. Yeah, sure,” type of thing?

Stephen Woessner: I think you’re exactly correct that sometimes there is a wall. So we certainly go through a process of sharing data, sharing what growth rates are, talking about expectations.

Phil Singleton: Do you get that though, when you bring something to a business owner that’s and they’re kind of scratching their head like, “Do we, would we consider?” And you know in your head that they’re probably like a super awesome prospect for it because they are a thought leader. Maybe they come out, they got the skills, they’re charismatic, but they’re still kind of thinking, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

I didn’t mean to cut you off, but you must run into that sometimes where where people are are feeling like that. I’m just curious how you can get them to get over that.

Stephen Woessner: I think part of our strategy is that we’re never trying to sell a podcast just like we’re never trying to sell search or we’re never trying to sell a video. So our business development strategy, if you will, our pitch is we’re always focused on, the client’s data points, the client’s metrics, the client’s business, how they make money, how they’re helpful to their clients, how them being helpful to their clients helps their clients be helpful to their clients, and really understanding their industry. And once we understand that and how they drive revenue into their business and what their growth and so forth is, or what their goals are, excuse me. Then and only then do we talk about video, podcasts, SEO and so forth and how we might be helpful in how we can help them with point of view, thought leadership, cornerstone content, so forth. So we never ever, ever are out to sell somebody-

Phil Singleton: leading on a tactic, so to speak of type of thing.

Stephen Woessner: Right. Never ever, ever, ever. We’re always focused on how we can be the most helpful and then through that conversation we uncover, well it might be a podcast, it might be a video series, it might be none of those things.

Phil Singleton: And then when you bring it … I’m just curious. When you do do the research and you come up and you do come up with a list and podcasts might be one of the tactics that can be good with it. Do you do have to almost sell or pitch why it might be useful because you’ve already identified that it would be good for them? I’m just wondering how you get … or do they normally come around once they’ve seen that and you show them the benefits and all this kind of stuff?

Stephen Woessner: I think if we’re at that stage of the conversation and I’m not talking about a 10 minute conversation, then all of a sudden we sell a thing, you know, typically our conversations are over a period of time, there’s trust building. They’ve had some familiarity with who Predictive is. I mean that’s what’s given us the permission to have that conversation in the first place.

And so sure, there are certainly are going to be some questions about what is the right strategy? Is it a podcast? Well, what’s the advantage there? But again, we’re not selling a podcast. What we’re showing them, our client or prospect, I guess at that point is how this piece of cornerstone content, in this example, a piece of audio in a podcast, how that piece of audio can then become, if they have a vision or desire to become a best selling author, well, how can we structure the editorial calendar behind that show to create the chapters of the book?

How can we use that as a way to have influential thought leaders on your show that can compliment the content that you’re creating for your book? How can then lead to workshop content? How then could it lead to webinar content? And so forth, so it’s never about “Geez, Phil, I’d love to sell you a product.” It’s always about how that cornerstone content can really take their thought leadership and explode it over time?

Phil Singleton: And also I’m thinking you’re … I mean, you’re actually practicing what you preach too, right? Because you got all this great stuff and education, but you’re doing all of it yourself and you’ve been able to grow your business based off of some of these things yourself. You’ve got a book, you do podcasts and you’ve got your own substantial audience. You are a thought leader in your space. So it’s really easy for you to say like, look, you know, if you’re a good candidate for this, it does actually work because we’re doing it for our own business. Right? I mean, so that’s a great thing to kind of be able to fall back on.

Stephen Woessner: Well and that’s a great lesson that you’re sharing with your audience right now and I hope your audience takes what you just shared and puts that into their business that no matter what it is that you do in your business, you need to be the supreme example of that.

Last week, I was back in Ohio visiting some family and my cousin took me to the gym where he normally works out, Powerhouse Gym, and he has a professional trainer who works out with him and it was oh my gosh, an excruciating workout. This guy really knows what he’s doing. Okay. But during a side conversation, Jerry said to me, like my cousin’s working on his sets and Jerry says to me, he’s like, he goes, “I got to stay in tip top shape because I am a walking billboard for what it is that I do.” And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, that’s exactly what Phil just now said,” you. We are all walking billboards for what? Like you could not go out and sell SEO if you sucked at it.

Phil Singleton: Exactly. In my case-

Stephen Woessner: If you sucked at it.

Phil Singleton: Exactly. In my case, I really only feel confident selling things that I’m actually using that work for me and I know some people are good at not … they’ve got the cobbler’s use story and they’re able to market and do things and maybe not do it for themselves, but I’m just not that.

Yeah, I don’t have the sales part in my genes so I’m able to say, “Look, I’m doing this.” I’m not the ideal guy that can go out and so you know, the whatever they say, the ice cube to the Eskimo type of guy, but I have to be able to show, “Hey, I’ve done this. It’s working for me.” I’m actually an introvert. I wouldn’t be on podcasts or building on my own personally unless it didn’t work and there was a lot of ROI attached to it and that’s the only way I can really sell it and prove it.

Of course you’ve taken it to another level type of a deal, but I think … It really does show that it works.

Stephen Woessner: Yeah, I completely agree with you so that when you’re sitting across the table from, you know, a prospect and you’re talking about his or her business, not only can you show the results that you’ve generated for clients, but you can also tell your own story and how you have to show how Google reviews, how asking a host like Stephen after finishing the interview to give you a Google review in the impact of that review has had for you and your business and now using that as a, “Hey, Mr. or Ms. Client, this is why we need to do this within your business and my team? Yeah, we know exactly how to do that,” because you do it.

The Trojan Horse of Sales

Phil Singleton: Exactly. Now I really want to dive into something I’m really super excited about because again, it’s one of these things that you talk about in your book. And I was like, yes, I’m doing something right and you gave me tons of great ideas. I mean, anybody that has any thought about doing their own podcast or trying to understand why it’s so important and how it opens up so many other doors than just the podcast. When people hear podcasts, it’s like this one dimensional blinder thing. Like it’s just this audio thing, but there’s just so much. So many different angles and so many things that give … You’ve gotta read Stephen’s book. It’s just awesome. It’s the one book I wish I would’ve read a year ago. It’s already making our process better and is enabling us to squeeze more ROI out of it. But the one thing that really lit me up in the book, a money thing, but one thing that I’m excited about is the way I’ve been using my own podcast.

I think I told you when you interviewed me, a big part of my initial strategy for podcasting was being guested because the hosts do all the work and would access to their audience and all those things that we talked about, the benefit of being a guest. But then there’s this other whole part of having your own show, right?

And I was dumb in a way because I didn’t have my own show at the beginning when I did this guesting campaign because I could have had access to all these other podcasts consumers on the sixth year shows that I’ve been on or whatever. But my point I’m getting at is, last year I tried to do some outbound marketing. I hired a person for four straight months. I figured, “God, I’ve got this. We’ve got 100 and some odd reviews. Bestselling book. I’ve got a plugin that’s been downloaded on SEO 150,000 times. If I just go call people even around our city and just tell them what I do will just be like, be able to double or triple our…”

I had hired somebody that made phone calls, 40, 50 phone calls a day, one meeting, zero sales informed us.

Stephen Woessner: What?

Phil Singleton: It’s just hard to call somebody up and try and pitch. It’s just hard. But then we came back to it and I said, “You know what? I’m going to use this podcasting way as a way to ask,” you’re going to love this because this is exactly the things that you teach and coach and help people do. As soon as we started this podcast up and I chose the name specifically, I didn’t call it SEO something or web design or WordPress Gurus, this and that. I called it the Local Business Leaders podcast so that when we started making calls to book guests who are, again, this is coming right out of your playbook, potential clients because half of our guests are experts like you where I’m literally picking your brain, trying to get very valuable, free advice for myself and my listeners, that’s half of my guests.

The other half are ideal clients that were hanging the phone up. Now when we call people up and say, “Hey, can we have your executive be on the Local Business Leaders podcast?” Can you guess what the response rate is? It’s like eight out of 10.

And just the fact that they’ll engage and talk with you and understand it. I mean, the value of that is immense and I want you to talk to our audience about how that’s worked for you, how that works for your guests. It’s explained in the book. And just talk about how it works for folks. I’m just starting to see the kind of the power of the access I guess. But again I’ve just been doing this for a few months and I want to get some coaching tips for myself and my listeners because I have been talking a lot about podcasting because it’s just been a huge boom for a business over the last year and I think I’m just scratching the surface.

But I want you to help me with some advice now on what else we can be doing. Are we doing it right? What are the types of things that you’ve seen for yourself and your clients in terms of using this tactic as an access tool? Sorry for that long winded question.

Stephen Woessner: No. It’s a great setup to the lesson for your listeners and, and we call this strategy the Trojan horse of sales and you really illustrated the power of the Trojan horse and I think most people know that story out of Greek mythology but the reason why that’s so impactful is because you are no longer Phil the owner of an agency in Kansas City who’s looking for the new account. You are now Phil the host of a media channel, which represents an audience who that fellow business owner wants to be in front of, you know, he or she was like saying yes to you because now you are a journalist.

You’re not a salesperson. And that is a game changing moment when that happens. And so the reason why that yes is so much easier is because you’ve changed the context of that relationship. Now, what’s really important for your listeners to know too, is that, you know, I think that what you’ve done, Phil, is really smart. You’ve got half your guest list as your dream prospects. Awesome. You’ve got half your guest list as thought leaders who are going to add value to your audience, and certainly your prospects are going to add value to your audience.

Phil Singleton: What do you think about it? Is that the right … That’s just me.

Stephen Woessner: Absolutely, that’s right. It’s absolutely right. Now, the important thing that your listeners need to know too is that just because you have your best prospect or your dream prospect on the show, it’s not, “Hey Stephen, thanks very much.” You hit stop record and or stop on the recording button and now all of a sudden it turns into a sales pitch. That’s going to get schmutzy in a hurry.

And so your listeners need to know that that interview is the Trojan horse you’re now past the city gates of Troy. That’s great, but you don’t jump out of the belly of the horse and start trying to sell and so forth. No, that’s going to get schmutzy.

Instead, what you’ve done is now you’ve architected the start of a two, three, four month relationship where you can send them ongoing content, other great episodes. You can send them eBooks. You can send them other pieces of your thought leadership that tie back to the show so then three or four months later Phil can loop back and say, “Hey Stephen, thanks again for being a guest on the show. Really loved our conversation. In fact, my team and I were just listening to it this morning and you know what? When you mentioned x, that got us thinking about Y. We do Y really well here. Is there a day or time next week that we could sit down, maybe have lunch or whatever and talk about why and how we might be able to do that for you?”

Phil Singleton: And this is again, you’re kind of a couple of contacts later until you get to that point where it’s-

Stephen Woessner: Exactly. Because otherwise, it’s schmutzy. And then of course Stephen’s going to say, “Well, yeah, I’d love to sit down with you and talk about that because you know what? My team is struggling with Y.” And then he or she feels really great about that because you’ve nurtured the relationship. You started off with a really solid give by having them on your show and then you’ve loved on them for months since then. Why wouldn’t they say yes?

Phil Singleton: Awesome. Just in terms of like specific steps as an example, I know everybody’s probably a little bit different, but is it a thank you email? Is it a gift? I mean, what are some typical things that you would do over the course where you think you’d soften them up and how much would you contact them? You think it’s not annoying? I mean, your show is so awesome because it’s so professional in terms of the lead up and the follow up and some of the things, of course I’m just going to steal directly from you. I haven’t done quite yet, but I am curious because … What things that you recommend to potential clients in terms of, you know, setting up, is it like a three or four email sequence?

I’ve got one of these things. Again, I’m trying to give them stuff away in terms of free advice, that idea, this might be cheesy, you tell me how it works, after every show I have a guest on, I’m holding this up, I give like a, it’s like a stone coaster that I make featured featured guests and I send them out.

It’s another thing to kind of follow up and get in front of them and have something to hold type of deal and then maybe it will be an email or something, you know, following up and again, social tagging and things like that. But again, for me, I’m kind of just testing things out, see what works, but I know you’ve got some things that probably work in terms of how many touches and what kind of touches and what things do you do after maybe in terms of that kind of an access podcast. Can you give any insight there?

Stephen Woessner: You bet. It’s about five to six, you know, different touches. And you mentioned a couple of them already. Certainly a sincere thank you email and certainly the social tagging. And so we’re writing Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, we’re writing a lot of tweets, you know, 10 tweets off of each of the episodes. We’re tagging the guest in all of those and lots of times in that first conversation I’ll hear, “Hey, thanks for all the tweets,” you know, because people like that, right?

And it’s not about me on the episode. It’s about their nuggets and pearls of wisdom that they shared during the episodes. Right? Okay. So then, I mean that’s just like kind of the ante, that just sort of gets you in the game. That’s just being a good host. That’s just a nice thank you.

And we have a Dream 25, you know, that as part of our overall guest list, the Dream 25 who we are really, really loving on. And so then this is how we take that even further.

Phil Singleton: And Dream 25, is that thought leaders or that’s a client? Dream 25’s a … prospects?

Stephen Woessner: Prospects. Yeah, these are the people we would really, really love to do business with. 25 of them and they’re seeded into our overall guest list. I mean, we’re airing 200 episodes a year, so about 10% of our guests lists are in that category. Okay?

So then then how do we take that deeper? Next is, we’ll take the 25, we’ll break that into five or six different eBooks. So we’re highlighting nuggets and pearls of wisdom. Again, it’s not about me and what Predictive does. It is about we’re taking those … across the 25, we’re seeing commonalities and we’ll come up with five groupings and five guests featured in each ebook.

Phil Singleton: Wow, that’s great.

Stephen Woessner: Complementary thought leaders. And so then there’s the book of like, “Oh my Gosh, I’m …. holy bananas. I’m in an eBook with Gary Vaynerchuk or you know, Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank. Wow.”

And so there’s the coolness factor of that. Right?

Phil Singleton: And how do you go about, do you set it up? Do you tell them you’re doing it, you just send it to him and say, “Hey, we’ve included some of your stuff in the ebook?”

Stephen Woessner: The latter.

Phil Singleton: Okay.

Stephen Woessner: Yup. The latter. And now when we’ve got this really cool ebook with their stuff in it. Awesome. Then, we highlight each of the Dream 25 in our weekly email list that goes out to our full distribution. We make sure that they’re on that distribution list, so they receive it and then we also forward it to them to make sure that they saw it.

And again, another thank you. So, so now we see that we selected their episode. Out of all of the episodes we selected their episode as amplification to the entire Onward Nation community over 120 countries. So that’s cool, right?

And then we’ll take that and turn that into like a LinkedIn article and we’ve got 24,000 plus connections on LinkedIn, additional amplification of their thought leadership. Maybe we’ll invite them to co-teach a webinar. Right?

So there aren’t you know, like tangible gifts and not that that’s a bad strategy, right? Your strategy of sending that out is cool. And I have some like, you know, that people have sent to me on other shows, right? So I think that that is cool and that’s a nice touch and then being able to amplify the insights and wisdom that they shared with your community, the audience that-

Stephen Woessner: -and wisdom that they shared with your community, the audience that they said yes to in the first place coming onto your show is huge.

Podcast Encore Interview & Following Up

Phil Singleton: Yes. That’s awesome. Another thing I noticed you do on your show that gave me an idea, too, is you interview a guest, and I don’t know if you do this on every one or just on occasional ones, but I was invited back to do an encore. That’s awesome because then you get somebody to come back. Now they’ve kind of … it just makes you feel … it definitely changes the game. That’s the only person that’s done that in the 70 shows I’ve been on, but it also kind of makes you feel like you’ve got an upcoming deal and more attached to the whole part of it. I don’t know if that’s my feeling or that’s by design or how … why do you do that, I guess, basically, because it seems really smart.

Stephen Woessner: It is by design. Well, a couple of things. You were a guest who shared phenomenal insights and strategies, but in my mind, what really made you different is you weren’t afraid to get tactical, and I love that. I love it when guests do that. So when I think about that, I’m like oh my gosh, I know there’s more here, and I want to learn more, and I know our guests, excuse me, our listeners are going to want to learn more, too. So that’s one piece of the encore.

The second piece of the encore is I walked out of that interview thinking this is a guy I need to learn more about personally as a business owner. Are there opportunities between predictive and what he’s doing in Kansas City? I want to explore those. An encore opportunity is a good way to keep us in our own sort of intersecting spheres. So that’s the other thing.

And then we also use the encore for our Dream 25.

Phil Singleton: That’s what I was thinking, too.

Stephen Woessner: For prospects. And so we reserve that, and that is a way for, again, for our Dream 25 to come back so we have an opportunity to learn more about them, them learn a little bit more about us, and vice versa. It’s just a circle of goodness.

Phil Singleton: That’s awesome.

Stephen Woessner: But it’s never ever ever a sales pitch. It’s always about how we can be helpful to our guests, to our audience, to our partners and all of that, never ever ever a sales pitch.

Phil Singleton: And how much do you think in terms of your experience are opportunities coming as a result of the process and that followup, and how much of a part of your process is maybe actually taking that initial step to be like you had mentioned before, hey, you’re kind of being a little more proactive on trying to initiate a meeting or a call, versus a complete inbound thing. Like you went through the process. They were like okay, I understand, you guys are what we need, let’s … you know what I mean? There’s that two-part thing where you’re maybe trying to push it a little bit and they’re the ones where they’re coming right at you because they fell into the inbound funnel and it worked totally passively.

Stephen Woessner: Yeah. I would say it’s 90% proactive.

Phil Singleton: Really?

Stephen Woessner: Yeah. And it isn’t because everything downstream doesn’t work or anything like that or whatever. But when it comes to [biz 00:29:15] [dev 00:29:16], we will never leave something to like well, we didn’t get any calls today. You know, I mean, we are … I don’t want to say ambitiously pursuing, because now it sounds like we’re selling. But we’re ambitiously developing relationships with our Dream 25, so they know that we want to do business with them.

Phil Singleton: But that’s just a huge, huge lesson, because I mean that’s a weakness I think that we have, maybe a lot of owners have is that you get something good, and you’re still waiting for the stuff to come in. It’s a huge missed opportunity for you, not following up and doing stuff, because that’s probably where most of the business is, I’m thinking, if you’re not proactive about it. And that’s just one of those things you’re telling me right now where I’m just like that makes perfect sense, knowledge bomb, where it’s a waste. It’s a total wasted opportunity if you just think you’re going to keep putting stuff out there and it’s just going to come and fall on your lap without any kind of proactive … because these guys, like oh their business, and some of the things you hear and you know, you know you need to be doing it. But unless somebody’s prodding you along and making sure that you keep it top of a mind, you’re just going to fall off with one of these other tactics or opportunities, or maybe they just get back into the work zone, and they don’t realize [crosstalk 00:30:24]

Stephen Woessner: Yeah, we kind of take it for granted. It’s like how often do any of us wake up, feet hit the bedroom floor, thinking, wow, I have got to call that vendor about whatever, I can’t wait to get in touch with him. It’s narcissistic for us to think that our prospects are sitting there just obsessed with us and can’t wait to pick up the phone. Stop it. They have businesses to run. They have the same challenges in their life just like you do. You, you need to court them just like your spouse did not chase you down for you to marry him or her. Right? There’s a courting period to that. You need to show some interest. You need to demonstrate some value. You didn’t propose on the first date. It’s the same thing here.

And somehow business owners get that all discombobulated in their brain thinking that somehow it’s going to be different with this type of relationship. It’s not. We’re people.

Phil Singleton: That’s blowing my mind a little bit, because I’m actually sweating a little bit on this. I’m just like … it’s like there is no real benefit to the full inbound marketing process, which I’m really just realizing right now which is kind of embarrassing, unless there’s an element of that pursuit. Because we do well at our range, but it’s literally the stuff that falls in our lap. Our followup is terrible. Great access and great in the lead generation, probably really terrible on the followup and the touches because I’m thinking, well, we do stuff well enough that they’ll just come to the door when they’re ready. That’s just such a …

Stephen Woessner: It does happen, 10%.

Phil Singleton: Right. And it’s guys like you are out there that are doing it saying there’s got to be the followup, there’s got to be that pursuit, otherwise, and it makes perfect sense, because people pursue us. People close stuff on us as a result of their persistent pursuit, because if I’m really not interested, I’m going to shut them down.

Stephen Woessner: Right.

Phil Singleton: If I’m kind of thinking about it, I let them kind of pitch me for a while. Maybe I don’t do it, but it might take a long time, right? The other guys that are doing it successful to us, we’re not doing it to our prospective clients, and that’s really an eye opener and an action item that I’m going to take right away, and thank you … I should be writing you a check for this episode. That’s some really great insight to really open my eyes up. Some of these things we have to be open to because like I say, a year ago, podcasting was not on the radar. Now it’s the third largest source of our leads and sales coming in. It was not even on the books. SEO, referrals, and now it’s coming off podcasts, which was huge, because there’s other things that we have to generate leads and sales.

So this is another one of those things, like how much money have you left on the table, but not having a followup pursuit process in terms of … because you open these doors up with these great opportunities that work, and these guys, especially those guys, they’re not going to say oh I went on your show, looked at your website, we’re going to hire you next week type of thing unless we’ve got some really good followup plan in place. So that for putting something at the top of my list today.

Stephen Woessner: You’re welcome, my friend.

Phil Singleton: So that’s a ton of stuff. My head’s spinning right now. I’m sure our listeners are too. How, in wrapping this up, tell us how people can reach you and something you’re doing right now and how we can learn more about things you’re doing?

Stephen Woessner: Some pretty simple ways. Your listeners can find my books at Amazon. Just go into Amazon, search for Stephen Woessner. You’ll find all three of them there. At predictiveroi.com, that’s our hub. You’ll find our podcast, our blog, all of our helpful resources and whatnot that are free there at predictiveroi.com, and then please feel free to look me up on LinkedIn and drop me a connection request, and I’ll accept.

Phil Singleton: That’s pretty much your favorite social channel. It is mine now.

Stephen Woessner: LinkedIn is my favorite. That’s where deals get done, and deals get done really quickly. And so we’ve invested a lot of time and effort in building that. Those are probably the three best ways.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. Everybody, Stephen Woessner. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. Really, one of the things I’m most passionate about is talking about podcasting, which is kind of funny because podcasts about podcasting type of deal. It has been a game changer, and you’re one of the guys who’s really helping folks like myself and businesses all over the place set it up and do it right, but make sure we’re doing … you don’t just do podcasting for the sake of podcasts. It’s got to be worked into the whole business strategy, and you’ve also got to be talking about making sure that you’re taking advantage of all these other things, and not just doing that one-dimensional piece of it. And this is all stuff that you cover in Profitable Podcasting, which is why I recommend that everybody that is interested in podcasting, is thinking about doing a podcast or everyone has, should we be doing this type of a thought in their head, you definitely should read this book, and it will open your eyes on why a guy like myself, who doesn’t like to spend money on anything unless there’s a huge ROI involved, why I’ve gone hook, line, and sinker into podcasting. It’s really changed my business and everything that we basically do in terms of our own business and even delivering services to our clients.

So Stephen, once again, thank you very much. We’re going to put all the notes here up and links to your book and website on the show. I hope we can talk to you again at some point once I unpack some of this and figure out more questions I want to ask.

Stephen Woessner: Well, thank you very much for the invitation. I look forward to crossing paths again when the timing is right. But thanks for the invitation, and thank you again for when you were my guest on Onward Nation and our listeners, I hope, had a very similar experience to what I was able to share with your listeners. I know that they did. You were so practical and tactical and step by step, which again, we love.

Phil Singleton: Thank you for the kind words, sir.

Stephen Woessner: Oh my gosh, it’s awesome. Thank you, my friend.

 

 

HARO, Alex Flash Briefings & Cutting Edge Website Leadgen Technology

Mike Kawula is the founder of , and co-founder of Dinner Table MBA. Michael is an entrepreneur whose last three businesses each hit seven figures in under three years, with this past being ranked the number 144th fastest growing company by Inc magazine in 2012. He’s an author. He’s been featured on CNN, interviewed by Anthony Robbins, and featured in over 100 publications in over the last few years. Michael has been an entrepreneur since September 10, 2001, has a strong passion for marketing, start-ups, his family, and the Florida beaches.

Episode resources

 

Meet Mike Kawula

 

Phil Singleton:  So, we were already kind of in the green room, initially talking about some things I thought I wanted to ask you about. Then, we got on the topic of personal branding, authority, specifically in how important I think and you think becoming an author and using that as a platform for your own business and personally to build up authority and branding, and all the stuff that comes with it. Can you speak to how important you think that is?

Oh wait a minute, before we do that, I’m going to take one step back. Fill in the gaps and tell us a little bit about your journey, and then were going to jump into the, I got so excited about talking about the book that I forgot to even ask you about your background.

Mike Kawula: Yeah.

Phil Singleton: I do want to fill in the blanks and tell us a little bit about kind of how you got your start out of school or whatever, in business, and what brought you to kind of where you are today.

Mike Kawula: Yeah, natural-born entrepreneur, I guess you could say, back to seven, eight, nine years old doing the lemonade stand, doing newspaper routes. Just always a strong passion for really to be honest with you, money.

Phil Singleton: Sure.

Mike Kawula: I remember at age nine, I bought my first stock. It was Toys R Us, ticker TOY. Unfortunately now it would have been a bad investment. In the early 80s it was a really smart investment. And I remember going to my Dad to ask him to teach me how to buy stocks, and he had said, “Well, if you want to learn, go learn how to learn.”

So yeah, I went to school, spoke to my teachers, one of my teachers took me under his wing and after school every day taught me how to read the Wall Street Journal. So yeah, I was super excited about that. But throughout high school I had done different things. I had worked at Cutco selling Cutco knives, had a perception that I wasn’t a good salesperson. So, I figured how could I make a lot of money doing this. Let’s say if I was 50% worse than every other good sales guy out there, how could I still get the same results? So, what I ended up doing was over the border in New York was a place called Mansi. There were a lot of Hesitic Jews, and they all practiced being kosher. And so, if they bought one set of knives, guess what? They were buying two sets. One would be kosher, one wouldn’t. So, ended up, leaned a lot about sales, became a good sales guy, and was one of their top distributors. Even had the opportunity to open my own office.

So, bounced around, did different things. Worked on Wall Street ten years. Nine, teen, 2001 came home. Learned my wife was pregnant. And we were about to have our first child. Went in on 9/11, quit my job right before 9/11 even happened. Thank God that they loved me and asked me to stick around, because it’s probably one of the worst times to start a business. But leaped into it.

Since then I’ve owned several businesses. Some have been big wins. Some have been big lessons, I like to say. But I’ve done everything from online to offline, do a local cleaning company where I had 50 plus employees throughout South Jersey. Online office supply stores selling 20 million dollars plus in office supplies. To our software company where you and I met, I believe which was where we helped people on Twitter. But throughout that process, there’s one thing that’s always helped me in every business, and that is having my own brand, right? So, and how have I don’t that? It’s being really everywhere. A podcast, writing a book, being on social media. Really letting people know who I am and what I stand for.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. I’m really interested too, and it always seems like my first job, so my first professional job was basically an internship when I was in college. And it was basically working for a company called Paine Webber that was bought by UBS. I don’t know what it is now. But anyway, it was essentially doing cold calls for investment guys that were in the organization that basically said they would come in and work for us during school and just make a bunch of phone calls. So, that really, doing that kind of really just thickens your skin.

Mike Kawula: Oh my God.

Phil Singleton: Doesn’t it?

Mike Kawula: I used to do, and this is, you’ll be blown away by this, 150,000 phone calls a year. So, we did 500 phone calls a day, six days a week, sometimes seven if we were bringing a company public. It just didn’t matter. Every day, didn’t matter how you feel. You get up, you go into there, and you just dial and smile. And like you said, it builds a lot of thick skin. My very first real J-O-B, I think I was 13 or 14, working above a bagel shop making cold calls to sell ads for the yellow pages at the time, I think it was. I don’t even know what the company was. But every night I remember after school just heading over there and for three hours would be on the phone and yeah, it taught me a lot, but I think everything. Today people are soft, right?

Phil Singleton: Exactly.

Mike Kawula: With online, I think. “Oh, let me go behind Twitter or let me go on Facebook and make a post and wait for the business to come in.” And they just forget. You had mentioned I was interviewed by Tony Robbins, I was actually interviewed by Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes together. And Chet Holmes wrote a book called The Ultimate Sales Machine and it was very humbling, because they tore my business apart. I’d just made Inc’s fastest-growing company and thought they were going to come on and just talk to me about my journey and success, and instead they just tore my business apart. And one of the things that Chet had said is, he had called me soft. He’s like, “Why don’t you have a sales team for your online business.” It just hadn’t crossed my mind. I had done direct mail, which most people weren’t doing in the online world, but I never thought of building a sales team, and during that one hour interview with them, immediately afterwards I put together a sales team and that took our business to the next level.

Phil Singleton: That’s really awesome. Actually I mean, I’ve only interviewed, and I’ve probably interviewed probably for the show now about 40 different entrepreneurs. Some of them haven’t been published yet. But one thing I’ve noticed, I think just about every single successful one that I’ve had on the show has had some experience with hitting the phones. You know what I mean?

Mike Kawula: Yeah.

Phil Singleton: There’s nobody out there that seems like that hasn’t had to either struggle at one point and said, “I own the company, I got to step up here and really do it,” and they just go back to the phone. Or have some experience with the cold calling and reaching out. I just think that’s a really important piece.

Mike Kawula: I’m doing it with my new business, I mean, it’s you know what I mean? Here’s a thing also. And I forget who it was, this morning I was listening to a podcast interview, and even he had said, and his company’s doing 80 million dollars a year, that he still gets on the phone. I still got on the phone with my previous company and my previous company before that, because you learn the most when you’re speaking to either prospects or customers about feedback on your product or feedback on your pitch. And as an owner, I think we all have to be doing that.

Phil Singleton: So it never stops, but I also think when you’re young, I mean that’s what thickens the skin. It also builds confidence. You do it enough and you hear no enough, then you stop hearing it or you start feeling, you want to kind of, it just motivates you versus kind of makes you feel bad about yourself, I would think. I’m probably not saying that the right way, but I do think in most cases, it really is a great lesson. Because if you can figure, that first time that you’re able to get a real lead or close a sale over the phone, I mean I think it changes you to some extent, and it really is very important.

Mike Kawula: Oh my God. I remember getting my first seven figure client. And I’d never met the guy. And this was through a cold call and dialing and smiling. He was a cardiologist and he invested with a company that we had bought public and then eventually moved over a little part of his portfolio to us. And it was all through cold calling. To me, sales, they say don’t begin until you obviously hear that word no. That’s when sales begin. Otherwise, you’re just a glorified customer service rep.

Phil Singleton: Exactly.

Mike Kawula: But good sales people, they know what to do once you hear no. And I think that helps also when it comes to creating websites and copy, right?

Phil Singleton: Sure.

Mike Kawula: Because now you’re talking –

Phil Singleton: Well, you’re right at the ideal customer, you know what the challenges are,

Mike Kawula: Exactly.

Phil Singleton: you know what they need to hear, all that kind of stuff. Great idea, what content to write, and stuff like that. But you mentioned before, I do think what I see in some of the younger folks that maybe we’ve tried hiring is there is a reluctance to get on the phone. There is kind of more like, “Hey, if we do this stuff,” they go off and think about the influencers out there that just have one piece of content or one photo or whatever and can do stuff passively. And the great things happen to them. They just fall in their lap. Not the way it words for most, I think entrepreneurs.

Mike Kawula: No.

Phil Singleton: And that’s never going to change probably right? What do you think?

Mike Kawula: I don’t think so. And I think again, it’s the big reason for a lot of failing is that people are just looking at social media and thinking social media and ads is the only way to do it. And I just think people are forgetting cold calling still works. I’m a huge fan of still direct mail. I think the mail box has become less cluttered, which creates more opportunity for the savvy marketer, right? So –

Phil Singleton: Yeah. Good targeted stuff.

Mike Kawula: Oh my gosh.

Phil Singleton: I mean, if the message is right, then it works really good. Doesn’t matter what it is.

Mike Kawula: Exactly.

Phil Singleton: Emailing works awesome. It sucks if you mass mail. If you can send a direct cold email to somebody that’s a decision maker and pack value into it, I mean that’s how I’ve got some of my best clients. You know what I mean?

Mike Kawula: 100%. Does mass emailing work? Obviously it does. I mean, that’s why folks do it. But there is nothing better than looking at somebody’s website for instance, and sending them a 20-minute review of stuff that you think is pertinent to them. They’ll find value in it, and it works.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. Well, let’s segue into the book, because that’s the thing that I’m most excited about. I share with you kind of before the show in the green room that I’m a big believer, because I see it working for myself in terms of, and I’m a guy, I’m going to step back one. You sound like you’re a bit more outgoing, got a lot of charisma. I came out of this a scared guy at a high school. I’m still kind of introverted by nature. Of course, Google changed a lot of things and I went from being able to do some stuff in the bat cave and never have to talk to anybody to now having, because things have changed quite a bit and the importance of personal branding and authority building. That just almost can become like a foundation of modern marketing almost to me.

Tell me your experience, because you were, so there’s a bunch of passionate things about at the end of your current book, tell us the title, tell us what it’s about, and tell us some of the things we were talking about in terms of how its helped you generate leads and then use it as a platform to kind of grow your business and your own brand.

Mike Kawula: Yeah, so the name of my current book is Self-Employed. NOW WTF. And WTF stands for where’s the future? Where’s the flexibility? Where’s the freedom? I mean, isn’t that why we all get into business and entrepreneurship, right? But a to of folks I feel when they step into entrepreneurship, they don’t have the flexibility or the future or even the freedom that they have expected. They’ve just got themselves another J-O-B that’s doubled the number of hours and doubled the amount of responsibility. So, the book just walks through my philosophies on building businesses. And the beginning part goes through the mindset because I believe there’s a lot of obstacles that hold us back such as, I talk a lot about even when on LinkedIn this morning, I spoke about I wasn’t eating my own dog food. In other words, one of the parts of the book, I talk about is eliminate the naysayers in your life. Those who are just putting constant negativity on us. And we all see it in business, right? We go to somebody, as them for advice..we all see it in business. We go to somebody, ask them for advice. Maybe we’re thinking of launching something or making a new website. It’s like, you know, those naysayers that just kind of like … They get under your skin. Sometimes that naysayer could be the person in the mirror. It’s the self-doubt that we have.

The first part of the book we go through that. Then the second part of the book we talk about my four part strategy of growing a business, which is how do you get traffic? How do you activate that traffic? Once you activate it, how do you wow and delight the customer? Then how do you create virality into a product. I think it’s if you do those four things, it doesn’t matter as long as you have a good product or service. That’s obviously number one. But anybody, if they follow those four steps, can grow a business.
The problem is, what I like to call, shiny object syndrome. We all get it. It’s like, “Oh, what everybody says I have to be on Instagram,” so they run over now on Instagram. “Everybody says I have to be on Twitter,” so they run over there on Twitter.”

That’s only one part of the strategy. When somebody hits your website, everybody’s first thing they should do, I think before they even make a website, is make some type of opt-in that really speaks to your customer and what their pain point is, what they’re running away from, or what they’re trying to run towards faster. When you can identify that and create a piece of content around that, and now people start coming to your website. They’re giving you their email. We spoke about that earlier. I still believe email is king. Get that email address.
In this book, we walk through this whole philosophy on how do you do this all and how do you stay focused to assure that eventually you do have the flexibility, the future, and the freedom that entrepreneurship can bring you.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. We’re definitely going to check that out and have the links to the book and going to recommend that everybody that listens to the show read it because some great nuggets of advice in there. But tell us, now that we’ve got that part of it, tell us how the book has helped you. It’s like to me, writing a book these days is partly about writing a book and putting your best content in there. But it’s not really ever to me anymore, for most people, about trying to make money off of the book. It’s about using it for other thing-

Mike Kawula: It’s leads.

Phil Singleton: Right, it’s leads. It’s sharing your knowledge.

Mike Kawula: Opening your door.

Phil Singleton: Right. Tell me how’s that … You mentioned before that you felt like the book had actually generated leads for your business, your businesses, and other ways maybe it’s opened doors. Tell me about that part of-

Mike Kawula: I was speaking before of this thing in the bat cave when we were talking before we hit record here. Yeah, I told you I was speaking to an agency in New York recently, telling them they should do this for all their key salespeople inside of the company. Because it literally helps you stand out above your competition. The word, I know folks may be listening to this who might be a little bit more savvy, might say, “Oh, well it’s uploading a book onto Amazon and then having CreateSpace print me out my book, it’s so easy nowadays.”

But you know what, the fact is, is that 99% of the world still has never written a book. Being a published author sets you apart from everybody else and builds your authority. Imagine this that there’s five people going to get an account, whatever your business is, and you’re the only one with a book that walks into that presentation or is able to after getting off the phone, send your prospect a book. That literally makes stand above all of your competition.

I know a marketer who just markets for resorts, golf clubs. He has a book. His book has helped him propel his business unbelievably because of the fact that he is the only one in his niche that has written a book specifically towards golf clubs and how they can actually market their business. He wrote exactly to them. It’s not a huge audience. That’s the thing. Let’s say if your audience size is only 5,000. It doesn’t matter. Write that book to those 5,000 people that will help them, and it makes you stand above. It’s so easy.

I told you earlier that my book, we are now going to have on the website, and we’re going to give the book away for free and just charge shipping. There’s two reasons for that. First of all, every marketer out there that says they’re giving you their book for free, they’re really not. Because if I charge 7.95 for shipping … Well to ship a book, I used to ship tens of millions of dollars a year online. I know how much shipping is. This book is going to cost me anywhere between a buck 90 to $3 max to ship. How much does this book cost me on CreateSpace, because I’m the author, to buy it direct from them? $2.50. When we add that all up, what is that? $4 and change. If I’m charging, $7.95, I then have $3 extra that I can then use to run ads on Facebook to drive traffic to that page.

Phil Singleton: Yeah, that’s brilliant.

Mike Kawula: I don’t want to make $3. Then when they come and they buy the book and they put 7.95, guess what? On that 7.95 page, there’ll be an upsell. It’ll say, “Hey, do you want the audio version? Add that here for an extra $39.” Then inviting them into a group. Every marketer does it out there. They do that because it’s a lead funnel. It makes you stand above.

Number two, inside of your book you can also have calls to action to get people back to your website and give something away for free. My very first book drove me a tremendous amount of leads. Here’s how I wrote the book, which is kind of funny. Are you familiar with HARO, Help a Reporter Out?

Phil Singleton: Yes.

Mike Kawula: Okay. I love HARO. I recommend everybody does it on a regular basis. It’s probably one of the best ways to build links that most folks never talk about.

Phil Singleton: Do you still use it now? I’ve used it in the past. I probably should get on it. I haven’t used it recently.

Mike Kawula: I use it tremendously. Right now with my new business, Entrepreneurs GSD, it’s a podcast, I want to get links to it. Here’s what I do. I tell folks everybody says in the PR world, “Oh, it’s a great way to sell your product or service.” Listen, you’re never going to sell your product or service by being featured in Forbes, CNN or what have you.

What it does is it builds your authority, number one. Number two, if you’re really good in answering the reporter’s question, and then you sprinkle your keywords into the response that you have, that you want to rank for. Think about it this way. If I want to rank for business coaching, which is important for me, and I’m going to start trying to rank for it, if I have … Let’s call it domain authorities. Forbes is, I don’t know, they’re probably in the 90s, right?

Phil Singleton: 90s, yeah.

Mike Kawula: TechCrunch, whatever, so Wall Street Journal … Think about it this way. If I have 50 different domain authorities of 80 and above pointing to me for three, like a key word phrase of three words that I want to rank for, what’s going to happen when somebody goes to Google? Google’s going to say, “Well, my website talk about this. Oh, and all these important sources are pointing to him.”

Help a Reporter Out, I think, is so useful. But here’s the thing. Back in 2013 or 14, if you have a domain, if you have an Alexa ranking, meaning you are in the top one million websites in the world, you can use HARO also as a reporter. What I did is because my site was in the top 100,000, is I became also what is considered I guess somebody in the press. I could go on there and ask questions. What I did is I asked, “How do you use Facebook as a small business? How do you use Pinterest? How do you use Twitter?” I did it for the seven main-

Phil Singleton: What’s the limit on that? Is it you have to be in the top million or the top 100,000?

Mike Kawula: You have to be in the top million. As long as you’re in the top million, you can also be considered a reporter-

Phil Singleton: Then you apply? I never even thought of, that’s brilliant.

Mike Kawula: Oh, but here’s the thing. I had hundreds and hundreds, every time I basically went and asked a question, you would get 50 to 100 responses. If you’re CNN, CNN gets thousands of responses. It’s real important when you do get the email from HARO, whether you do the morning, afternoon or evening one, to be one of the first people to respond. So CNN came out to my house, Christine Romans … I don’t know if you know her?

Phil Singleton: I kind of remember that name, sure.

Mike Kawula: Yeah, she’s big in business. She came out to my house and did an interview. It was funny. They were at my house for four to five hours for a three minute interview. But me and her were just sitting there chitchatting for a while. I had said like, “When you put that question on HARO, how many responses do you get ’cause you’re CNN?” She’s like, “Mike, after I look at the first like 20, 30, we don’t even look anymore.” She goes, “We’re probably getting thousands.” That’s why it’s real important if you want to get on something big, is that you respond as fast as possible, number one.

Phil Singleton: So, just step back there. I haven’t been on HARO for a while and when the way it works, or the way it worked, hopefully it still works, is you basically sign up, for your account, for the list or whatever, you come in, you get an email three times a day and you see it, right?

Mike Kawula: Right.

Phil Singleton: You basically have to be, if you really want to get involved, don’t you have to basically be looking at the emails and then jumping on this as quickly as possible, I guess? Is that still the way it works?

Mike Kawula: Exactly. Today, I actually just did a podcast on it. But what I recommend is pick whatever. So for me, I’m not in the email during the day. I just find email a distraction. I do the first one in the morning, which comes at 5:30 in the morning because by then I’m done with my coffee and I’m ready to go for my walk. But I won’t leave for my walk until I get that HARO email. Once I get it, I answer the questions that are applicable, and then I’m off and I’m gone for two hours.

Phil Singleton: That’s the key, right? If you get one, say you got a bunch, let’s say I got one, I haven’t my email in a couple of days and I’ve got like five or six. Well, go ahead-

Mike Kawula: Don’t bother.

Phil Singleton: Don’t even bother. Yeah, that’s makes sense.

Mike Kawula: It’s a waste.

Phil Singleton: Somebody’s already answered and moved on. All right.

Mike Kawula: They’ve moved on. Then also, when you respond, make sure that you response to add value. For instance in Forbes, there was a writer, her name’s Cheryl Snapp  O’Connor. I wanted to be interviewed by her. What I did is when I saw a question that she asked, it was about mobile marketing in 2014. Now, I didn’t know much about it, but I knew this guy named Greg Hickman, who at the time had a very big podcast on mobile marketing. I said to her, I went to Twitter, I said, “Hey, I saw your question on HARO. I can’t help you. However, I’m very good friends with the leader in mobile marketing. His name’s Greg Hickman. Do you want me to make an introduction?” She was so appreciative of that.

What I did is, between you and I, is I kept a Twitter list of every major reporter that I wanted to be interviewed by. Occasionally, I would favorite their content or retweet their content. I used a lot of automation to do this also. But then what I would do is when she asked another question, I not only replied right away, but I went to Twitter and followed up with her and said, “Hey, I just responded to one of your questions. I hope you like it. If it’s not what you were looking for, let me know. I’ll find you somebody who is.” She’s like literally said, “Give me a few minutes. Let me go find you a response.” She replied back. She’s like, “That isn’t what I was looking for, but I love it so much, can I write an article about that?” She did an article.

Anyway, here’s the thing. 2013-14, what I ended up doing was I asked a question about each one of these major social media sites. Then I took all the answers that I loved, put it into a book. I had a ghost writer basically put it all together. We quoted everybody’s tips. It was just a book of tips. But what we did is the day the book was released on Amazon, we reached out to the 70 people quoted in the book and said, “Hey, you’re now a featured person in this book. I want … Here’s a logo you can use on your website to say that it was top ranked. Although we’re not top ranked yet, we need at least 50 reviews. Guess what? We need at least 50 reviews. And guess what? Of these 70 people, 50-plus of them left me a review, and the book shot up to number one. And then, now you can use that and say I’m a top ranked author, so for my new book, it was ranked number one under business entrepreneurship, right? I can use that now, and so it makes you stand out as an individual. So that’s why I think whether you’re a solo-preneur or even if you’re working inside of a corporation, your company should pay to have somebody help you create a book and brand yourself, because it’s going to make you as an individual stand out among the competition.

Phil Singleton: Absolute no-brainer. I couldn’t agree more on that. I want to ask one more thing on HARO.

Mike Kawula: Sure.

Phil Singleton: First, how much time do you think is reasonable to spend on it because it gets … There’s a lot of stuff. You can spend a lot of time on it if you wanted to, I think. But you’re probably, what, saying I’m going to read it, see what applies, apply that, and move on really quickly, or-

Mike Kawula: Less than five minutes, so that one in the morning is … A, I love the ones in the morning, because again, I’m up early, and not as many people are, number one. Number two, I love Friday nights, the one that comes out, because most people have left for the evening, so like last Friday I answered one and had a response over the weekend from the reporter, and she scheduled an interview with me.

Phil Singleton: You’ve got to be disciplined about it, right? Because some of them just don’t apply, so you might get three or four days in a row or just say no, no, no, no, so you hit … How often do you think you’re replying on average?

Mike Kawula: Probably three, four times a week. But here’s the other thing that I do. I’m a very big … I believe relationships is everything in life, right? So what I also do is whenever I see something that’s applicable to a friend, or somebody I know online, I message them and I let them know. I’m like hey-

Phil Singleton: This is for you, yeah, they’re looking for this.

Mike Kawula: Yeah. I thought this would be useful, and that just strengthens the relationship. I do it for customers, too, like I have people who I’m coaching that I’ll reach out and just send them a quick email, and they’ll be like, oh, it’s just so, it strengthens the relationship, so-

Phil Singleton: That’s awesome.

Mike Kawula: … so it’s less than five minutes, it’s awesome, and plus it’s fun, too. You learn a ton, and it also gives me ideas on content that I want to create. So for instance, one of the things I’m all goo-goo over right now is the Alexa Flash Briefings, and I just did a podcast interview with somebody on it, on how you can have your own Alexa set up in under an hour, and so every day you could be on Alexa basically, people’s news in the morning, right? And not a lot of businesses are doing this yet. So similar to podcasting that you and I are doing, imagine had you been one of the first podcasts back in 2006, right? Your podcast would be huge. Right now it’s a very competitive space, right, to rank.

Phil Singleton: Alexa Flash Briefings, that’s something that’s new to me. I’m gonna check that out as soon as we hang up here.

Mike Kawula: Yeah, listen to my podcasts on it. The lady I had on, her name’s Jane-

Phil Singleton: Well, we’re gonna link to that one for sure.

Mike Kawula: It’s phenomenal, and literally it takes less than an hour. We have one being set up right now that I think’s gonna be a lot of fun, and again-

Phil Singleton: Is that audio? Video? What’s the medium?

Mike Kawula: Audio.

Phil Singleton: Audio, okay.

Mike Kawula: So it’s just like you would say, in the morning, somebody would roll over in bed, and for me, I love Alexa, and so my whole house is all of it. And so I get my news that way, and then this way also I don’t have to listen to the biased news, because mine is motivational folks, business people and business. I don’t have to listen to the negative media about garbage I don’t want to listen to, right?

So it’s just a lot of fun, and again, it’s being an early adapter. And what’s interesting just so you know as an SEO guy, you can rank for certain keywords in Amazon and even in Google for Alexa, and again, it’s brand new. I don’t foresee that happening long term as more of us get into this space, because marketers as what’s his name, Gary V, says ruined everything, but at the moment we haven’t ruined this platform, so I really think it’s something. Think about it from your business standpoint, whatever type of business anybody listening to this is, I mean, if you’re in the fitness niche. What if you just gave everybody a one to two minute tip on fitness every morning, or whatever your business is, there is something out there, and there’s an audience that will love to listen to it. And the number one gift this year for the holidays was what? Alexa. So it’s a … Oops, and she’s turning on now. Sorry.

Phil Singleton: That turn it on. That’s funny. One other thing, I just want to jump back to the HARO really quickly, because this ties in. Do you think it helps, since we’re on the book topic, too, when you reply to a reporter that you have a relevant comment or some advice to give that you put in there, Phil Singleton, author, best-selling author of SEO for Growth, or your book or whatever where you’re actually a published author and putting that in there. Does that make you more attractive, you think? Or when you reply, what’s the … Obviously, you gotta give some information about yourself, right?

Mike Kawula: I really don’t very much at all. I just make sure that I know that I am honestly answering that question the best possible so that I stand out above everybody else, and then I’m also, again, I’m following up on Twitter. Nobody does that. So I go find that reporter, and I’m putting them on a list, and then I’m also tweeting to them, so now it’s kind of like they’re gonna recognize my name-

Phil Singleton: I love that.

Mike Kawula: … looking down, and that’s just one hack, but two is definitely, like, everybody’s pitching themselves, like, oh, I’m an author, I’ve been featured here, and they don’t care. You know what? A writer for a publication has a job, and part of their job also now in the press, whoever they write for wants to see that they’re sharing the publication, right, and that’s getting out there, and that they’re getting love. So they really just want to know that you can provide the most value to help them look good, and then if you’re sharing their content also, that makes them look even better, and they love you.

Phil Singleton: It reminds me of a hack that I have right now, which is going after the guys that are contributing and writing on Forbes or wherever it is, and then finding out if they’ve got a book or they’ve got an e-book, right? Then going to them separately and saying, “Hey, I’d liked to book you on my podcast and talk about your book,” right? Then they’re really-

Mike Kawula: 100 percent.

Phil Singleton: Yeah, same idea, right? You’re following up and making the … You’re offering them something of value, and then hopefully they get to know you, getting on your show, I mean, well, this guy’s an expert. Maybe I can write about him.

Mike Kawula: Do you have sales people listening to this?

Phil Singleton: A little bit, but it’s mostly other agencies and small business owners.

Mike Kawula: Okay, and so other agencies, whatever your niche is, whoever your target customer, who’s trying to create a podcast also, invite those people onto your show. You build that relationship, and then when the show is over, guess what? There’s an opportunity to possibly do business, right? And now you have that know, like, and trust, so that’s what a book is. That’s what Alexa is. It’s all about just being everywhere that you can without overwhelming yourself.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. Well, this is already one of my favorite episodes, because there’s just so many nuggets that you shared with us. This is awesome. Can you tell us just as we kind of wrap up other things that you’re doing, other ways that we can kind of contact you? What’s the best way to follow you and keep up with you?

Mike Kawula: Yeah, so it’s, again, be everywhere, right? So I’ve got a podcast. It’s called Entrepreneurs GSD, and GSD obviously stands for get you-know-what done, but also stands for we all grind, we all sacrifice, we’re all determined, but do we actually all GSD, get shit done in our business? And so that’s what the podcast is about. It’s a six to eight minute show every day that share something that you can do in your business to move your dial forward, so that’s very good.

I’m working on some new technology right now, which is kind of interesting, and it’s the ability for if somebody hits your website, wouldn’t you love to know who that individual is, because the fact is, 98 percent of people that hit websites leave, right? And a majority of them leave without even filling out a form, so you don’t know who that is. So if you’re in a B to C space, what I’m able to do is identify who that individual is, because they’ve opted in somewhere else throughout the worldwide web or possibly offline also for their information to be shared, and I’m able to figure out who that individual is, what their email address is, what their physical mailing address is, and a ton of other data points like wealth, and what type of car they drive, and everything. And so we’re working on that technology right now to share that with people in the B to C space that want to know more about who’s hitting their website.
Phil Singleton: That sounds really amazing, so I’m looking forward to learning more about that. We’ll make sure that we maybe have you on as a follow up once if and when you release this new product, because that’s killer.

Mike Kawula: It’s rocking right now. We’re doing it for a jewelry store that’s having amazing, amazing conversions and a couple of auto dealerships, and they’re loving it.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. We’re looking forward to learning more about that. Is it public? I mean, can you share that right now, or is it not fully launched yet?

Mike Kawula: Yeah, just hit me up. Just go to my site, mikekawula.com.

Phil Singleton: Awesome.

Mike Kawula: You’ll link up in the show notes, and we’re out there and selling it right now. Believe it or not, it starts at just under 500 bucks.

Phil Singleton: For all that info?

Mike Kawula: Yeah, depending on the website traffic, so the bigger the site, it’s really based on traffic, so for sites that are getting 100,000 or more visitors, it’s more, but the data is king, right? And now, again, imagine if somebody hits your website, they’re thinking about your product, you know, like when you’re on Amazon, and you leave, and you haven’t bought that product, it follows you throughout the web.

Well, now, not only can we target for you so is that you can remarket to them online, but imagine if the next day, you’re able to send them an email that is adding value, right? And then they’re like, “Oh my God, I was just on that person’s website, ” and then two days after that, they get a postcard or a piece of mail that says something from your company. It’s just touchpoints, right? It’s staying in front of folks. And I know a lot of folks sometimes might be like, oh, that’s kind of creepy, but it’s the world we live in. And for marketers that really want to get in front of their target avatar, this is an incredible way to do it, I feel.

Phil Singleton: Because it’s like you said, one thing is the awesome lead tool where you can now follow up on cold traffic because you have some information on it, but then also, many, that kind of data’s killer because for all of us they’re trying to … My business, being able to set up a website and get targeted traffic is a big part of it, but any more, man, we gotta figure out ways to convert that traffic, right, into sales and leads. So people that bounce off, you don’t get a lot of good information on it, right? But if you can get that kind of data off the people that are bouncing off of your site, well, then all of a sudden, great, we can go and maybe do some more on page conversion stuff, better content, more understanding of the cold traffic type of thing versus a lot of what you’re gonna get off of analytics and some of these other third party tools that don’t give you a whole lot of that information.

Mike Kawula: And detecting is that traffic really real, which is something else we can do. So a majority of the web is, as we all know, is bots, right?

Phil Singleton: Sure.

Mike Kawula: So even when you go and you are paying sometimes for traffic to your website, a lot of that could be bots. So now we’re gonna be able to actually give back to agencies, is this … So you can use it against your competitors. Is it really the real traffic that they were getting? And they’re gonna want to know that.

Phil Singleton: It’s so awesome. We’re definitely gonna have a link to your site to learn more about that, because I’m actually interested in it myself.

Mike Kawula: Thank you sir.

Phil Singleton: Thank you very much, Mike Kawula, for coming on to the show. This has been absolutely fascinating. You’re very generous in sharing some of Awesome X, although my feeling is we probably only scratched the surface, and you’ve probably a ton more ideas on how to generate business and get more leads and sales for people, for entrepreneurs and sales folks, as well. So thank you very much for coming on this show, and I hope to have you back sometime.

Using Print Media To Build Trust, Authority & Personal Branding with Katie Bean

Katie Bean is President and Editor of Thinking Bigger Business Media, a resource for Kansas City small business owners. Her background is in the newspaper journalism industry, which she supplemented with an MBA from UMKC in 2017. She loves to learn about businesses, and help connect business owners with people and strategies that they the need to grow.

Learn more about Katie Bean:

 

Meet Katie Bean

Phil Singleton:  Oh, this is going to be really awesome. First of all before we even get started, because I want to hear a little bit about your background, and kind of what you first started to do out of school, and what brought you to your current position with Thinking Bigger Business Media, but before we do that, I mean, just a special note to folks that … we have listeners kind of all over the place, but a lot of them are in Kansas City … people are going to be familiar with the magazine Thinking Bigger Business. I actually just got the newest, latest issue in my mailbox today. It’s sitting right in front of me, but certainly this has been a fixture in the Kansas City business area for years. I’ve been able to contribute to it a few times in the past with articles, and we’ve had lots of clients we referred to, and everybody’s had great things to say.

You guys, I know, do a lot more than just the magazine, and we’re going to get into all those other types of services that you guys do and how you help local business owners in the area. But first, I’d like to hear a little bit more about Katie and what your journey was that got you here today.

Katie Bean:  Sure. Well, I would say my journey started with a focus on journalism back in eighth grade when one of my friends told me, “I’m going to be on the high school newspaper next year.” I was like, I want to be on the high school newspaper, so I went through Journalism 101, got on the high school newspaper, worked from a reporter to a copy editor to editor-in-chief of the high school newspaper, and just have continued that focus on journalism in my career. I chose to go to KU, which has an excellent journalism school, and especially for me, who I really love copy editing, so they have a very strong program there. I learned all about fact checking, and you know, all those tips and tricks that lay people might consider stalking, but journalists consider a part of their job. I went to KU, and then when I got out, a lot of my professional connections were in this area, even though I grew up in Texas.

My first job was at a weekly newspaper called the Lansing Current in Lansing, Kansas, outside of Leavenworth. I was a reporter there, did a little bit of copy editing. From there I went to the Lawrence Journal-World, and was there for probably seven or eight years doing copy editing, moved up to assistant features editor toward the end, and at the end of my tenure there I had a friend who was working at the Kansas City Business Journal. I had worked with her at the Lawrence Journal-World. She said, “Hey, I got a new job. Do you want this job at the Business Journal?” I also had another friend working at the Business Journal who, same day, contacted me, and she was like, “Katie, you need to apply for this job.” I did, and it was great there working at the Business Journal.

When I first started working there, I had enjoyed working in community journalism because it’s very important. I think it’s important to know what’s going on in your community. A city like Lawrence, a lot of things revolved around KU, the university, and then you also need to know what City Commission is doing. How else are you going to find that out unless you attend every City Commission meeting or are somehow very plugged in? So I thought community journalism is what people need to know, but every time I would go and talk to people and say, “Oh, did you read about such and such that happened? It was in the Journal-World.” People would all the time be like, “No, I don’t read that.” What? Where do you get your news?

..if I say why do you do this, no one says, oh, I’m just in it for the money. No one’s ever said that.

– Katie Bean, Thinking Bigger Business Media

As soon as I moved to the Business Journal, which at first I thought, well, you know, business journalism might be a little bit boring, you know, just writing about earnings and how much money businesses make. I don’t know if it’s as important as what I was doing before, but the hours are better and I get Christmas off, so we’ll see how it goes. I found out when I started working at the Business Journal that it’s really the same. We’re telling people stories, and especially talking to business people in Kansas City, they love what they’re doing and no one has ever once told me when I’m talking to them or interviewing them for a story, if I say why do you do this, no one says, oh, I’m just in it for the money. No one’s ever said that.

They all have greater goals of job creation, or creating something lasting for their family, being able to give back to the community, whether they do that just by the services that their businesses offer or a lot of times businesses have philanthropic goals, too, and programs that they use to implement that, and of course, the money that they do make, a lot of people are reinvesting it back into the community through their business and through philanthropy. That’s one thing that I really have loved about working in Kansas City and in the business community is getting to know all these stories like that.

Moving from the Business Journal to Thinking Bigger, it’s the same kind of stories that we get to tell, except we’re telling it about the small business community, which are working on a different scale than some of the companies that the Business Journal covers. But I love writing about small businesses, because all of these small business owners have a niche and a reason for doing what they do. A lot of them are very specialized, and so it’s just cool to learn about all of these businesses and, you know, that people can have a business that just designs water slides, things like that.

Phil Singleton:  Yes, I’m sure. You mentioned a lot of different reasons people, what motivates them and stuff. I’m sure passion is probably one of them, too, because a lot of folks get in there and kind of find something they really love. Hearing those stories has to be really inspiring. Of course, that’s what I get out of your magazine, too, sometimes is kind of hearing what people’s journeys have kind of been to get them to where they are, you know, to be able to look up to that. It’s got to be part of it, too, I’m guessing.

Katie Bean:   Yeah, absolutely. The passion is what drives a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners, because a lot of them get into their business by looking at the market and saying no one’s doing this thing that I want them to do, or people are offering this service, but not to the level that I want it, so they get in and want to offer that to the community and other businesses. They do have that passion because their whole reason for doing it is because they wanted to do whatever they do the best.

Phil Singleton:  Awesome. I’ve got one question before we continue on with a few other things. When we say at a newspaper like copy editing … I know this is going to be a silly question … is that like transcripts of an interview? Is it more somebody else writes it, and then somebody goes in and makes it like better and more readable? What’s the technical definition of copy editing? Sorry to ask that, you probably know that.

Katie Bean:  Oh, no. I think there’s a lot of things about journalism that most people probably don’t know because there’s a lot of things about accounting in businesses that I don’t work in that I don’t know. How copy editing works is generally, especially at a newspaper or magazine like here, a reporter will write a story. So they create it the way that they think it should flow and with the most important facts and interesting stories from the person that they interviewed, and then they send it to a copy editor who (a) will fact check. That’s the person who is going to be double-checking name spellings, your company name spelling. If the story says that the business is on Main, but it’s actually on Walnut, the copy editor’s the one who looks that up just to make sure.

Then, also, the grammar, the spelling, the flow of the story to make sure it makes sense. What I find myself doing when I copy edit is if I start reading a story and I can’t get into it, I just power through and then figure out what is the interesting part of the story, because that’s what needs to be at the top to draw people in and keep reading.

Phil Singleton:  Okay. I was guessing it was something along those lines. Thanks for clarifying that. In my mind, I’m thinking about the reporters out there are kind of like the hunter, and the copy editor is kind of like the chef or the cook.

Katie Bean:   Yeah, I like that analogy.

Phil Singleton:   Awesome. All right. Let’s get into and talk a little bit about Thinking Bigger. A lot of people, small businesses in town, of course they’re going to know the magazine, because that’s one of the kind of flagship products, one that we’ve all kind of been a part of us in growing and doing business here in Kansas City, but I know … and I haven’t been a part of them as much as I think some other companies … there’s a lot of other things that you guys do. Can you expand on that?

What we’re really doing is connecting people to people and businesses to businesses.

– Katie Bean, Thinking Bigger Business Media

Katie Bean:  Yeah, absolutely. I just joined Thinking Bigger in November, so I’m kind of newer here, but it really makes me happy when people tell me, like you do, that they love Thinking Bigger, and that it’s been an important part of their business or telling the story of their business. That’s what we do is we tell stories about businesses in our magazine, which we have a monthly magazine. We also, in the monthly magazine, have a section called Smart Strategies. That’s where we try to find local experts who are able to talk about a part of their core business that they’re expert in that if you were in a plumbing company, you are probably an expert in plumbing. You aren’t necessarily up-to-date on all the legal aspects, and HR, and tax finance, that maybe you need to be, because when you’re an entrepreneur, you have to do all those things. You wear all those hats. We find people who are experts in all the different topics you might need to know as a business owner, and have them submit content to help other business owners. What we’re really doing is connecting people to people and businesses to businesses.

The other products that we have, one is an annual issue. It’s called the Thinking Bigger Guide for Entrepreneurs and Growing Businesses, which has a lot of those strategy and tips articles, as well as a directory in the back of all kinds of resources that you might need to access as a business of resources that you might need to access as a business, from chambers of commerce to the Women in Construction Association to … you know, incubators or funding resources, if it has a compendium of all that information in one place that you can keep on your desk all year and refer to it, especially if you are a person who likes print more than just Googling. You know that that’s a curated list that you can go to and we double check, like we talked about with copy editors, we’ve looked up all their information and we know that it’s accurate and the most recent contact info.

Phil Singleton:  It’s a great resource, I mean it’s one of the ones I think I have on my desk here, and yeah, I think one cool thing about Kansas City, and again, this might be my own perspective. I think a lot of us if we can, we prefer to do business with other people in Kansas City, of course if you’re looking for somebody that’s really an expert to grow, you basically go wherever you need to go and that’s why business is kind of cool these days, where you can hire somebody in a different part of the world if you need to. That being said, you know, when you can buy something or work with somebody local, that’s just much better, a much better option. I don’t know if that’s uniquely Kansas City, it feels like it is, I hear it from other people. They like to kind of buy local too whether it’s business to consumer or even business to business thing.

So having a resource like that where you can go to it and find somebody where there might be a local alternative to something is something I think is really cool.

Katie Bean:  Yeah, I hear that a lot to, that when possible people like to work with businesses that are also in Kansas City because they … you know, you kind of get them, you know what they’ve been through, you know the funding challenges that they might have had or finding the right office space. So you just have something in common with them automatically and so another way that we helped to connect businesses is through our events and that’s where you might meet someone in person who you could do business with potentially or at least learn something from. So we have events throughout the year including our big breakfast, which is a panel of CEO’s, people who have been on our cover of the magazine and those are really good. Obviously I’m a little bit biased, there are a lot of other good events in town, but what I really like about ours is that these entrepreneurs come and they are always willing to be real with you, so we ask them questions about what are some of the challenges that they’ve run into, they’ll tell you and they’ll say I did this, you should not do that.

And so I think it’s been very valuable, a lot of people come up to me afterwards and tell me I really enjoyed that, I definitely got a few things out of it I didn’t know before.

Phil Singleton:  The “Big Breakfast” series, are those monthly or …

Katie Bean:  That’s quarterly.

Phil Singleton:   Quarterly, that’s right, okay.

Katie Bean:  And another quarterly event we have is called Brew 30, where we go around the city to different breweries, distilleries, and wineries and the next time will actually be at a coworking space with our brewery and our winery serving because neither of those had locations where we could host the event, but we are bringing them to our audience.

Phil Singleton:   Is that a newer one or maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, sorry?

Katie Bean:  It’s been remote for about two years, so it’s newer, and yeah.

Phil Singleton:  It’s probably really popular I’m guessing.

Katie Bean:  I think we have about 70 people each time.

Phil Singleton:  Nice.

Katie Bean:  And so that’s one thing that is really cool about it, that there’s so many people, but that also means we can’t go to every brewery because their tap rooms don’t always hold that many people, so we’re looking for other places like East Brook Collaborative is hosting us this month and that way we’re able to bring in a brewery and Joller Creek Winery, which … they have a winery in the north land, which might be a little bit of a drive for some people, especially if you work or live south. So we’re bringing it to a little bit more of a central location.

Phil Singleton:   Awesome.

Katie Bean:   Should be fun. Also, at those … some people who have been featured in the magazine also get to speak and we just ask them each a few questions including if there’s one thing that you could ask from people here, not sales, what would it be, you know. We could all use more sales but people are able to say like well, what we’re really looking for is a new space because we’re offering our current space or we are looking for people to hire in these areas, and again, that’s where we really see the connections being made because people will come up to them afterwards and say oh, you should talk to so and so, I know they have a building and they are only using part of it, so there might be enough space for you to work in that same place.

Phil Singleton:   Awesome, I know you guys also have the 40 under 40, right, that’s pretty well known … wait a minute, it’s the 25 under 25, am I right?

Katie Bean:  That’s right, so our event is the 25 under 25 for 25 outstanding businesses with 25 or fewer employees.

Phil Singleton:  And that’s another kind of a fixture, it seems like it always gets pretty good buzz around town every year?

Katie Bean:  Yeah.

Phil Singleton:  So it’s an award but it’s also an event ceremony?

Katie Bean:  That’s right, it’s an award and we have a big … we have several events leading up to the award ceremony and there’s a big gala, it’s on a Saturday night, it’s black tie, and that’s in February, and we’re just getting ready to start the cycle for 18th annual 25 under 25 awards.

Phil Singleton:  18, that’s awesome.

We have a lot of alumni of our 25 under 25 program who end up making connections through the program and have ended up working together.

– Katie Bean, Thinking Bigger Business Media

Katie Bean:   Yeah, nominations begin August 1st and 25under25.com, and you know, what I learned from working at the business journal and now doing the 25 under 25 awards is … if you can get your name out there by winning an award, that is so valuable as far as the marketing you get out of it, you can’t pay for it. We have a lot of alumni of our 25 under 25 program who end up making connections through the program and have ended up working together. We have heard stories of people who invested in each others businesses, you know, and just growing and doing better business together, so that’s one way that people are making connections but also I see it on a lot of peoples marketing. They have like 25 under 25 award winner, and people in town know what that means, because it’s been around for 18 years and they know that’s a great small business.

Phil Singleton:  Yes, that’s a great segway into some of these other things we were talking about, kind of in the green room before we started recording. Is the … you know I was talking about it, it seems like everything out there, especially in traditional media, gets under attack by some inbound or new form of marketing out there and I’m going to step back and say I’ve been web designing SEO for quite some time and every year I hear that SEO and Google is dead, and we all have to deal with that, but print is the same thing to some degree because part of it is just driven by some of the stories or the mass media … bigger newspapers probably have struggled quite a bit on that piece. On the other hand, I know, we know locally, and I’ve actually seen this myself, that there are a lot of local and or niche magazines that are actually really thriving way more so than kind of the big, the giant magazines that are trying to be everything to everybody or newspapers too. I think those ones probably are suffering and continue to suffer.

But the niche ones seem to be doing really well, you guys have been doing it for 18 years, and obviously still like you said, a fixture in the very important part of the business community here, comments on that. I mean you’re coming from the industry, what do you think has changed, what do you think print kind of fits into small business owners kind of overall marketing these days?

Katie Bean:  Yeah, I mean I have been hearing that print is dead or print is dying for my whole career, but it’s been like 18 years and it’s still here.

Phil Singleton: Right.

Katie Bean:   So it’s not dead yet, one thing … people still like to pick up a newspaper or a magazine or a book, so it’s not dead. Some of the benefits of advertising in print is that it sticks around for a long time, so with our monthly magazine and with a lot of magazines, you know, people get it, they read it, they put it down. Somebody else gets it, they read it, they put it down.

Phil Singleton:  Yeah, nobody throws away a magazine or you know, that kind of stuff, it stays around for a while.

Katie Bean:  Exactly, you know, that’s why when you go to your doctors office there’s a people magazine from 2013 because no one ever throws them away. So it has that longevity to it, especially with a glossy magazine like ours, so you know … that’s one way that … that’s one of the benefits of print advertising. I know some of the criticism is that you can’t measure how many people see it, you know, that’s why some places are really leaning towards digital advertising, because people who are into data and metrics know this is exactly how many clicks our ad got and this is how many clicks I wanted and it either performed or it didn’t perform. So with print advertising it’s a little bit more of an art, we can’t tell you the exact number of people who actually looked at your ad, we can tell you our circulation numbers and that you know … since we send our magazine to other businesses, a lot of times like we said, it gets picked up and put down and passed around the office and so more than one person sees every copy of it.

We also can tell people that our advertisers tell us that every time they run an ad they get a response. We’ve recently had someone say, you know, I can’t run my ad right now because I don’t have enough capacity for the calls that it gets, you know.

Phil Singleton:  Nice.

Katie Bean:   Every time I run that ad I get a response and we just have too much work right now so we can’t run an ad.

Phil Singleton:   Awesome. There’s just so many intangible things that come along with what I think what’s become really important with marketing these days and everybody, especially small businesses, but really anybody that’s trying to become a leader … things like building authority and personal branding, the branding side of the company. That stuff is a little bit intangible but with the magazine, the magazine cover that gets distribution, especially around Kansas City, once you get that kind of coverage in a magazine that’s been around as long and is know as well as Thinking Bigger, I mean that obviously adds to this thing that’s helping, that’s becoming kind of a standard piece of inbound marketing and that is how do we build, how do we separate ourselves, how are we perceived as an expert, you know, in our … in the space that we’re in. I think some of those things are just kind of intangible but you can … it’s proof of it when it lands in your hand, right, when they are in there and you see that and somebodies stories is in there or somebody gets coverage in it. That’s just a physical proof that there is branding and authority building that goes along with that, that doesn’t come out in an analytics report.

Katie Bean:   Yeah, exactly, I mean we consider the magazine a premium product as far as advertising, and part of that is because of the cache that you get from being in a magazine. So when your ad is flashing online 10,000 times, people might see your logo but they don’t necessarily know if you’re local ….people might see your logo, but they don’t necessarily know if you’re local. They don’t know, is that a real business or is that one of those things where, if I click on it, I just go to this weird website, that I got into this weird rabbit hole and I don’t know I got here, but when they see your ad in a magazine it lends some legitimacy to it, because it’s one of those weird rabbit hole websites. It’s not going to pay the money to be in a local Kansas City magazine, so when they see your ad in Thinking Bigger, they know that you’re real and you’re local, and that if they call, somebody is going to answer the phone. It’s not just like some bot online.

Phil Singleton:   Another cool thing that you guys have been doing for a long time, at least since I’ve really started reading it, is like you were saying at the beginning, which is there’s a lot of sharing. There’s a lot of expertise that comes into it, which is the way that I think a lot of us, if you’re going to get a lot out of any kind of a print or maybe kind of a sponsored type of a strategy is that you’re essentially kind of selling by teaching.

So yeah, you want to have that brand building and stuff that you maybe see in a traditional ad and that kind of really supplements stuff, you’ll see it over and over again. Eventually you get the numbers, if you’re committed to a strategy where you’re out there, getting in front of people all the time. So like usually, I’m going to say for most cases I’m thinking that one ad in the magazine not as beneficial as having one that’s consistently there overtime, where you’re almost kind of in a way building a relationship with somebody each time they read it.

But what I’m really getting at is, some of that educational content that’s in there, like you were saying, where people are sharing some of their background and giving some of their best tips and advice out there, as almost kind of like contributors and stuff, or even that they’re getting covered in the story, telling that some of the things, the stumbling blocks, the way they succeeded or things they’ve done around stuff. That, I think is really helpful and really helps you, I think build a relationship with the people that are in there, even if they know it or not.

Katie Bean:  Yeah, absolutely. Just to clarify, in our magazine you can’t pay for coverage, so the people that are on our covers, we have chosen editorially, but the point is still true that being in our magazine, if we have contacted you to write about your company, to be a cover story or the Made To Last, which is about small businesses that have been in business a long time, or entrepreneurial journey, any of those stories, or if it’s one of the smart strategies where, like you said, you’re sharing your expertise with other readers. You know, we ask you to do that and we don’t compensate you and you don’t have to pay us to be in that. But it is part of a marketing strategy, if you use it well, because you’re getting your name out there in the community, and you’re sharing what you know with all the other readers and other business owners, and people really connect to that.

Phil Singleton:  Awesome, and also as a second piece of it, which is you’ve got a web presence, a lot of the information. Is all this stuff in the magazine end up on the website at some point or another or is it-?

Katie Bean:   Most of the stories do end up on the website. Some of our briefs in the front on the magazine don’t make it online, at least right now. That’s something that I’m kind of weighing as far as our strategy. Some of those are just such small bits of information.

Phil Singleton:  Sure, kind of hard to make a full….

Katie Bean:   Yeah, exactly. So some of that is just trying to weigh what’s the most useful for readers of the magazine and of the website and things like that. But for the most part, our main articles all go online after the issue is published. And the smart strategies are there too.

Phil Singleton:  Awesome. Anything else that you guys have coming up that’s new, that you might want to talk about or anything else you want to like maybe promote that might be coming up in the next-? This might be a good time to just kind of tell us what’s on the horizon, the things you guys might be kicking around or have announced recently?

Katie Bean:   Yeah, our Brew 30 is coming up this month. I mentioned that earlier. So that is July 26, and we’ll be at Eastbrook Collaborative in the Northland with Torn Label Brewing and Creek Winery. So it’s a great place to meet and connect with people.

Our 25 under 25 awards, the nominations open August 1st. So there’s only a few weeks, and then you can start telling us who the best businesses are that have less than 25 employees.

Then, I guess the only other thing that’s new is that, we’re working on raising our visibility, because there’s a lot of people like you in town who have been reading it for a long time and are aware of the value that Thinking Bigger has. Then there’s also a lot of people I’ve met since I started who … I would say it’s about 50/50, people who know and understand and love Thinking Bigger, and then there’s about the other 50% say, “Oh, did you just start that?” Or, “Oh, you have a print component, too?”

Phil Singleton:  You guys got to do marketing, like the rest of us have to do, right? I get it.

Katie Bean:   Exactly. Yeah. So there’s still that same aspect of getting our name out there and making sure people understand what we’re bringing to the table and how we can help them.

Phil Singleton:  Awesome. So the only other piece I like to kind of bring it the end is, you’re from Kansas City or you live in the Kansas City area, anyway. Any kind of favorite places that you like to go?

It’s pretty funny because I asked this a lot and I had, embarrassingly enough, never gone to Q39. I’ve been asking this question to a lot of people who live in Kansas City and like five people were telling us this is a favorite restaurant. I had never been. But I actually went 4th of July, was my first time and it was awesome. So I actually like asking this question selfishly, just to figure out what place great places are in Kansas City that I haven’t been to. I still think there’s plenty.

But just other ones that, places you like, companies that you admire. Anything that somebody would come out of town, it’d be like, “Oh, you gotta go here.” Give us some Katie Bean Kansas City favorites.

Katie Bean:  Okay. So let’s see, if you’re coming in from out of town, I highly recommend the World War One Museum. That is a great museum, one of the new museums that’s interactive in the way you experience it. So it’s really cool. I highly recommend that. If you’re not afraid of heights, it’s also pretty cool, because you can go all the way up in that tower and get a great skyline picture.

I also really love the Nelson Atkins Museum, our local art museum, which is free every day, and they have a great collection. They also have been working on different ways to get people engaged. I think it’s coming up later this month, there’s the Big Picnic, which is a picnic right outside on the lawn of the Nelson Atkins. So that’s where they have all the shuttlecocks, which you can’t touch, because they’re sculptures, but you can get a great picture with it. I mean it’s July and it’s hot, but there’s actually a lot of shade on the sides of that lawn. So, that’s what I recommend, if you go is get-

Phil Singleton:   Age groups?  What age, can kids go? My kids, I’ve got twin boys that are eight. We didn’t take them to a lot of stuff yet in Kansas City, because they’re still … but now they’re kind of the age where … and we have been taking them more places, several … but those are two places we haven’t taken them yet. But I guess eight’s probably, just wait little bit longer?

Katie Bean:   For the picnic, it’s definitely a good time to go. There’s food tracks, and I think they have badminton set up outside, with  regular size shuttle cocks that you could play. So that’s kid friendly.

I would say, because the museum is free, it’s a good one to go to, because you can do just one or two sections at a time and that way you can gauge your kids’ interests. So if you take them in, you go through the African art section, because that has some cool, weird stuff. You can take them through there, see how they do, and say like, “Okay, now we’re going to go back through the modern art piece.” Take a look, and if they’re done after that, you can leave and you don’t have to feel guilty because you didn’t pay anything, and you can come back again later to see all the other parts.

Phil Singleton:  Awesome. That’s on the list now. It already was on the list. A few other people, at least one or two, that was one of their top Kansas City faves.

Katie Bean:    Oh, they also have this cool glass maze outside. That’s one of the outdoor sculptures. So that’s cool. I thought it was cool, but I’m sure eight year olds would like it, too. Just make sure they don’t run, because the last time I was there I did see this poor little girl who started running towards her mom and just smacked her face.

Phil Singleton:   Wipe out?

Katie Bean:  A little bit. It was a little traumatic for her.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. Well tell us, as we wrap up here, tell us the best place to kind of read more about the Thinking Bigger and kind of where the best places are to kind of follow you, and how you guys, maybe, where you’re most active on social media and stuff like that.

Katie Bean:  Yeah. So our website ithinkbigger.com, and that has links to all of our content that we talked about already. We also are active on Facebook, if you like to follow Facebook. We’re on LinkedIn as well, and so you can see a lot of our stories posted there. That’s good access point to remind you about what we’re writing about. We also have Twitter. I know not as many people have Twitter, but we’re on there at, @ithinkbigger, and I’m on Twitter as @katiebeankc.

Phil Singleton:  Awesome. Katie, thanks so much for spending time and sharing your story and the great things that Thinking Bigger is doing. We just really appreciate you having you on the show, and we’re going to make sure that we’ve got all that stuff, links back to your site and things in the show notes. And thanks once again.

Katie Bean:  Yeah, thanks for having me Phil. It was fun.

 

Podcast Guesting is the Best SEO Link Building Tactic You’ve Never Heard Of

Podcast guesting is a content marketing tactic that involves targeting, reaching out and getting booked on podcasts that are relevant to your niche.

Podcasting is bigger than ever, but still massively underrated in the marketing community – and almost ignored in the SEO community in terms of being an SEO tactic.

But when you combine the link building benefits with all the other other benefits that podcasting guesting provides, you can see why our agency believes that this is one of the highest ROI marketing tactics of all time.

Before we get to link building and backlinks, what are some of the benefits of a podcast guesting campaign? Continue reading “Podcast Guesting is the Best SEO Link Building Tactic You’ve Never Heard Of”

How to Get Client Results & Grow Your Own Agency with Content Marketing

Brandee Johnson is an entrepreneur, a marketer and a speaker. Since 2015, Brandee has owned and operated Limelight Marketing, a growth agency based in Pittsburgh, Kansas.

Limelight Marketing helps companies develop brand stories to attract and convert customers.

Prior to owning the agency, Brandee spent 15 years working for leading brands in national and global corporations including Lego.

She has implemented and integrated a variety of marketing and IT systems including marketing automation, CRM, and eCommerce platforms. Continue reading “How to Get Client Results & Grow Your Own Agency with Content Marketing”

I Pity The Fools That Say SEO Is Dead

How many blog and article headlines have you read in recent years proclaiming that SEO is Dead? You’ll probably see more of these headlines in 2017 and 2018. It seems that virtually everyone on the planet thinks that SEO is the same as link building. If your definition of SEO is volume based link building and link scheming, then you may be right, SEO is dead. Continue reading “I Pity The Fools That Say SEO Is Dead”

Why Freelance Writers Like Writing for Small Businesses

As an SEO and Internet marketing company here in Kansas City, we struggle sometimes getting our clients to create blog content on a regular business.  They know how important blogging is for SEO, but writing content can challenging for a business owner.  Many do not have the time, and some people do not like to write.  Yet as a search engine marketing company, we MUST get quality content onto our clients blogs on a regular basis. Continue reading “Why Freelance Writers Like Writing for Small Businesses”

Capitalizing On Your KC Online Marketing Strategy: 8 Tips For Video Marketing

Online video marketing can and should be a part of your KC business’ online marketing strategy.  It is hard to imagine a business niche that can’t generate buzz from online videos, as this medium has been used to great effect.  YouTube, in fact, is the world’s second largest search engine.  Continue reading “Capitalizing On Your KC Online Marketing Strategy: 8 Tips For Video Marketing”