We’ll discuss ideas on different types of content you can and should be creating to brand yourself as a Thought-Leader or Expert, along with the benefits of doing so.
Paul Barthel: Hello everyone, I’m Paul Barthel and today I’m joined as always by Ken, Dan, Jen, and Ian. Today, we’re going to talk about becoming an authority in your niche or industry. We’ve mentioned this in past podcasts, but never really talked about it and how important it is and how you can go about doing that. Ken, I’m going to start with you. How does a business owner, whether it’s online or brick and mortar, achieve that authority and credibility? It can’t just be content and networking, there’s gotta be more to it than that.
Ken Tucker: I don’t think it’s just necessarily the business owner. I think it’s key people within the business, depending on the roles that they play. But, my number one go-to is going to be video. I think video is huge. Video gives people the ability to have an experience with somebody without necessarily having the opportunity to meet them face to face, which has become really important over the last year, as we’ve all learned. But, video content is a great way to brand yourself as an expert. We actually have a whole host of pre-written scripts or questions for a ton of different niches that can help guide a business owner to answering questions about the problems that they solve, about the issues that their patients, customers, clients, whatever they might call them, are going to be facing. We coach people how to set up an online video studio. Very very simply, they shoot the raw video. We can take it and turn it into a really great quality thing. And then that video’s going to live on, ideally YouTube. You’re going to upload it to your Facebook page. You could upload it to other social media channels, if you chose to, and you certainly want to embed it on your website. And then from a search engine optimization perspective, when you transcribe that video and you put the transcription on the page where you’ve got your video embedded on your website, that gives you a lot of content. Transcriptions typically, for a 10 minute video, that’s going to be a couple of thousand words, and that’s usually a really great sweet spot for SEOable content. I will just say, another great go-to source to be able to brand yourself as an expert, and we’re going to talk about a whole lot of these, but obviously being a podcast guest is huge because you’re leveraging the network and the audience that somebody else has already built. And so, you can get in front of that audience and talk about your expertise and your experience, and that can be really fantastic. So those would be my two go-tos and then you take the transcriptions, put them on your website and boom! Golden.
Paul Barthel: Video definitely cannot be ignored anymore. In the past it was, okay if I get around to it, I’ll maybe do something with it, but you can’t do that anymore. And that leads into Dan really good. What about business to business? I can really see where video works for business to consumer because, how do I do this? How do I, that’s one of the most search phrases on Google and YouTube. But what about business to business?
Dan Gershenson: When we think just about video, I’ll include blogs here anyway, because I think whether it’s video or text, there are opportunities there. I think, if you consider how many questions that either are asked or could be asked about your business in particular, and at every stage of the marketing hourglass, there’s probably quite a few. And one of the hidden opportunities that isn’t taken advantage of enough is either doing a video, a blog or some kind of content, just to address that particular question. What I do think is, and I believe this strongly, is I don’t believe most should set up a camera and let it go by themselves because, if they are not coached then it probably won’t turn out very good. I think there’s a lot of opportunity to be coached on that. You’re not doing industry jargon and they fall into that quite a bit, or they can be monotone. So they’ll do a Facebook live, let’s say and let it fly, and isn’t that great. And then it’s, there’s two minutes of my life I won’t get back, so I think you want to be able to, I won’t say entertain, but you’ve got to bring it into a way that educates, but also brings it into their level. If you’re an attorney, I don’t want to be an attorney. I don’t want to go to law school to understand you. I want to be able to understand you in a way that I could buy your services. So, if you’re doing video, and you break it down to their level, it can be awesome. And especially if you can do it on a granular level of the questions that every regular Joe is going to ask. The stuff that’s in your head, that is only in your language, that nobody ever actually says when they do a Google search.
Ken Tucker: Coaching, absolutely critical. Problems that you solve focusing on the language that your customers are going to use, not your jargon. Those are two gold nuggets right there, Dan.
Paul Barthel: Yeah, that’s really good. So Jen, what about thought leadership? We talked about that a little bit in the past, and I’m thinking local here as opposed to national, but it could be either one. How would a local business owner become like a thought leader in their community or in their local business niche?
Jen Kelly: Yeah, absolutely. I just want to make sure that we understand that if you’re a thought leader locally, that’s no less than being a thought leader nationally or global. It’s all about in your industry in order to bring customers into your business, are they choosing you over the competition because of what you’ve been able to teach them or explain, or how you’re making potential customers feel and how you’re doing with return customers as well. I’ve got a little story to illustrate that actually. And I took your local question to the extreme. So my example is on a dry cleaner that we have as a client. And I don’t think you can get much more local than a dry cleaner. Nobody is running across town 90 minutes to drop their shirts off. You know what I mean? Like dry cleaners are typically local area either where you work, pre-COVID where you live. You might have a few around and you’ve got your favorite. So what we did with this dry cleaner is even though we were able to use all of the elements, so social media websites, stuff on the internet that could go global, we were able to keep it very locally focused by using hashtags for a local neighborhood. So this dry cleaner was in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. And so we made sure that everything that went out on social or everything that went out for the blog, which we did once a week, believe it or not, had that kind of focus in it, either the hashtag or the reference to the neighborhood. Of course, anybody in the world could find this lady’s information and her tips, but that she was focusing as much as possible on the local neighborhood that could actually be her customers. And this goes to what Dan and Ken said about using the terms and using the language that your customer is going to speak. And just because you’re the experts in your area, and you’re speaking very plainly at the 1-0-1 level, it does not diminish your expertise at all. It’s actually much more helpful. So, when you have a marketing consultant, trying to get you to explain things in a very basic way or a way that your customers can understand what it is that you do. Just think of the example of those TED talks, right? You have all kinds of experts doing a TED talk, and they’re speaking to the common person out in the audience, so they have to make sure that they get all their complex information out within a few minutes to the average person that may not have the same background. So, if you can think about that, speaking and talking about tips in the 1-0-1 kind of that level is not doing yourself any disservice. So, some of the things that we did to get this dry cleaner up to a thought leadership kind of status. We had them doing tips. And so, what that meant was like, you spilled this or this on your clothes, what can you do? You have a meeting in 10 minutes, you can’t go to the dry cleaners so there was tips like that. Then there was other tips what not to do yourself. There was a segment she did on video, the funniest things we’ve had to dry clean. She did another segment, weekly what’s on sale. So, there was different types of materials you could get dry cleaned. So, suits on sale, quilts on sale, that kind of thing. And then, she did tackle one of the annoying headaches about dry cleaning, why is it so expensive? So, she took that one head on. So, we had content going out weekly and then on social, it went out daily. This did improve customer loyalty. It did improve customers coming into her dry cleaners. And, what was very interesting about this too, we had some convincing to do with her that all this was really going to matter and help her business. She just thought at first, why don’t I just flyer the local neighborhood? But, you have to think about it. Even folks looking for local services are going to use their phone. They’re going to be on the internet. They’re going to be searching for my local dry cleaner, my local insert whatever the service is that you need. And, we did another study for her neighborhood, how many people are moving in and out every single year. And so, you can bet that new people moving in, still need to know this kind of information. Where is it the best local dry cleaner? Anyways, that is an example of a hyper hyper local business that was using what is really content and frequency to get out there and become a thought leader in her industry.
Ken Tucker: Hey Jen, did you experience success using hashtags across several different social media channels or were there one or two that you really found were the most effective for that?
Jen Kelly: For hers, it was Twitter and it was hashtag Back Bay dry cleaners.
Ken Tucker: I would’ve thought Instagram, cool nice.
Paul Barthel: Who’ve thought there was that much to dry cleaning?
Dan Gershenson: It’s funny and we laugh about it and I think the biggest illustration of that is I can say I’ve never bought anything from this channel, but if you ever go on QVC, those people are masters at taking the mundane or the thing that you never thought you could talk about for say 10 minutes and suddenly you’re like really interested in it. And you’re like, maybe I do want one of those. I think if they can do that with something that is probably not as useful as what you may be selling, somebody will always be interested in what you have to sell. I don’t think people give themselves enough credit. They usually say, oh, who would wanna know about this stuff? Who would be looking for this? Yeah, they’re out there. They’re out there.
Ken Tucker: I do another podcast locally called Local St. Charles and I had a storage company on as a guest and it blew me away. It’s just exactly what you just said, Paul, who would’ve thought that storage units were that interesting? But, the way they communicated the information, a shout out to Ample Storage here in St. Charles, Kristen did a fantastic job of just talking about what are the different scenarios, why people need storage, what should you consider, why should you avoid maybe buying a climate controlled or where should you be buying a climate controlled? It was really fascinating. I agree, Dan, any niche, any industry, you can make it interesting, and guess what? It doesn’t have to be interesting and relevant to everybody, just the people who are gonna need your products or services.
Paul Barthel: Yeah, there’s probably a lot of things on the surface that seem pretty simple, but when you start digging into them, there’s a lot more than you’d think. Ian, I would imagine that online courses could be a great way to build authority, but what if you’re relatively unknown, and don’t have that authority? Would you consider offering some kind of mini course for free so people can see what they’re going to get and realize that you really do know what you’re talking about?
Ian Cantle: I think that’s actually a great technique to use or strategy. One of the things I would do though, is I would back up a little bit just to make sure that our listeners are all on the same page. When we talk about being an authority, really it’s just being a trusted source of information. If you are a landscaper and you are telling people here’s how to care for your grass, they’re going to start to understand that you know what you’re talking about. Or, if you are pest control guys, if you’re on there and you’re saying, yes, you can hire us to get rid of your mice or your bees, but here’s some home solutions you might want to try before you call us, in case you want to get stung or something like that. In answer to your question about courses, the one thing I would say is that there’s no silver bullet for everyone, and I would say take the first step. So, what I mean by that is there was some talk about doing Facebook live, being prepared though. Dan was talking about or being coached, watch some YouTube videos on how to properly present on Instagram live or Facebook live. Think about what kind of information you can deliver to people in a relevant way. And one of the really low hanging fruit kind of ways, it’s actually not even a mini course, it’s just doing a webinar. So, setting up a Zoom call at a certain time, letting all of your friends and family and colleagues and customers, networking partners. What’s that?
Ken Tucker: Your email list.
Ian Cantle: Your email. Thank you, Ken. Yes, your email list, your social channels everywhere you can get the word out that you are going to be presenting this webinar on this topic that’s relevant for these reasons and present it and see what the response is. And, if you’re stuck on topics, think about the questions that people are always asking you about because you’re an expert in your field. And, if you go after the frequently asked questions, if people are asking you those questions, more people have those questions. But then, to take it to the next level, if you present the offer of a webinar, you get people to there. Think about what your next steps are. Think about what you could lead them into. And, if there’s a course and it’s relevant to them and you can deliver it with authenticity and expertise, then do it. You can get very complex, but at its simplest level is really just multiple webinars. So, it’s pretty easy to do once you’ve been able to deliver one webinar, but think about where you’re leading them. But yeah, mini courses are a great option too.
Dan Gershenson: I was going to just piggyback on that because that is something that I’m probably going to have coming out here in the next month is mini courses on some stuff. I think one of the things, as you get to know that audience a little bit, something that we’re going to experiment a little bit with is early release material before it goes out into the world. And so, there is such a thing as exclusivity and early release stuff that is, hey, just for you, you’re going to get this. So when you get your arms around what this community is, then really say, okay, for these 20, 50, 100 people, they’re just going to get the best of me first, because then they may pay a little bit in advance and that’s worth paying for it. It doesn’t have to be extraordinarily expensive, but I do think that if you can make that just for them, say a webinar, but the webinar for them may be free, whereas the outside world may pay a little bit for it. Those kinds of things eventually can be tiered. At least I hope so.
Ian Cantle: I agree, Dan, I think a 100%. I think the top of your funnel, we just went through a system or a series of funnel discussions, but at the top of that funnel, because everything is a funnel, right? You want to get people into the top and the top is probably something free. You’re giving them a free webinar. You’re giving them a free checklist or whatever it is. And, then that process, you are building your authority by showing that you’re an expert in the field and you’re building trust with people and then you can lead them to the paid item.
Paul Barthel: Those are all some good points. So Ken, it seems every podcast we talk to some degree about online reputation. And, when we’re talking about being expert or a leader in your industry, it seems like it, maybe not in the past year with everything going on, but seems like there’s more to it than just online reputation. Is it more than that and how would someone establish that reputation?
Ken Tucker: I like the idea of this concept of credibility badges, or trust factors that you can put on your website. So, those are going to be certifications that you have. Bonus, hey, if you’re a member of an association or you get a certification, you’re probably getting a really strong quality inbound link that’s going to help you from an SEO perspective, but it’s also going to be seen as people who are looking at your presence online, whether it’s your homepage or wherever you have these different badges, that you’ve gone through some extra steps to attain a level of expertise that maybe some of your competitors haven’t. Another great source for that could be listing the businesses that you’re doing business with or the customers that you have on your website. So you’ve got a lot of different things that you can do there. And I think it’s hugely important. People want to know that they’re hiring somebody who can serve as that guide that understands the problem and guides them to where they want to get to. And those credibility and trust factors are huge. I’m also a big fan of speaking for leads. I do a lot of it, both paid and also several free sessions. And, I just wrapped up a three part series for a local chamber. Just speaking and getting in front of people while it may be uncomfortable, and maybe it’s easier for you to do on camera than it is in person, but it’s really important. Here’s something that I think a lot of businesses don’t realize, you do this each and every day. Every time you have a meeting with a patient, with a client, with a customer, again, whatever you’re going to call them, you’re expressing expertise. You can’t meet with everybody out there, but those conversations you’re demonstrating your knowledge and your expertise. Find a way to encapsulate that either by being able to get in front of an audience and speak, or by creating these videos. That’s what I would recommend.
Paul Barthel: Dan, what about white papers? That would probably be a good way to build authority. Would that be better in a business to business environment?
Dan Gershenson: Yes, I think so. I think the white paper thing, and I’ll put eBooks in that same realm. White papers are good, but I think we’re seeing a lot more of entertaining ebook format lately, even in the business to business space, because no matter what it is that your industry is, I think there’s only so much that, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, that people are going to want to read as far as plain text in for across 50 pages or something. I don’t know if I could recommend one thing I would say yes, absolutely go like you’re doing a white paper. But, don’t be surprised if it can be converted and sliced and diced into other things. So for example, can it be an eBook? Can it be a series of blogs? And, on the other side of the spectrum, don’t be shocked if that white paper actually becomes a book because, as you said before in this podcast, books are changing as far as what we consider to be books now. It is not outside the realm of possibility that if you’re doing a 25 pager, and suddenly gosh, I’ve got enough here that I think I could probably expand this quite a bit. Then that’s a good moment to outline even more and see where it takes you. But it doesn’t have to be one or the other, I guess, is my roundabout point here. Just because you started a white paper, you can do one, but remember there’s going to be people who can use that content, but are at a different stage of the buying process too. So what would you do to take some of that for people who are earlier stage, the know and like crowd? Don’t save it for the people who have to absolutely be studies of your industry and firm. That is closing yourself off, I think, and you don’t have to do that.
Ian Cantle: I’d love to add something to that. The thing with white papers is you’re showing a pre-state or the state that somebody was in before they received your solution. The problem or the challenge, the solution, [00:21:00] and then the result and the transformation that they’ve built into them. And, the same can be true on a business to business side, except you’re showing it in a different way. It might be like for a dentist. It might be an example of how you delivered something to a patient as far as veneers or teeth whitening. And here’s a before and after picture. And here’s a testimonial from the person glowing about their teeth transformation, right? So it’s almost a similar process between business to business and business to consumer, except I find the business to business is much more formal in its presentation to people.
Ken Tucker: I’m glad you said that. Wordy and transformation.
Ian Cantle: I knew you’d like it, Ken.
Ken Tucker: That’s such a critical word and in my mind that is what marketing is ultimately all about is getting somebody from a before state to an after state and that transformation and that experience is what it’s all about. And, you got to brag sometimes about yourself, about how you do that.
Paul Barthel: So far we haven’t talked that much about webinars we’ve mentioned them so Jen, how does that fit in? Is that a good way to establish this authority?
Jen Kelly: Yeah, it can be, absolutely. So webinars, I would recommend if your product or service falls into these three categories, a webinar is going to help you. You either have a complex product, a new product, or a little understood or a misunderstood type of product. So, if you can’t sell your product or service within 10 seconds, you’re going to want to use a webinar. So, with a webinar, here’s some examples about how that could work out. So, for new products, we’re working with a colleague that their target customer base is a podiatrist. They have a new invention for how to cure ingrown toenails and it’s quite complex. And so, they are using webinars to show the podiatrists like exactly, so this is a new product. Here’s how it works. Here’s the different steps. Here’s the results. Here’s what you’d have to buy in your clinic and that kind of thing. And, when I say webinar, not everything has to be 60 minutes long. These folks are doing their demos within 15 to 20 minutes and the rest of the time, the doctors are asking questions and whatnot. So, it’s been a really effective way for them to, especially in COVID, but even not in COVID, to get your message out to a large audience who can’t travel to your office or, your sales team can’t be everywhere. You also have a complex product, right? You can’t possibly explain it without showing it and having someone spend 15 minutes listening to you. So, that’s a good candidate for a webinar. And, the third one I mentioned was like little understood, or even if your product or service seems to be a little polarizing. And, one of the things I’ll say about that is, we have some chiropractor clients and not everybody in the world either understands what a chiropractor can do or that they can do more than just help you with your sore back. And so, by giving webinars it gives the doctors the chance to explain their point of view, explain how some things work. So, the last thing I’ll say about webinars, though, if you’re going to go down that road and I wouldn’t suggest that you all do. Make sure to have someone on the tech side really helping you out because you want to be there. You want to be bringing your A game. You want to be able to explain everything. You can record these and have them on your website for folks to self serve at a time that works well for them, but you don’t want to be recording this thing and then get to the end of it and forget to turn it on the audio. So, having a pro help you, even at a day rate, will be well worth the money. So, give it a try, don’t be intimidated about webinars.
Dan Gershenson: Just a point there is about 75% or so of the way in, on a webinar, you may want to have a text marketing funnel that goes in and says, if you want more on this, text whatever the phrase is to this number or some kind of call to action. I think sometimes the issue that I see with webinars or similar presentations for that matter is, thanks everybody for coming and here’s my email if you have any questions. And I just gave you a whole lot of brain power that you’re probably not going to call me for, because it’s good, but when it’s done and okay now on with my life. If you can capture them in the moment because let’s face it, we’re not just here to give people knowledge all the time. We’re here to also hopefully to start a relationship. So, I think anything like that should always have that springboard into it where it’s where, okay. You’ve definitely said a lot. Let’s say that you’re 45 minutes in to an hour long. Probably not an hour long webinar, but anyway, but if it’s okay, I’m almost there. If you want the rest of these tips or whatever, text it, and then you’ll get a link to it right now.
Jen Kelly: And, that’s such a good point. While we are educating our business owners to understand that not everybody’s ready to buy right away. Some people are, and so by having that ability for someone to say, I’ve heard enough, like, where do I sign up? That’s a great addition.
Dan Gershenson: Sometimes, I think that they think, that they must be ready to buy and so think about how you buy stuff though. Do you always be like, oh, there’s an accountant, I think I’ll hire them, like, that never works. Like it’s always, give me some information, let’s start a conversation, let’s see where it goes. So, all you’re trying to do, nine times out of ten, is not trying to get them to buy. It’s nice if they would, but I never expect that. I think it’s more, how do I get them to that next stage of say a one on one conversation, face to face, over the phone, Zoom, whatever. That’s all you’re trying to do. It’s not trying to sell them from the webinar because I think that’s unrealistic. I think you got to say, what is the most realistic baby step I can do with a person? And, if I can get enough of those people, I’ve had a darn good webinar.
Paul Barthel: That sounds an awful lot like that top of the funnel stuff.
Ken Tucker: I think you can be successful at a trial level.
Dan Gershenson: A trial level is great. Try doing an audit or something like that. Totally fine. If you can get to that, you’ll probably convert them.
Ken Tucker: Yeah, the other thing too that’s great about this. A lot of this longer form content, whether it’s a white paper or case study, webinar, even an online course, there’s a lot of content repurposing opportunity there. And sure, this can take a lot of work to put together, but it has massive benefits because you can break it out. You can chunk it out. You can send clips out through social media. There are just so many different things that you can do.
Paul Barthel: A lot of this then comes back to your brand to a large degree. Personal brand, business brand. Ian, what are some of the key attributes for building a strong online brand? A lot of small business owners may not even have that or think about it. They may have it to some degree, because it just happened over time, but how would you go about developing that?
Ian Cantle: I would start first of all, by talking a little bit about what a brand is, because most of us, when we think of brand, we think of Starbucks. We think of Pepsi, we think of the NFL, whatever it is big things where their logo is powerful. And, when we see it, we understand who they are, what they do. But, for most businesses, the logo isn’t the brand. The logo is the visual representation of your business, but it is not your brand. Your brand is everything about your business and how you communicate it. So brand messaging is actually the bigger form of who we are, how we talk about ourselves, what is our core difference, what’s our unique point of view, and especially as we’re talking about being an authority and niching, you probably have a point of view and you need to be bold enough to talk about it. As Jen was talking about sometimes polarizing things can actually attract the right kind of customers you want, and you need to clearly communicate what your products and services are. You need to have quality and tone of voice, colors, styles. The discussion about brand, it’s probably like another series for this podcast, but you need to be clear about what problem you solve for your customers and you need to be consistent. Consistency is actually the biggest thing that will create a brand. You’ve probably seen companies in your area and they might be really small businesses. You might even think they have a terrible brand. You see it, you cringe, but you actually know who they are because they’ve consistently communicated badly over time. So really, what you’re trying to do is, you’re trying to build your brand for yourself and your business to be an authority in your space by consistently delivering value to people over time.
Dan Gershenson: But think of your, not your enemies, like who are the people you would not work with? Sometimes people they you go all over the place when they think about, oh, I can work with this and this. And I’m like, oh, okay, sure. But, then you think about, okay who would actually not work well with you? And sometimes that is even easier and it brings you to where you can say, okay, I know I don’t want to work with that nightmare. So how do I work? Who do I really want to work with? If I had 10 of these, my life would be wonderful. And, it works because as you think about your brand voice point is well taken, Ian, because I think there comes a time when you just have to say, okay, this is where we plant our flag and it’s easier said than done but you got to do it. And, I don’t think I would be accused of saying that I’m for everybody in that way. If you read anything on LinkedIn lately, you’ll know what I’m talking about, but you know what, that’s fine. If somebody doesn’t like me there, they really are not going to like working with me 12 months out of the year. Which is fine, but if they love it, we will probably have a really good relationship. And, that’s what you’re after, you don’t want to sound like a company, believe it or not. You want to sound like a person talking to another person.
Ian Cantle: And, it takes guts to do that, right? To be able to say, you know what, we’re actually comfortable if we actually avoid attracting certain types of people that we know either are not the best fit for us, or we’re not the best fit for them because we understand what we’re really good at, who we are, and also what we’re not really good at.
Ken Tucker: You do it by design. Don’t let it just happen. It needs to be planned. It needs to be thought through. You don’t want to have it happen by accident. That’s not a good thing.
Dan Gershenson: Yeah. It’s always gonna be a work in progress, I think for who your ideal client is. And, I can certainly say that for myself, but that’s okay.
Jen Kelly: Could I disagree, actually?
Dan Gershenson: Yes. Who are you disagreeing with?
Jen Kelly: I’m disagreeing with Ken. Disagreeing in the way, that obviously yes, I do agree you don’t want to go to some place that you don’t know that you’re not a good fit, but how do you know you’re not a good fit in that area? I’ll give a personal example of us. Some of our clients in the past, we were being pushed into writing our content in a very clever, funny, consumer kind of way. Just think about Wendy’s Twitter account. Whoever manages that thing is very sharp and we just are not set up for that. We don’t have the type of team to do that. That’s not been our focus. And, we were pushed in an area to go into more of the consumer chatty, that kind of content development. And, this was a client that we had worked with for a number of years. They had a new division. They’re like, okay guys, way you go. We thought we could do it. And we weren’t clever, we weren’t snappy. It wasn’t a good fit for us, but we never, would’ve really known that unless we gave it a try and then we’re like no, we’re on the more serious side. The more business to business, the more serious you are. And so, after learning that, that’s where I have come back and decided. So, that’s what I say to certain clients if we’re heading in that kind of more consumer way, I say, that’s not us, that’s not us. And, then on another way too, I often talk about some clients, as you’re talking and hoping to bring them on board, the term marketing can mean so many different things, right? Do people say marketing because they didn’t want to say sales? Do they say marketing because they really mean branding? And so, we have this one slide, which is, has a little continuum of branding and here’s sales. And, we put ourselves three quarters of the way over onto sales. And, we say we will be your marketing team, but everything that we’re doing is with an eye to how is this bringing someone into the sales funnel? How is this piece of content helping the sales team? How are we helping sell your product or service as opposed to being over on say the branding side, which of course is needed. And, of course we can follow a brand standards guide, but opposed to, we’ve created this beautiful logo for you and this beautiful ad. There’s no call to action, but the thing could end up at an art gallery it’s such a work of art, but we have learned that through, pushing the boundaries or trial and error to learn where our sweet spot is. I guess my point is Ken, if you don’t know where your sweet spot is, it’s okay to step out and maybe get your hand slapped and figure out, okay that’s not my sweet spot.
Ken Tucker: Yeah, no, absolutely. Experimentation is critical and you’ve got to test. You’ve got to modify. You’ve got to adapt. Absolutely. I guess what I was really getting at, especially on social media, it’s really easy these days to go off on a rant or to pick a side politically and really go after that. You’ve got to realize that those are going to have implications on your business. It may be a great strategy. There are financial planners who make a big point to talk about the fact that they are a faith based financial planner. Okay, that’s a strategy. If you’re going to do that, that’s a strategy, but do it for a reason. Don’t just let it happen and don’t be accidental about it is what I was getting at.
Jen Kelly: I would agree with that then, how’s that?
Ian Cantle: Dan’s going to disagree.
Dan Gershenson: No, I don’t think so. I dunno, I don’t. I think, yeah, you at a certain point, you just got to grip it and rip it. You got to just say, I’m going to put this out there, I’m going to have a relationship and stuff’s going to happen and I’m going to learn from it. If there is somebody who says that there’s some foolproof thing to that, I don’t think there is, but to your point, sometimes we get into these relationships as marketing consultants. I’m sure I’m not the only person that’s had this. And, you realize that this is not a marketing problem. This is a sales problem, this is an operations problem. I’ve even had a thing where it was with two partners who should no longer be together. And, I was the one who was seeing that before they were. Twice that happened. And I’m like, oh no, this is not my problem to solve, but how would you know that obviously before you get involved? So yes, you absolutely I think sometimes have to go in there with the best of intentions on what you do. This is a whole other show in itself, but having those strategic partners who can help do that other stuff for you. Have a business developer, have an operations person, a coach, have a team building kind of person, and then they’ll respect you for it. And if they don’t, then see you later and lesson learned, that’s all you can do.
And, just to tie a bow on the brand discussion, just to Jen’s point about the anecdote that she shared about her own business, people should understand that brands evolve your brand for your business will evolve the longer you’re in business because again, you more clearly define who you are and who you are not over time, and who you want to attract. So, I thought that was a really neat anecdote you shared Jen, thank you.
Paul Barthel: So life is a series of failures that hopefully leads to some degree of success. I won’t even tell you how many crazy failures that all of us have probably had. It’s probably in the hundreds, if not more, but we are all smarter for it, obviously. So not to be cliche about it but, you try not to do it twice. You learn from it and then you try not to do it again. And, that’s the best thing you can do. And, that allows you to have the empathy that small business owners so much need now more than ever. Good deal. It’s probably a good place to wrap up. I’d like to thank everyone for their knowledge and insight and wrap it up here.