Creating a conference strategy with Grace Sharkey and Lars Ward
Episode Transcript
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Jump to the 2:44 minute mark to skip the initial laughter that surrounds a conference conversation between myself and good friends Grace Sharkey of Freightwaves and Lars Ward of Freightvana.

Once we get to the 3-minute ish mark of the show, we settle into a great discussion defining how each of us approaches a conference.

We cover strategies such as:

  • What are you doing before the conference?
  • Where are the best conversations happening during the conference?
  • And how do you tackle your post-conference strategy?

All this plus more during a live recording of Everything is Logistics at Manifest: The Future of Logistics conference.

Links from the show:



0:02:44     Leveraging Social Media for Business Growth

0:07:29     Exploring the Value of LinkedIn for Conference Preparation

0:09:09     Leveraging LinkedIn for Professional Networking and Engagement

0:10:23     The Value of Consistency and Serendipity at Logistics Conferences

0:14:46    Maximizing ROI at Manifest Conference

0:16:21     Accidental Conversations at Conferences: The Magic of Connecting with Others

0:17:53     Prioritizing Conferences for Marketing and Sales

0:22:04     Building Connections and Trust

0:30:51     Follow-Up Strategies for Networking Events: Leveraging Technology and Traditional Tactics

0:32:52     Strategies for Effective Post-Conference Outreach



At SPI Logistics they have industry-leading technology, systems, and back-office support to help you succeed. Learn more about SPI’s freight agent program here. Make sure to let them know we sent you!

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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome to another episode of everything is logistics a podcast for the thinkers in freight. I'm your host Blythe Brumleve And we got a couple of really fun guests former guests of the pod Grace Sharkey of course freightwaves fame Sirius Radio then we have Lars Vana... I was gonna roll with it. I really was like not even it's not he didn't found it just took his last name. He's so mad so I guess for folks who may not be aware of YouTube and living under a rock and logistics media, give us a rundown of your role, how you started working in freight, elevator pitch,

Grace Sharkey: 0:54

started in brokerage left that to help consult and now writing for freightwaves Mostly technology focused. And then on top of that, I also have a couple of podcasts, great quarter gals, a point of sale and sometimes I have to remember, just write too much going on. And then on top of that around 330 I take a quick 20 minute nap and do five to seven a drive time on Sirius XM every day of the week, Monday through Friday. So

Lars Ward: 1:27

you have a lot planned power now. Lars Vana this might stick as terrible and as wonderful as that is. So I got my start primarily on the asset side of trucking at night transportation start off and account management quickly grew into a sales role where I was selling the entire portfolio services. When Knight acquired swift I left for about a year then came back and jumped in as the Director of Business Development for the brokerage it down for a little while, and then a little bit better than a year and a half ago, myself and 20 some odd founding team members left K and X to start Freightvana. We are one of the fastest growing three girls in the country. Today, we're close to 100 employees. And we're doing things a little bit special at Freightvana I've specific responsibility for all of our sales and customer facing marketing.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:21

I think with with especially all three of us, but you two in particular, you use social media, extremely to your advantage to get the content out there about the content that you're making, or about the kinds of services and products that you're that you're creating. What would you do if you didn't have social media? How would you get the word out about your content and your business services?

Grace Sharkey: 2:44

You know what? Funny because it's like, I feel like I also used it to like as a way almost to build a network to even get to this point in my career. But I mean, without it. I mean, I've been in the brokerage business. So if we're gonna have to pick up the phones and cold call, then we're gonna go out and do it. But I think to experience the growth that we both had in our careers, it's been a big part of of that strategy. And I think I can't even imagine a world without it, or even like a world where like, Twitter and all that, like social media maybe straightened out by its owners a little bit more. But the, it's there, it's free advertising. It's, at some point is you know, people can even make really great livings off of it. So I think I can't I can't even imagine that world to be honest with you.

Lars Ward: 3:40

I can't imagine it either. So it's so interesting. I mean, I've never even thought in that framework, like what would you do without social media? And you'd go back to the things that you know, are tried and tested, maybe a little boring, a little unsexy, right. It's the heavy cold calling. It's the email campaigns, conference, marketing, print advertising, those kinds of things. But I think the the special layer that's on top of all that is social media. Yeah, I think we're all advantage. You called it out. Grace. And I have leveraged that now. For years, we've done something really special with that. But we're also sort of like social natives. I mean, we were the folks growing up who were using ame and MySpace, and we've kind of grown alongside of it. And now I think social media has really broken into the b2b relationship building, right? This isn't just sort of your Twitter or your Facebook relationships, but now it can go on to leads in and advertise the business, advertise myself and create communities create connections that are actually meaningful, I'd have no chance to do that with holding on just no trains. Well, and so yeah, there's no way to think about how to separate these

Grace Sharkey: 4:43

things and the efficiency of it like to think about like, if I was in like a world where I'm like sending out mailing campaigns like even LinkedIn like lightly shows you analytics of who's clicking what level of employee they are areas, regions, right or Uh, there's so many analytics behind it that you know, like kind of how to work, even LinkedIn, like you know how to work the system to like come up a little bit more in the algorithms. So it's like, I would, I would, I would be miserable doing it without social media because you would just be missing it hitting and missing so bad.

Lars Ward: 5:17

So like we talked about this last year at Manifest, but I framed LinkedIn like this, it started off as this online repository of resumes, and you'd go on there, and you would just say, here's what I've done. And that was kind of the level of engagement recruiters would go on there. And you would maybe go on there when you wanted to be recruited. Right? That was it. And now it's pivoted, where it really is social. And that's not what LinkedIn looked like five years ago, not really no, not and certainly not what it looks like today, I think the pandemic accelerated that. But now you have this platform that still has this foundation of we're here to do business, we're here to network, but you've got the social layer distinctly on top of it. And so I think when you interact with LinkedIn today, you've got to appreciate you've got name, title role, I can go on there and prospect in a way that I can't prospect with cold email campaigns or cold phone campaigns. It's just, I don't know, there's no way to kind of frame it like out like, comparatively to these other sort of marketing techniques, you've got to do everything else. But the social element is totally unique.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:22

And so when you when you think about coming to a conference like this, because social media is such an integral part of our everyday work day, but when you think about coming to a conference like this, how did you use social media in order to navigate because I know this is maybe it's the same for you? The PR outreach has been insane. It's email, it's social media, it's Can I get a meeting? Can we get 15 minutes, it's people just sending me calendar invites, with no idea who this person is. So how did you guys address like your game plan for coming into this kind of conference?

Grace Sharkey: 6:59

What also thankfully, for myself, I do have an amazing media team at Freightways. That actually helped me with this exact problem and, and targeting exactly, you know, who would be best from our even group of partners to go on different shows and podcasts, etc. But for me, it's also it's kind of goes back to what you said, like, even if I get a request, like, I'm gonna go to your LinkedIn and see what your following is like, and how you're engaging with it. The people I had on the show are people that I know have incredible followings who are just gonna help my own following as well. And it's funny even being here too, like, cards are being passed. Right. But I think I've said more than anything. And other people have said it back to me is perfect. Just add me on LinkedIn. Let's follow up. shoot me a message right now on LinkedIn. That's I'm gonna,

Lars Ward: 7:50

I've heard that for at this conference. And I've heard it before the ever Yeah, it's really interesting, because it's interesting. There's been passive consumers of LinkedIn, maybe it's these New Year's goals that haven't like worn off quite yet. But folks, I want to double down on that as a platform, because I think there's still so much value. And there's not enough folks who are really extracting that value. Yeah, I agree. She mentioned the analytics. Okay. I can't get those analytics anywhere else. No, I mean, click through an open rate is nowhere near the views and impressions, industry location title that I get from LinkedIn. And I get to have a very, very low cost. I mean, it's just time, the time space is time investment. So you ask, what is what is LinkedIn doing to help prepare for a conference? It is the pre call the pre conference homework that I think before we were maybe using Google quarterly financials, newsletters, things like that, we're now getting a much more, I think, real and authentic impression of who someone might be payment thing. I mean, it's small, little things, right? Like, where'd you go to school? What are some of the things that you're posting about, or you follow? I might find, you know, connections that I have in common to make that warm intro to make the introduction or even just, frankly, the name drop, here's who we know in common, here's why we might be a good fit to work together. And that's the piece that I love. Yeah. And it's not just the before you show up at a conference, I've been on my phone, thinking about who I'm gonna go connect with, on LinkedIn, I've been sitting in on panels connected with folks during the panel, telling them what I loved about it, telling them why I want to connect. This is kind of meta, but I'm thinking like, Hey, we're gonna take a picture, and we're probably gonna throw it up on LinkedIn. Yeah. And share with our, you know, with with the audience in the community that we've built, like, Hey, this is the kind of stuff that we're up to this is the stuff that we're doing. Yeah. And so it's funny because we already know that that's gonna get traction that's getting engagement. And it might not be with a specific it's going to lead to x, but we know it's going to lead to something and that's why we invest. Yeah,

Blythe Brumleve: 9:47

for sure. Because it's not like just a straight line from like, oh, person you meet to person you're gonna do business with it's a lot

Lars Ward: 9:54

different. If you're expecting it to be that you're not going to be successful. You're probably just going to fly out on the engagement and participation, you're not thinking about how to leverage the tool the right way. It's a little bit of a fuzzy ROI. You've got to get comfortable with that ambiguity. Yeah, right. I think there's so much like, you both do such a good job with posting content consistently. I've got to imagine like sometimes, Horst might not be the right word that you you're probably in the back your mind thinking, How do I stay consistent and relevant. And there's a word, there's a workflow to that. And a part of why you do that is because you know that there's this compounding effect. If you were to show up once a month, you wouldn't be able to build traction. So sometimes you have to post every day in between, not because any one of those days is meaningful, but it's the totality of those things that actually create the traction. That is why folks are tuning in and listening to the expert voice you give to the industry. It's through building that, that it's sort of I don't know, it's this. It's this virtuous flywheel, we'll talk about that all the time in business was truly content to folks know, to show up for you guys, because you're gonna be there consistently. And that creates value and above itself. Yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 11:02

And so when you're thinking about, like an event like this, for example, is close to 4000 registrations. I believe it's 3000 More people than was that last year's event. I think it's one of the biggest logistics events, which is insane to me. So how did you? Or did you get a little bit more strategic about who you're going to be meeting with this time, instead of just say, because in the past, I've said yes to everybody, I will meet anybody this time was the first time I was like, I need to take a step back. And I need to really evaluate where I'm spending my time and energy and also building in breaks. Like, what is your conference game plan look like for me this year

Grace Sharkey: 11:39

in particular, and honestly, it's probably as close to the same for you is, I've actually tried to focus a little bit more on trying to meet the people that I have a really hard time trying to reach directly. This conference is really cool, because there's a lot of sea levels, there's a lot of the people that will tell the people that I would like to talk to to talk to me. Yes. Yeah. And so like for instance, like we just ran into Coca Cola right and Rob haddock there right now, Matt, like I have been working so hard to kind of get through their, their PR wall and, and he came up to me, he's a fan of the show. So it's like, I was like, Yes, like this is exactly this is a win for me today. Because this is a really great connection with a global supply chain that can create some really great content plus coke over Pepsi. So it's a it's, it's, that's what I really love. It's like coming here, you see all of these companies on this wall right here and say, Okay, who do like we really want like you and I for content? And who just like, maybe it's difficult to reach directly. And let me talk to them here and let them know hey, this is what we're doing. And here's the work that provided.

Blythe Brumleve: 12:48

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Lars Ward: 13:23

Two things So Grace is serious on Coke over Pepsi.

Grace Sharkey: 13:33

like this Vegas thing where they don't there's no Coke in the city.

Blythe Brumleve: 13:36


Lars Ward: 13:37

We found that out yesterday. I said sometimes that bars typically for mixed drinks, but otherwise, apparently it's a Pepsi town. No idea. And there has to be some history.

Blythe Brumleve: 13:46

Pepsi mafia?

Lars Ward: 13:47

Can you please dig in and find out more?

Grace Sharkey: 13:49

You know, I will it will be on an episode of point of sale. It will be titled something clever.

Lars Ward: 13:55

We need to know the story. I'm hoping the mob was involved.

Grace Sharkey: 13:58

I'm gonna figure it out.

Blythe Brumleve: 14:00

Maybe don't do too much digging

Lars Ward: 14:01

Because if there's some reason. . Yeah, you might find bodies.

Grace Sharkey: 14:04

Actually, if you don't see an episode from me, it's because I found something terribly bad.

Lars Ward: 14:08

This is your last message blink twice if you're safe. Which is great for everybody who's listening.

Grace Sharkey: 14:18

Watching stop showing up to content.

Lars Ward: 14:21

Just hold though. Yeah, I thought that serendipitous meeting, yeah, is some of the underappreciated value that happens at conferences as much as you might want to structure and say, I'm going to come in and I'm meeting with somebody every half hour. That's great. And if that's your game plan, and you can execute more power to Yeah, what I can tell you is, that story is the exact archetype of a story that you want to play out several times at a conference like this. You'll have this meeting and it's the breakthrough you're wanting that the cold email, the cold phone call, the PR runaround, the procurement runaround, would never otherwise give you. I've had a few of those and like that's why you show up to these events. The difference is And you know, we can see it here, if you're hiding behind your phone, or a cup of coffee, and might not have it, you've got to be willing to go out. Yeah, be friendly. I mean, this is a, this is a three day networking event, they are long days, there's not a lot of breaks, there's, if you're doing it like that, there's a lot of work behind it. But the value is incredible. When else you're gonna get 4000 People who are as passionate and as connected to the industry in a room like this a couple times a year. Right. That's the truth. So I love that story.

Grace Sharkey: 15:30

Well, it's funny, when you talk about the people that are here, manifest, this is an investment, right. And so the people who are here are very serious about getting something out of it. And he put in front of you, he talked about ROI. But it's, it's true. So like, he is not the conference that you want to show up. And it's tough because it is Vegas, and then it's followed by a pretty awesome concert. But it's not the type of place, you just want to show up and sit in a corner and be afraid to shake hands. This is the spot where people want to leave with some type of new relationship or some type of ROI. It's not going to be physical, right. But something to say, Okay, this is truly worth it. So. So I do appreciate these events, because I think the people that are coming to them, hopefully take it seriously and follow through with with that as well.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:21

I think it's true. It's also the accidental conversations that you had with folks. I was sitting at the lunch table today because I just needed set an alarm on my phone, I needed to get lunch. And I went and sat down. It was a table a few people had left, and this other woman comes down and she sits right next to me and she's like, Oh my God. She's worse conversation like this guy like is, you know, is talking down to me. And she's, you know, she vented to me. She is turns out pretty high up at eBay. Yeah, we sat there and I know of you are totally organic, totally organic. She sat down right next to me. And she started talking about how this you know, a couple she had a couple meetings and you know, a couple of the guys, you know, talk down to her as if she was a subordinate as if she. And she was really frustrated when she said I cannot wait for this women's lunch that's going on tomorrow, we start connecting over different stories talking about that earlier. Yeah, it's kind of like you didn't plan for it. I planned like crazy for this conference. And almost like every 15 minutes, I have mapped out that 20 minutes, though, that we sat and had a conversation like that's a that's a person.

Lars Ward: 17:29

Those are the ones you almost can't map out, right. It's something that you can't schedule and get that kind of value. Right. And that's the magic of a conference. It's really interesting to how conferences, I feel like I've bounced back post COVID. Because this time last year, honestly, it was it was a little awkward. I remember I tried to walk through the doors, and they said Stop right there. And I was like, Well, you gotta get a PCR test. Yeah, I had no idea. I had no idea. And so you don't Hey, you always want to be conscious of of the health concerns, of course, but we're getting, there's a level of comfort now. And what I would tell you is, I'm investing more in conferences than direct customer visits. Because the impact I can have three days here versus trying to zigzag across the country, be away from home every single week. Just doesn't make sense. Yeah, no, hey, I think we're all going to try to travel when there is a need a reason to travel. But conferences, I feel like are underpriced compared to value anymore. And so I think conferences will continue my Thought Marketing and Sales, the next one, two and three years competence or more, not less important. And look at the growth in this conference. It's almost doubled last year. What do you think next?

Grace Sharkey: 18:39

The next year looks like they're gonna take the whole whole next year.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:41

Yeah, they have booked the entire place next year. They're gonna have to they're already making that bet. Yes. And they made this bet at Caesars forum. And I remember talking to the organizers last year, and they said, We don't know if it's going to be large enough for what we want to do. Yeah. And now they're just and they already have booked out, you know, the entire space. So the word is out. But this

Lars Ward: 19:05

is now an industry conference that is attending. And there's there's a handful, you know, and different focuses for different ones. But as far as industry conferences go, I think they've done a good job of establishing themselves really quickly as a as a place to come soon. Yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 19:18

So what I guess, how do you prioritize a conference? What makes it a must attend event?

Grace Sharkey: 19:25

Oh, well, I will say go to And all all of those are master Ted's the virtuals are actually free. The in person ones. We have links to hotels and everything for you know,

Lars Ward: 19:40

I love the virtual content. Yeah. Because that's something that conferences typically I hate to say this conferences typically are light on content. Great on networking. Yeah. So the virtual actually lets you think about

Grace Sharkey: 19:51

content. Yeah. And it's great too, because then you can do these things and you get to meet more people who can now go on the was different virtual events, and then it gets even more clever. I will say those I think are great. This one in particular, I love going to, especially for the tech side that I'm on. It's funny because they, this one does a great job, I think of what people struggle with is bringing the shipper into the technology aspect of it as well. Almost every panel has got at least one shipper on it to give their voice. And I think that's what makes it a little bit more interesting compared to even like it Tia TCA because a lot of them are more carrier focused, or when I go to Mass now it's serious over year two, and that's trust me, no one in this room is going to probably be at Matt's it's a whole different audience as well. So for me, it's I like to look at clearly what my objectives are in the work that I do what my following is. And even in so I think what you're saying, right, people are coming back to these types of conferences and thinking twice. If there's an audience that you don't think that you're grabbing with whatever you're doing, maybe consider going so a little bit more like the carrier one is the maths is huge. It's a lot of fun. But it's also really big. And so I've noticed in the last year when I was out there, there are companies that were here that here were there. So for me, it's a little bit of okay, who is my target audience who's going to keep building that big following you're talking about, but also who Who do I think would enjoy some of this content and bring it in as well?

Blythe Brumleve: 21:33

What about you, Lars, how are you making a determination of what conferences to visit?

Lars Ward: 21:37

So for me personally, it's going to be really where can I find shippers and value for my company or value for my shippers, even if it's not directly with them? But I think Grace you teed it up the right way, like, what's the framework? How do you think about it? It's where's your target audience out? And so I think if you start kind of with that end in mind, like, what are my goals, I might not want to schedule the conference down to the half hour. But what I would do want to say is, here's some of the things I'm looking to come away with. I'm looking to come up with a couple of new connections. I do love the fact that industry does show up. And I love getting have that those. I don't know, the networking. I mean, I've talked to some of my peers, other heads of sales at other brokerages and having that opportunity to connect, hear what they're hearing, discuss some of the challenges that I'm seeing some of the opportunities that they might be seeing all of that, even that is invaluable in its own right. And so I'm thinking the audience, is really where you have to start. For me, it's about a, how can I network? How can I meet shippers? And how can I find value,

Grace Sharkey: 22:32

right to even add on to the network to and I also do like coming to this and other events like this? Because I do know people there within my network already. And I hope I think that also drives like a third party network combined.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:49

Like they can have conferences.

Grace Sharkey: 22:51

Yes. Oh, my goodness. Yes. That's exactly

Lars Ward: 22:54

degrees. Yeah. That really is true, though. Yeah. Like

Grace Sharkey: 22:57

I would veins over there, right? Well, if I go talk with Bane, and he's in can introduce me to someone new. And that opens it up to and then I'm quickly that

Lars Ward: 23:07

game. Yeah, go through the attendee, pick someone at random, and see how long it will take

Grace Sharkey: 23:12

Kevin? Yeah, yes. It works. And it's it. There's also like, quick trust, because if you're going to introduce me to someone, it's probably not a waste of my time, right? Yeah.

Lars Ward: 23:24

You trust you tend to trust the people who are part of your network. And then their network by essentially, just like LinkedIn will say, this is a second degree Connect. Yes. Yeah. at conferences there is in real life, second degree connections. And going back to the social media element, I can't tell you how many times I know this has happened to both of you. I can't tell you how many times someone's come up. And I've seen you on LinkedIn. Yeah. And I have no idea who this person might be because they're not necessarily well engaging with the content. Right? They're just consuming it. There's nothing wrong with that. But now I'm having these meaningful in real life connections. And it's funny, some of it is shippers, some of its industry, they've actually had a couple of carriers that I've sent over to my team, and they say, I like what you're doing. It'd be fun to work with you guys. And I said, I might not be the right person, but I'm gonna connect you to the right people. And we'll figure that out. Right? Yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 24:09

It's super interesting because I one of the bigger questions that I got from, I would say, three or four different three pls before this event is okay. But am I going to actually get business from this conference? How do you make that determination as a three PL yourself?

Lars Ward: 24:25

We were joking about that. We were Yeah. 10 minutes before we started recording. We were joking about like, Who have you signed up

Grace Sharkey: 24:32

you back and like, I walked up to like their boss.

Lars Ward: 24:35

I've been in Vegas for 30 hours.

Grace Sharkey: 24:40

It was their first shipment. Yeah.

Lars Ward: 24:42

Okay, so pick ups on Monday. Right.

Grace Sharkey: 24:47

So good.

Lars Ward: 24:49

So what I can tell you is last year we went through that exercise. We said Who are the connections that we made, and what's the business that's resulted from it now picure meant to timelines can be somewhat long. There are some customers we met last year, who for various reasons, we haven't been on board with yet. I'll give you one example, a major automotive manufacturer, they said you have to be in business for two years. It's part of their risk mitigation profile. They do that for any global vendor. Makes a lot of sense. As much as I hate it, right? Yes. So we've been keeping in touch, we've had great conversations we actually went through this is terrible. We went through all the contracting all of the onboarding, then, and then the team said, Wait a minute, red flag, right? So it's funny, because I know that that's business that will happen. So there's both the direct ROI, how can I measure that in, you know, 90 days, or 30 days, I'd say 90 days, and then over the course of a year, but then also, what are the what have I filled my pipeline with, because of this attendance, right? I would say the same things gonna be true for this year, there are some customers who I'm hoping to have some breakthroughs with, because we've attended. And I also know that we're filling some of the, you know, top of funnel marketing efforts and top of funnel sales efforts, because it might be just even sitting in on their panel and then reaching out to other folks, or I think you said it grace. This person might not be the person I'm targeting. But they might connect me with person. There's a lot of sea level, and there's a lot of global heads of procurement. And global heads might be focused on warehousing in Asia, or final mile inland. And I might be looking for the North American, middle mile person, and they might be able to make that connection. And so that again, you have to get creative with how you network to make it worthwhile.

Grace Sharkey: 26:32

I will say, too, and I want to say I'm not speaking for him. But Greece, you can be a salesperson, right now. I'm Yeah. And I think you'll understand once I make the point, but as someone who writes more about the technology, and kind of knows what's happening more behind the scenes for a lot of these folks up here, as a three PL or someone who's in a three PL spot or brokerage spot, a lot of these companies actually need three PL relationships, for their systems to truly work. So you're off your flatbed focus, right. And you have really great connections while working with a platform, a technology platform that focuses on flatbed freight is probably a really great connection to make here. And there's a lot of the companies out there and I'm not going to throw their names out. But if you do your research, well, you're probably going to be able to help them grow their network and bring some true value to them. So and then also, like, think about it, like, there's insurance providers here, there's fleet telematics, there's all different types of stuff where it's like, okay, there's a way that you could probably work yourself into their ecosystem and find dollars out of that like,

Blythe Brumleve: 27:49

well, you keep saying like, we're looking at all Oh, yeah. audio version, there's a, there's a wall behind us with 405. I don't know, 1000 logos all over it.

Lars Ward: 28:02

Yeah. 100 feet long, 40 feet tall. Billboard here.

Blythe Brumleve: 28:06

And it's amazing to see so so let's see how much time we have. I think we have 10 minutes. Okay, so we got 10 minutes left? What does the conference strategy look like after you leave?

Lars Ward: 28:18

Oh, it's gonna be a little bit different for both of us.

Grace Sharkey: 28:21

Yes, I will say for me. I've been telling everyone it's funny. And my first panel is on was how to pitch to a journalist. And one thing that was brought up as we all have different ways that we kind of function through ways that you can get through me I always tell people, you can email me the email me twice. If I don't answer the second email linked to me, because I feel so guilty about it that I'll email you back right away. And I tell everyone, I've seen your two in length, shoot me LinkedIn message it, we get a lot, a lot of people that reach out to us a lot of a lot of stuff comes through the freight waves email. And so I'll, it'll get lost. And so I always tell people, so for me, I usually start going through LinkedIn making sure I'm connecting with everyone. It's already I'm sure you've seen him. I haven't even looked at the app yet. Because it's just going crazy. And then from there, figuring out some type of schedule, right? If it's your company, I think it'd be great for radio or articles or different different areas that I can kind of take that content. I started kind of drafting that out for

Blythe Brumleve: 29:28

you block off days after because this is a person who

Grace Sharkey: 29:31

kind of rolled my eyes because it's like, it's almost the follow up is almost harder than being here,

Blythe Brumleve: 29:40

which is why I set aside two days that I'm not Yeah, two days. So Monday and Tuesday of next week. I still have my audit out of office on Yeah, and I'm just going to do follow up. Yes, it's been a super week or a big weakness of mine over the last few conferences is my lack of follow up. Yeah. Okay.

Lars Ward: 29:56

So we've got to circle back after this on the app, because I'm so interested in that and kind of what your hot takes. But there's

Grace Sharkey: 30:04

I can't even say right now. Actually wait, no, this can be edited and stuff, right? Sure. What are you about to

Blythe Brumleve: 30:12

kind of my podcast editor? Shout out to Josh.

Grace Sharkey: 30:15

I was gonna say

Lars Ward: 30:15

I haven't been hard cut. Yeah, that's it for today's episode. Everything in logistics

Grace Sharkey: 30:24

that says Grace goes crazy. The Apple let me be the thumbnail. I haven't been in the Apple Oh, conference. I can't get into the worst

Blythe Brumleve: 30:34

unauthorized user, you have to go to the desktop.

Grace Sharkey: 30:36

Like events not exist or something. Yeah. Oh, that's what I do.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:40

Yeah, I happen to me to this morning. They fix a for me to a lot of folks. So I,

Grace Sharkey: 30:43

but the cool. I will say the cool thing about the app is it's sending you an email every time someone does, yes. So I do have a path. But people I love

Blythe Brumleve: 30:51

this technology for folks who are listening. It's just a badge that's on your badge and you literally press a button and you can share your contact information with somebody. Yeah,

Lars Ward: 31:00

we're doing that and still trading cards left and right. Which industry like some guy like it just honestly, like, and these are all people who we did that, you know, Voodoo little BBQ.

Grace Sharkey: 31:17

Do you have a Rolodex to me too? Yeah, yeah. I can't never throw them away. Never. Never know,

Lars Ward: 31:27

you know what's interesting.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:30

We actually looked at your business cards, okay. Anyway.

Lars Ward: 31:34

So I have a shipper. And she's got this like, huge binder. She is savage. Like goes through it through my old one out. What did you want? And like? I just remember, like watching, I'm like, Oh, my gosh,

Blythe Brumleve: 31:50

baseball cards, almost where you have to collect?

Lars Ward: 31:52

Well, you've got to, you know, I mean, you can't just throw that away.

Grace Sharkey: 31:56

Yeah, you know, 100%. So

Lars Ward: 31:58

what do you do? What do you do when you get back home? I want to steal the I'm still out. When I'm back in Yeah, I'm stealing agnostically. Here's the truth, our, our inboxes are out of control. And so everyone else is here. And so we've just taken all this time away, work hasn't stopped, life hasn't stopped, you're gonna get home and you know, you've got to attend to some things, do some laundry, you've got to relax a little bit, the work is piled up. But what I would say is, I think there's a longing to it. So hey, just very tactical, what's the playbook, scrape the email list if you can. Sometimes those are gated by sponsorship or whatever it might be. But there are contacts that you've met with that you need to follow up with and be strategic about, there are some that you wanted to meet with. You didn't, but this common shared connection of Hey, how was the conference for you? Right? Did you go to Nelly, whatever it might be, you've got to have something. And I what I'd say is it also should be whatever your whatever your product is become this sort of like, you know, funnel for activity, right? And so I want to throw all those shippers in, I want to have some target activities. And it's okay, if that's not the first day back, it's probably better because like everybody else like true. Laundry, like what are you talking about? Boxes are loaded too, right?

Grace Sharkey: 33:16

Yeah, you're right. And then it's gonna be like a day or even more loaded. So it's almost funny.

Lars Ward: 33:21

It's like there's something strategic about if you really want to, if you really want like, there's so much science behind the timing of Paula, if you really want to when it's not on Monday? Probably Thursday. Yeah, don't I won't because you can do that. What's the day that I'm sending? What needs and what's the sequence? Yeah. How long before the second email? How long before the LinkedIn connection? Do you phone call? When do you phone call all of those pieces? So you've got to have a strategy. But I think it's just like the, you know, sort of, I think about like that standard old brokerage, like just like the post and pray like, Well, that's it, right. Yeah, strategic can be thoughtful. Do you

Blythe Brumleve: 33:59

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Grace Sharkey: 35:09

Yeah, I brought that up. And that pitching the journalists to it's how to build that relationship. And it's I don't know, you probably know, as puts like, PR has gotten really bad. I don't know what systems are using or what they're doing. It's like automated emails, where it's like, yeah, I can tell that this is

Blythe Brumleve: 35:27

kid caster. This is for you.

Grace Sharkey: 35:29

Oh, you shows you know the name. Even on stage. I was like, I don't know what outreach?

Lars Ward: 35:37

Wait, so as a non podcast? Sure, yeah. Give me like the what? It's

Grace Sharkey: 35:43

all and it's fine. Because I don't even know what these companies are names. But it's like you can you know, that email that's like, hey, bleh, it just sounds so automated, like, I work well. I'm gonna send

Blythe Brumleve: 35:55

this man. It's the podcast software. So in your podcast, RSS feed is your contact email. So there are data scrapers that exists. Name and then send you automatic emails. And I think that's what I don't know. It's like, I'm pretty sure because the PR outreach that I get is nine times out of 10, unrelated to the show, and I can tell instantly that they've never listened to the show.

Grace Sharkey: 36:23

And that's what I think that's the advice is like, talk about, like, say what you liked when we met or what we talked about it, because that's probably having answered

Lars Ward: 36:32

reason to do that is because it's easy. It's not good. But it's a numbers game. And even if I get point 000 1% respond to me, if I send out 100,000 emails, that gives me something to work through. And what I'd say is for most of us, we're not going to be successful with that kind of response rate. And, and hey, I, I like mass email campaigns, I think there's a place for them. I think you should be as targeted and as qualified on the front end, as you absolutely can be anything, you have to have fantastic copy, like I want, I want to tell you exactly what I do. I want to do it succinctly, I want to make you laugh, like, we're doing an email blast, we have to talk about this another time. I'm the email. So the last email campaign, I had five email drip, the fifth email was our call to action at a 5.2% response rate. And this is statistically you know, sort of like meaningful over 500 distinct contexts. That is, I don't know if I can cuss. But it is fucking great. Right? And so but but here's the thing, because most folks will tell me it's like, yeah, you're gonna see between point five and, and 1.25% response rate on any call to action, you know, excluding your unsubbed that you've had throughout, right? When they're just scraping if you just do the same thing for conferences. I mean, honestly, it's a wasted effort. You're going through the motions, but you're not getting any traction. If someone was was to reach out to you, and it sounds like they do, and they're just coming with absolute vanilla, no value, no distinct reason for you to respond. Guess what you don't do? You don't invite them to the pod. You don't you don't have money, you don't create content, because it's not valuable for your audience.

Grace Sharkey: 38:12

Yeah, it's if anything I answered. I'm interested in what you think, too. If I gotta say a perfect email, one, how we met to what we're going to talk about, distinctly, compared to a lot of times people reach out and be like, supply chain problems. Okay. Yeah. Or compared to, we recently did a study where we found 94% of so and so and if we discussed this, this already lost me, right? Yeah. No, I liked that. Because now it's like, first off, you just came up with content.

Lars Ward: 38:50

Oh, so you're saying when they're clear? Oh, there's a part of me when it's like it's too anonymized. They

Grace Sharkey: 38:55

just want to be on the show. But they don't know what to talk about. And that's always funny. To me. It's like, a lot of times to say like, what do you want to speak? I don't know, what the hell is going on? Like, you know, like, what are you doing?

Lars Ward: 39:08

Are you bringing so much constantly that to be booking guests, and the research if someone can come and tell you exactly what's interesting,

Grace Sharkey: 39:16

exactly. Like, how does it gauge Exactly. And that's, I

Blythe Brumleve: 39:19

think, for a lot of podcasters is that they are for a lot of folks who want to be on podcasts. They don't understand that this is we're doing this dozens of times every day to help us help you. Yeah, we want to set you up for success. So shoot us topic ideas. And then when the interview comes, we'll send over a rough outline a rough conversation with all that, you know,

Lars Ward: 39:43

it's gonna make for a better conversation, right? Yeah, like it's a little bit more engaging a little bit more fun. Oh, yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 39:48

All right, we gotta wrap because we got the next podcast interview setup. So where can folks follow more of your work? All that, you know, all your socials all that good stuff? Well,

Grace Sharkey: 39:59

since we're I saw the LinkedIn chain, go to my LinkedIn and I've got my link tree link in my LinkedIn. Click on that it'll get you to my Sirius XM page. You can sign in I mean episodes, my email, my Twitter, my Instagram, my all the things. All of it is right there. took that from life. So shout out yeah, go to LinkedIn. You'll see that link right at the top and I'll get seven.

Lars Ward: 40:25

We've talked about it LinkedIn. That's where to find me go go hang out, go connect. It's not Lars mana as much as it should be. Not Mars, bars board and yeah,

Grace Sharkey: 40:37

trucking company to

Blythe Brumleve: 40:42

Grace Lars Vana. Thank you for joining the conversation as always. I hope you enjoy this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. If you liked this episode, do me a favor and sign up for our newsletter. I know what you're probably thinking, oh God, another newsletter. But it's the easiest way to stay updated when new episodes are released. Plus, we drop a lot of gems in that email to help the one person marketing team and folks like yourself who are probably wearing a lot of hats at work in order to help you navigate this digital world a little bit easier. You could find that email signup link along with our socials in past episodes. Over at everything is And until next time, I'm Blythe and go Jags

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.