Top Freight Marketing Episodes of 2023
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The holiday season is a blurry time of year when we start to think about goals for the new year. This mega episode compiles the year’s best freight marketing podcasts to grasp industry trends, how AI is disrupting workflows, and measuring ROI. Curated episodes play in order of value but are time-stamped to jump around. Thank you for supporting this independent podcast in its first year. While these best-of episodes air, 2024’s content calendar will be finalized with lots of new freight marketing wisdom on the way.





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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

It's that time of the year when the days between Thanksgiving and the new year feel like one giant blur, but it's also time to think about the things that you want to get done in 2024. So what better way to get a handle on what to be thinking about than a mega episode of this year's best shows? In this episode, we're covering freight marketing, with five of our top episodes curated to help you get a grasp on what's going on in marketing as a whole, how AI is disrupting workflows and how to finally start measuring ROI. These episodes are going to play in order of how I think they will be the most valuable to you, the listener, but if you want to jump to a specific part, I've got each episode time stamped, as well as the link back to the original episode, which has some handy show links and ways to get in touch with either the guest or the topic from that episode. Lastly, thank you so much for your support you've given this show during our very first year of going fully independent. While these best ofs are airing, I'll be finalizing the first part of 2024's content plan, with tons of new content on the way that I'm super excited to share with you. But until then, happy holidays and I hope you find this episode helpful. The main topic that we discussed with Freight Waves now today is discussing lead gen and lead gen in a down market. We all want lead gen right now, especially in not just a down market but a tight market. Competition is really tough right now. It's challenging to sell against other companies and other services. How do you differentiate yourself? How do you make sure that even your lead gen campaign is working? That's going to be our main topic for today's show. The reason I want to start with this is because a lot of us are probably not very I don't want to say not busy, but we have a lot of work to do, but at the same time, it's slowing down. During that slowdown, what do we do? That is, you need to really first step is to reevaluate your processes and reevaluate and audit everywhere that you appear online or your company appears online your social media pages, all of your business pages, even your own LinkedIn profile, anywhere else where you are active online, your website, of course. You want to audit all of those things to make sure that when a prospect or a lead comes to your page or comes to your website, that you are ready to accommodate them. What do I mean by ready to accommodate them? Well, let's take your social media page, for example. Where is that pathway to conversion? If I am a new user, if I am a prospect and I am coming to your social media page, you probably routed me there from somewhere. Was it an ad? Was it a cold email campaign? Was it somebody within your company that was talking about the company? And the visitor arrives on the page. What does that next step look like? Do you want them to book a meeting? Do you want them to schedule a demo? Do you want them to just watch a demo that's already prerecorded on your site, or do you want them to call a phone number? You want to make sure that that is clearly established on your social media pages and even your own personal pages, and also within your cold outreach campaigns and also your ad campaigns. Where are you sending that traffic? What does that look like for the visitor to make a conversion? We just redid a website for a recruiting agency and all of their social media posts were redirecting folks to their website to apply. When those folks arrived to the website, there was nothing for them to say okay, this is the next step that I should take. You need to keep that in mind as you're sending your marketing messages out there, because you want to make sure that that pathway to conversion is crystal clear and it works. You would be surprised at how many times that folks will arrive on a site. They'll click on a phone number and the phone number doesn't work, or it leads to a bad phone number, or it leads to a generic phone number where someone is not is going to answer, but they're not going to be able to answer and be able to help that person with the questions that they're coming to you with. So what does that process look like? And make sure that it actually functions and that it actually works. It's a great time to audit a lot of these different processes. And then another thing that you want to do is you want to make sure that you are testing the forms on your site. There is nothing worse and I mean nothing because I personally experienced this and practically threw my computer outside of a window because of the fact that I did all of the hard work, I did all of the marketing and then the visitor arrived on the site and the damn forms didn't work. So you want to make sure that your damn forms work on your website so that that way there's a clear path to conversion for the visitor and then also there's a clear follow up process for whoever is on the receiving end of those forms. I manage more than 30 websites in the freight industry. I manage my own forms and we do testing every single month just to be able to make sure that we know the forms are working and they're routed to the proper person, so then that way that person can follow up accordingly. So it's a good time. That's. My first and initial tip is to make sure that you audit all of your social media and your Google my Business page. That's another really big one. If you don't have a Google my Business page, you need to make sure you get that, because it's like free advertising on Google. It's free to do. All you do is sign up on Google my Business. You submit your address and where you're located. You'll send you a little postcard with a comfort, with a verification number, just to make sure that you are actually there and that you are actually at that address location. So that's one thing to keep in mind is that you want to make sure that you're taking advantage of all of these platforms that are free to use they cost you time as far as an investment wise, but they're free to use and that pathway to conversion is solidified with a strong foundation and then that way, when the user does eventually see your social media or see your campaign whether it's ad or email or whatever the fact that when they come to your site then there's that pathway to conversion is actually suitable for that person to take it. It's crystal clear and there's no sort of guessing game around that. So fix that first. That's tip number far and away tip number one, and you should actually be testing this at least once a quarter just to make sure, because you never know, especially with websites, if you update one part of the site, it could force you know other things or other script errors, code errors within the rest of the site it could cause them to malfunction. So as long as you're testing these on a regular basis, then you can stop a problem before it becomes a big problem. So just keep that in mind. Now, the next thing that we discussed on on freight waves now is really utilizing a lot of these different tools that have flooded the market in recent months and of course, I'm going to be talking about tech EPT. It is the fastest growing app to a hundred million users in the history of technology. It's safe to say that it's I don't want to say it's safe to say it's absolutely already here and it's dominating a lot of workforces. And if it hasn't affected your work already within six months, it absolutely will. And I want to bring up this next article because this is going to really tie into the final topic that I want to get into, and that's creating your Y buys, and I'll get into Y buys in just a second. It's essentially a cold email outreach campaign, but it's centered around getting through the noise of AI and getting through the noise of all of these other campaigns that are mass created, that are just blankets sent out and there's no regard for the end user and what their experience looks like. We don't want that. We don't want a bad experience for the user, whether we're doing cold outreach or prospect is trying to get in touch with us. We want a very good experience. And then that segues into what tools can we use to get there faster, and that is chat GPT. So I want to bring up this first article and bear with me. I am new to using StreamYard as a host. I've been on other live broadcasts, but this is my first one that I am doing myself, so let me, we're going to add to screen, so if you are listening. I'm sorry you can't see this article, but it is a newsletter that I wrote a few weeks back titled AI is forcing another work revolution upon us. Here is what to do about it, and if you want to read that in depth, it's overall my LinkedIn profile. Just search for black brimley you should be able to find it, and it's one of the more recent. There's only four issues so far with this LinkedIn partnership, so it should be pretty easy to find. But I gathered a bunch of stats that should be pretty eye opening, I think, for a lot of folks out there, so let's run through a few of them. Now, in order to kind of understand what is happening in the AI workforce is that we have to kind of think about what the modern work day looks like, and the modern work day has really only been around for about a hundred years. Henry Ford came up with it in the early 1900s and it came up with the concept of the eight hour rule. So you get eight hours at work, you get eight hours at home and eight hours for sleep. That has dominated our work day for the last hundred years and it hasn't really evolved until COVID. When COVID happened at Forestry another work revolution where everybody is working from home. It pulled a lot of these sort of older industries, these legacy industries, logistics being included. It pulled them all into the 21st century where the majority of people now have webcams, shocker they now have not a lot more people should have microphones but things like at home studio experiences, at home work environment, a dedicated place for you to work from home, instead of spending that time traveling to and from work and spending that eight hours at the office and then driving back, or eight hours at a factory or a warehouse and then driving back to your home. So that has existed for about a hundred years and a lot of that has changed in the last couple of years and a lot of it is going to keep changing. It changes the only constant that we can sort of expect. So, running through, now that you have sort of a backstory about that, there's one really alarming. I guess alarming is probably a Freudian slip, because it's one of those things where there is a new study that just came out by Gartner. This has the share of US industry employment exposed to automation by AI, and this was done not by Gartner but actually by Goldman Sachs, and they estimate 25% of US jobs across all industries could be at risk to replacement by AI, but the number rises dramatically for legal roles and office admin roles. So 25% of US jobs across all industries are at risk for being replaced, but when you're talking about legal, it's 44%, and when you're talking about office and admin roles, excuse me that legal jobs is 44%. Office admin roles is 46%. So when you think about the jobs that are going to be largely impacted, it's the back office, it's a lot of these white collar roles, knowledge-based work. I think there was a fear for a very long time, especially by truckers, that robots are going to, not by truckers, but by folks within the trucking industry, because truckers are very aware of the skill set that you need in order to operate that big piece of heavy machinery. However, there are lots of folks within the industry that have been trying to automate a lot of those jobs, whether it's warehouse robotics or some capacity of the trucking industry. A lot of different facets within blue collar work was expected to be replaced by automation, by AI, by technology, and in reality, what we're seeing is that maybe the blue collar jobs are safe or safer from AI that's now going to come in and really I don't want to say wipe out, but it's really going to change how we work and so, knowing this, it seems a little scary. It definitely feels scary, but it's not scary if you pay attention to where the market is moving. That's what I've always prided myself on. So hopefully, with the things that I listen to and the things that I pay attention to, hopefully I can be a good curator of that content for you and hopefully help you sort of, I guess, be the flashlight in the dark of night in order to try to find hope and figure out how your job can adjust, because your job will probably be impacted by AI at some point, where at least 30% of your role. I've heard some investors, vc type folks, say that anywhere from 30% to 50% of your role will probably be powered by AI. So what do we do about it? I mean, there are so many stories that we can talk about that I mentioned in this newsletter, such as the open letter calling for a six month halt on future AI development. This was written by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, elon Musk and other prominent computer scientists. There was a really heartfelt Reddit post that made the rounds talking about a 3D game designer, where he really loved creating different characters for a game, and Mid Journey, which is another AI platform that creates images based on text prompts. So, if you are, he was using this or his boss wanted him to use this platform, and now essentially his job has gone from creating beautiful characters into creating text prompts that then create the beautiful characters. So he feels like his purpose. His job is gone. Now, on the flip side, there's another designer that works within that same company and he's been loving it. His productivity has increased. It's allowed him the ability to even the playing field a little bit with the skill set that he was lacking from a 3D game perspective. The boss obviously loves it because the productivity has increased dramatically. So, knowing that those stories exist, I'm empathetic and I'm sympathetic to those different stories where a guy legitimately feels like he has lost his purpose in his art that he's been creating. But I could make the argument that he hasn't lost that purpose. He is still free to create any of that art in his own way, but if he's working for an employer, an employer is going to be looking at ways to increase productivity, and that's exactly what these tools do is to increase productivity and give you access to skill sets that you might not have had the time or desire to learn. I know the power of me personally. I know the power of what a great image will do for a video, for an article, but I don't know how to create that image from scratch. I don't know how to go into a program like Illustrator and create that from scratch. I could hire somebody to do that, but that takes time, energy and money. On the flip side, though, if I just learn how to use and what I have been doing is learning how to use Mid Journey, which is one of those image creator platforms, that is, you enter into text prompts and it can create images for you If you subscribe to my newsletter on LinkedIn, then any image that I use for those newsletters. I am practicing using Mid Journey to create those images instead of going to another source where I could possibly be sued for copyright violation, or going to another source where I, mistakenly, have done this in the past, especially in my early blogging days in the 2000s, where I've taken an image from social media, thinking that it's free to use because it's supposed to do social media, when in fact that is not free to use. You learn the hard way of how you're going to gather images or how you should source images, but then you also learn the hard way of well, I still need to get images, so where am I going to get them from? This type of program like a Mid Journey evens the playing field for someone like me. You could do it on the flip side, where someone is used to creating beautiful images and maybe they're not as great of a writer. These other tools like ChatGPT or copyai or Jasper some of these other copywriting tools can help you become a better writer, even if you don't have that skill set. I'm a big fan of these tools. I think we should embrace them. I think we should use them to our advantage. There is a little bit of a scary side. There is a little bit of an empathetic, sympathy side of things, but let's talk about how to implement these tools into your workday. There was a great post that I want to bring up and that I'm going to read from. That comes from the Marketing AI Institute podcast. It is a great podcast. They're over on YouTube as well, so they record. It's two guys, mike Kaput and I'm blanking on the other host name but they do a weekly show. It releases every Tuesday morning. I believe they record it on Monday so they recap all of the biggest AI news that has happened and how they're consulting other companies to start using these tools. So when you think about it that way, education is going to be the biggest barrier. So you want to make sure that you're starting to incorporate regular education because this stuff is moving so fast. You have to really focus on how am I going to get educated quickly and then how am I going to stay educated for all of these new tools that are coming out into the market. So the Marketing AI podcast I would highly suggest subscribing to them. They're on LinkedIn as well. You can follow a couple of the creators of that and they'll be able to at least offer you insight and tips as to what's going on in the market and how you can adjust. But going through some of the use cases of how you can start using AI in your business my first tip and what I personally do is set ChatGPT. First of all, chatgpt is free for anyone to use. They have three different versions as 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0. You can only access 4.0 if you're a paying member. If you're a paying member, it's only $20 a month. So it's the best $20 a month that I spend each month, because it's a no-brainer for me. It also gives you access to new features and new tools that are coming into the market. So if you want to try out the just regular, plain 3.5 version, you can sign up for a free account, give it a try, start practicing your text prompts as you input it into the system and then you can set it as your start screen on your browser. So either bookmark it, set it as your start screen and then really keep that window open on your computer. So then that way you are training yourself on how to use this to summarize long form content. Say, you found an article and you really want to summarize it for your customers, for your audience. You could input that text into ChatGPT and say summarize this in less than 200 words. So theoretically you can do this with books, with podcasts. It's not quite there yet tech-wise on ChatGPT, for example, but there are other solutions that will summarize that for you. That's probably a topic for a later show that's a little bit more advanced. I want to keep this more for the folks who haven't really dived into a lot of the just stuff that's going on in AI. It's been so much of a quick, fast revolution that is happening right before our eyes that it feels overwhelming and intimidating at times because I feel like I have rewritten my work processes for not just customer outreach but also sales, marketing, website design, outreach to customers. It can feel really overwhelming at times, but education start with that. First marketing AI podcast. Are you in freight sales with a book of business, looking for a new home, or perhaps you are a freight agent in need of a better partnership? These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called the Freight Agent Trenches sponsored by SPI Logistics. I can tell you all day that SPI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America who helps their agents with back office operations such as admin, finance, it and sales. But I would much rather you hear it directly from SPI's freight agents themselves. I want better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SPI. Hit the freight agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or, if you're ready to make the jump, visit SPI3PLcom Then next. I think that it was a really smart post by the host of the marketing AI podcast and he said that on this post I would try to bring it up on the screen, but I don't know how to really do that yet, so let me, I'm going to keep it on this article for now and just keep that display on the screen, and so let's just move forward with these suggestions from Mike Kaput. And he said need help finding use cases for AI in your business and some helpful advice to do that. Step number one write down a list of all the things you do in a week. This is great for my fellow you know process nerds out there, this is probably like step number one and greened in your brain. But if you're not used to setting up a process or establishing a process, you were literally just taking a Google doc, taking a sheet of paper, and you're writing down everything you do for a week. You don't have to do this right from memory. What really helped me is to have a couple of post-it notes off to the side or a Google doc, and then you, just for one week, you just practice it in your head that anything new you do responding to emails how long did it take you to do that and sort of time tracking of what you do, how long it takes you to do that, and so that's step number one is to write down everything that you do in your business. Step number two, which kind of hints to what I just said, is list out how much time you estimate each task takes. Number three for each task, ask yourself three questions Is it data-driven? Is it repetitive? Does it involve trying to make a prediction? If you answer yes to any of these, highlight the task. In step number four, sort the list of highlighted tasks by which ones take the most time. You now have a starting list of high-value potential use cases for AI and you can use it as a jumping off point to research vendors and tools, and so this is a really good way of just taking the approach of okay, I know what I do in a week. Now how do I use these tools that are flooding the market like a chat GPT or like a Jasper copyai, some of these other tools. Swellai is another one that I use for podcasting, but that's not applicable to everyone, but nine times out of 10, you're using writing in some part of your job. So a couple tools that I recommend is definitely copyai, because they really help to bridge the gap between okay, I have this tool, but how do I use it? And so what they do is they send out daily prop and you don't even really have to be a customer of copyai yet. Just sign up for their emails and you can get what's called the daily prompt email and it will send you examples of what to use in a prompt. That can help you in research for new customers. It can help you with summarizing emails. It can help you with, you know, creating. There's even, you know, new AI tools that are going on top of tools that we already use. Hubspot is a great example of this. I'm willing to bet the overwhelming majority of folks within the freight industry are using a CRM, and then you're probably, if you're using a CRM, you're probably using HubSpot. Well, they just released a new tool called ChatSpot. That is almost not almost it is a AI tool powered on top of your CRM that you're already using, so it can help you identify revenue targets. Who just raised money. Paste this LinkedIn profile and tell me a summary of what this person's role is, so then I can then brainstorm what their problems and their job are at and how my solution, my product, my service can help them adjust and can help them, you know, maybe save a little money, save a little time, save a little frustration. So it helps you dramatically in the research part of the process. So using these tools, figuring out how they can fit into your work day and how you can utilize them, is a great way to get started. You don't have to be an expert right away, but it will help you to craft that messaging, to craft those end goals that you want the prospect or the lead to take advantage of. And so, when you think about it from that that it's going to help you do things faster. It's going to help you write an email faster. It's going to help you create a campaign faster. It's going to help you do all of these other things faster. But also recognize that it's going to help a lot of other people do things faster and it's going to create a lot of noise. It's going to create a lot of spam and until some of these spam filters can keep up, it's going to be challenging on the end user's hand to filter through the noise. And so, if you can use these tools not to write your entire email campaign for you, but to massage your own words, so that the best I guess phrase that I can use for you know a lot of different discussion points around AI is that it will get you to 80%, but it's going to take you massaging that last 20% to get it to a place where that's a suitable email, that sounds like you, it doesn't sound like a robot and it's valuable to the end user. So when I talk about all of these things, first of all let me change the screen so I can get back to just a full person view. Here we go Okay, I'm going to fly, so now we are at, you know, a normal view. I got a little pep in my step, but got a good flow going here, so let's lock it in with this final topic, because of the fact that we're now going to have so much different content that's coming into the. I mean, I've even seen LinkedIn. They're starting to use AI to come up with you know different topics and suggestions and comment suggestions and DM replies of what you should say, things like that. These are all being this is all AI and it's all slowly being integrated into every facet of our internet experience. So, knowing all of that, it's going to be challenging to have a prospect, see your message resonate with it enough. So then that way, they make a decision that they want to book a meeting with you, that they want to request more information from you. So how do you stand out from the rest? And the way you do that is by this new concept called creating Y buys. Now, I first heard this on a podcast called stacking growth, and the guest was a woman by the name of Jessica Watts. She calls herself a sustainable revenue evangelist on LinkedIn, which I love that title. So she created this concept and I'm not sure if she created, or maybe the company that she worked for created it, but she broke this down into some really, really valuable insights into what is a Y buy. A Y buy is why you should buy for me, and you should be thinking about it in the lens of the customer that you're trying to reach. So, going back to that initial topic of how we kicked off the show of lead Jen in a down market. Yes, the job market is tough. Yes, the sales market is tough right now and, yes, we have an influx of all of these tools that are coming in, that are going to continue to shift our work life in ways that we probably don't even know yet, and it's going to completely catch people off guard in the next six to 10 months who haven't been paying attention. So, if you have been paying attention, then these are ways that you can start to incorporate. So, not only from an educational level, but also from a daily habit of setting chat Jpt to a start screen, setting it as a bookmark so that it's right there in front of your face every single day, so you can practice new ways to use it. You want to think of yourself as if? So, if we are facing this sort of I don't want to say like existential crisis, but it kind of feels that way at times that our job will be replaced, that at least the majority of our job will be replaced or automated or powered by AI, then it makes sense to be at the forefront of using this technology. So, if you are working at a company and you volunteer to be the AI person. Volunteer to be the person that's going to practice and to check out the processes of the business and the company that you're operating in and how you can use these tools to get better. Be the voice and start using these tools, because, whether you could be the leader in charge of incorporating a lot of these different tools within the company, or if something you know, the worst case scenario happens where you're replaced because AI can help you know one person, do the job of many. If you're replaced, you still know these tools that you can take into a new gig, into a new business, into a new company, or maybe even start your own business, because you now have the power of using you know five quote unquote people a digital assistant, assistance, virtual assistance, things like that, with using the power of these tools. So we've got all of that out of the way. Let's get back to the Y buys, the Y buys. I wish I could set this up. I think I can. Let me go ahead. I'm going to share my screen and it's going to be this sales flow documents that I have up on the screen. Yeah, I did a live, okay, good. So this is sort of my I guess proprietary notes or whatever. So I'm going to go ahead and share my screen now and with my fancy layout. So if you're watching, thank you, but if you're just listening to the show, this is basically a document that I have that I almost treated as my Bible. I take a lot of notes, I listen to a lot of different podcasts, I digest a lot of content in order to be able to create content. You know, 80% of your content journey should be consumption. So then, that way, the 20% of you actually speaking and on air and on a podcast, will be a value to users. So this is my, my sort of guidebook, and when I, when I listened to this podcast of stacking growth and Jessica was breaking down, it was such a light bulb moment and I think it's such a major key for a lot of businesses out there that are going to be faced with these different challenges, and it's with this down market, in a tight market. You can now take these steps to begin to hone in on your messaging and make it short, concise and specific and to the point, and I feel like that's probably, you know, a bunch of different analogies to say the same thing. But let's get into why buys, how to create them. Now the first thing you want to do is you want to establish who you're talking to and why. So ask yourself, get out you know a Google doc or Microsoft Word doc, or you know a pen and paper whatever your, your, your pleasure is, but get out that pen and start writing down these applicable to your company, your business. So you want to ask yourself what is the current state, what is the problem of the current state, what is the future state and what is the outcome of the future state? You want to keep these as a reminder, keep these simple and specific. And then you want to create two of these. So establish who you're talking to and why you want to establish two of these and turn it into a question. This intro question is the first sentence you're going to use in your cold outreach campaign, which is AKA a Y buy. And Jessica goes on to explain that you know, cold email gets a lot of grief. I've been guilty of, you know, trash talking, cold email. I think cold calling is is largely dead. I think cold email is very, very challenging just because of the enormous amount of folks who just spray and pray where they grab an email list off of zoom info or wherever else and they load it into their CRM and they just send, you know, 10,000 messages to folks who might not ever need your services ever. So if you want to drown out the noise because you are going to contribute to the noise if you don't establish these Y buys I just heard from a shipper the other day that said his cold, his cold email inbox or the the a number of cold pitches that he is getting has dramatically increased. It's tripled. It used to get about a hundred a day, anywhere from 80 to 100. Now he's getting more than 300 a day. You don't want to be part of that noise. You want to stand out and I firmly believe that doing this, creating your Y buys, is a way to stand out. So she says list design is messaging. So if you establish who you're talking to and why, then that doesn't necessarily feel too cold email Lee, for lack of a better phrase. So she goes into. So now that you've established who you're talking to, a Y she goes into well, what's the pseudo controversial opinion that we're taking? And then you want to create two value props and avoid saying everything that your product or your service does. So you want to keep these short, concise, specific to the point. And then you get into actually building your email list. So you build it, your your email campaigns. So you've got who you're talking to and why. You've got your value prop. You've got your super short, specific, targeted email. Now you're going to construct your sequences, whether it's HubSpot, whether it's MailChimp, whether you know whatever CRM that you're using. She says the first line in your email should be that question that you figured out in the earlier steps. And then you want to label each sequence Y by number one cold, y by two cold, y by one warm nurture, y by two warm nurture. So you want to have remember those two different value props we talked about earlier and those two different questions. You want to have those set up in different sequences in your cold email campaigns. And this is how she also says that this is how we start to track messaging efficacy. So efficacy means is the message actually working? And I've never actually done this before. So this was really eye opening for me. I've created cold email campaigns before but they were sort of one and done, and if the person you know booked a meeting for me, great. If not. You know, the email kind of goes into the abyss. You know I've fallen for these tricks before, that companies have taught us years ago that, oh it's. It ends up being easier for you to send out 10,000 emails and maybe it's applicable to you know, 500 people on that list. It's easier for you to do that, but it's seen as an annoyance on the person at the other end of the email. So, keeping that in mind, then you can start really like the data collection. You can start analyzing which part of your messaging is working, because then she goes into saying well, what sequences led to more calls booked Osco. Ask yourself, what about say Y by 1 is working better than Y by 2? Ask yourself, what about Y by 1 is working better than 2? Let's workshop 2 so we can make it stronger. So you have two of these campaigns going at once, but you're targeted to a list of folks that you've already identified are a good candidate for your product or your service. So imagine she says imagine a sales rep seeing a Y by sequence and then being able to go to marketing and tell them Y by 1 is killing it. Go make two e-books on this topic Another great way for marketing and sales to work together, because the messaging has goals behind it. Marketing is probably going to eat it up, because they're able to actually prove value in the work that they're providing, instead of just making another PowerPoint presentation tweak for the millionth time and for you're probably doing that two days before a conference. This way it creates a much more collaborative experience between marketing and sales. So then, that way you are creating messages that your customer or your prospect actually wants to see. So, also thinking about it from the lens of training your business development reps on the Y by messaging, if you're making cold calls, I would imagine that a lot of these, that intro question, that intro sentence, is really going to go a lot further than, hey, how you doing, folks are busy and folks don't have time to answer those placating questions and those beating around the bush questions. Get to the point, have it, be specific, and then you'll probably be well rewarded because of that. So, after you do all of these things and you start monitoring a little bit of Y by 1, y by versus 2, so how are they working, how are they performing, and then that helps you develop your baseline data, and this is what gets me really excited, especially as a marketer and especially from an executive point of view, like if you're an executive team and you're looking to see if your messaging is resonating. You probably have no idea of what a baseline even looks like. But if you start from this journey, this really helps to set that strong foundation of what that baseline data looks like. Because once we determine messaging that works in the Y by 1, we can create dashboards that monitor baselines. Once you have baselines then you can forecast which is a marketer, especially a marketer who is, should be I don't want to say concerned, but should prioritize revenue and where revenue actually comes from. That would help a marketer tremendously to have that math behind your marketing and be able to sit in on those executive meetings. Or to be able to be a founder and be able to answer some of those tough VC questions of whoever's giving you money and how you're spending it. So that's another thing to keep in mind. And now, once you have what those forecasts could be, then you can start monitoring things like dial to pick up, phone to meeting, meeting to contact and, as long as your baselines hold, then you can realistically plan revenue forecasts and you only have to revisit this Y by campaign when the product or the service changes. That might happen multiple times throughout the year for you, but at least you have that reasoning behind of who you're sending to, why you're sending it to them and you're cutting through the noise. And you can absolutely use some of these AI tools to help you during this research phase to help you condense an email from long paragraphs, which I'm guilty of, into short, specific, concise emails. So then that way your audience is resonating with the messaging that you're trying to send them. So hopefully that Y by exercise will really be helpful. If it's helpful for you, I can probably share this in a future newsletter. So then that way it's completely broken down in a text format. I've been raving about this because it just really helped me developing my Y buys. It's really helped me in the content marketing side of things so that I know what content to create that my audience is actually going to care about. I love different topics such as the logistics of Mother's Day flowers and the logistics of race horses or things like that, but that's not necessarily going to get me web hosting clients. So you need to sort of rein in your brain sometimes and have it become hyper focused on what the end goal is, and the end goal is obviously survivorship of both your role and the business and the company that you're working for. So how can you use a lot of these different tools that are out on the market in order to help, along with that process, to make yourself more valuable, whether at your current company or a prospective company down the road and then also helping your customers and prospective customers? So hopefully that was a really good roundup. I know it really helped me a ton but for the sake of sounding like I'm just repeating myself over and over again, we've gone about 43 minutes during my first live broadcast. So this was a really fun exercise to sort of run through and to see where the opportunities are at and some of the behind the scenes of what I'm working on and why I'm working on it and how I'm using some of these different AI tools to help me in my own work processes. And hopefully some of these different tips and tricks and strategies will help you in your processes and help you and your company and grow and sort of survive this changing market that we're going to be dealing with, because it's not just right now but it's in the next sort of six to 10 months, two years. Tops that, the people who are not paying attention to AI and adopting these tools and starting to use them. You are going to be left behind and you are in danger of having your job be replaced. So why not fight fire with fire and use these tools to your own advantage, whether it's to further the goals of the company that you work for, but also it's furthering yourself in order to be able to adapt to these tools quickly and be able to adjust your processes more on the fly so you can get more work done in a shorter amount of time. So then you can spend that time doing things that you actually love and giving yourself a little bit of a chance to have a breather. All of this news can feel very overwhelming. I'm guilty of filming, not filming. I'm guilty of feeling very overwhelmed at times when it comes to these different topics, but the best case to do is just to be educated and stay educated and start practicing and start using these tools in as many ways as possible. And what really helps is setting chatGPT. Go to openaicom, or it's chatopenaicom, to create an account and just start messing around with these platforms Once you get a little familiar with it, maybe you can add another tool into that mix, but by staying updated on what's going on in the market it's really going to be an investment not just in yourself but your future employment opportunities. So, with all that said, hope you guys enjoyed this special first live slash recorded broadcast of Everything Is Logistics going to be doing these again in a true life format Now that I have kind of a good presentation down of what to expect during the live broadcast. So, again, how these will work is I will plan to go live immediately after appearing on Freight Waves Now, which I appear usually about 10.05 to 10.20 Eastern Standard Time every Wednesday. So the plan is to go live on LinkedIn and YouTube in the future right after that and we'll do a similar deep dive into the discussion. And then the goal is at the end of a broadcast like this, I'll be able to answer some of your questions, maybe in the comments or in the chat, and we can keep it a little bit more collaborative, especially towards the end of the show, because the best part of any kind of discussion like this is finding out what questions you have, what concerns you have and how I can help answer those in the future with future content, and helping you stay above the fray or above the not above the fray, I don't even know why I said that I don't really know what fray means, but helping you stay above and sort of tread instead of treading water, you feel like you're swimming in a direction that is known to you. Let's talk about those two tools that have really made such an impact on my business, and I think it will help a lot of you out there who maybe you are a small team, maybe you're doing all of the marketing as a solo operator, or maybe you're just doing the marketing yourself because you don't have anybody else in the office and you are working with a small team. You're probably wearing a ton of hats. If any of that kind of fits for you, then these two tools are going to really save your life. So first one I want to mention is Otterai. Otterai is a meeting note-taking app. It automatically plugs in. It's about 200 bucks a year best 200 bucks that I have ever spent, essentially because of all of the things that you get from it. Now, it's a note-taking tool and this note-taking tool will automatically join the meetings that you have in your calendar or you can set it up on a manual basis. They also they have an app that you can download on your phone and record meetings in person and it will actually take notes of every person that's speaking in the meeting itself. But it is a really cool tool because not only does it take the notes, it's sort of a live transcription of any meeting that you're a part of. It will then take that summary and create takeaways for you and then anybody else who is on that meeting will also get sent a copy of the transcription of the takeaways and they can then download it and they can do whatever they want with it after the fact. Now, obviously, if these are sensitive meetings, you don't necessarily want to share that with parties that may that shouldn't have access to that kind of information. So just keep that in mind, that anybody that's on the invite typically gets a copy of that transcription. But you can set it up in a way where only one person has access to that transcription and then they share it out manually after the fact and if they deem appropriate. Now some cool stuff of what I've been doing when I have these transcriptions now, because I've been using the tool for the better part of the last six or seven months now, but I now have. So it's not just. I guess I should back up a little bit. It's not just the meeting note taking functionality of it being able to take notes whether you're on a desktop or a mobile device fantastic. But primarily the way that I use it is. I use it for podcast transcription. You upload an audio file, you upload a video file and then about 15 minutes later you will get an email from autoai. They've transcribed the entire thing. They create the takeaways, which is great, and that will allow you to start having a centralized database of your content, and I've really been able to do some really cool things. One thing in particular I'm super excited about kind of ties into our title sponsor, which is SBI Logistics. They have a freight agent program. They're largely regarded as one of the best freight agent programs in North America. I would say that they are. I've met all of the people. I've met a lot of their agents, lovely people. I wouldn't do business with them if they were not, but what I've done is because of the sponsorship deal that we have set up with SBI. We have one of their freight agents on the show once a month to talk about their experience of when they decided to become a freight agent, when they decided to start looking around and start seeing if there were other, better opportunities, how they discovered SBI. What were the selling points that made them join SBI to leave a current either current program that they were in or maybe they were in freight sales with an existing book of business, either those two sort of buyer profiles those have made the jump to becoming an agent for SBI. So I say all that because we have done about a half a dozen interviews where I'm in my seventh month of independent podcasting. So shout, you know, shout to the creators out there who understand how you know. I guess challenging it could be to move to that full-time creator role, but one of the really cool moments is being able to now take those conversations with those half a dozen freight agents, put them in a transcription tool like otterai, and I can now craft up a freight agent guide that is now available on the digitaldispatchio website. So if you were interested in checking it out, you can go to the resources tab. It should be one of the dropdowns under the resources options. But making that guide I was able to craft it using direct quotes from those conversations from otterai. If I were to have gone back and let me just tell you, I guess, what the process was, maybe just a year ago, if I wanted to do this same exact thing, I would have had to go into each interview, pause the interview, type out, pause the interview, type out, pause the interview over and over and over again until I hand transcribed that interview myself, then found the key moments within that interview myself and then do that rinse and repeat for all of those interviews. Obviously that would take a ton of time, which is why I've never been able to do something like that before until today, until now. Literally just launched this guide last week and it took about a half a day's work in order to compile all that information, figure out the angle that I kind of wanted to go, check out what kind of information is already out there about becoming a freight agent and then try to make it 10 times better than everything that is currently out there. So that was my mindset with going into creating this guide, but being able, when I tell you to being able to use real quotes for real conversations to make this guide better than anything else that's out there on the market. It was just such a eureka moment for me and I wouldn't have been able to do it without this tool. So otterai is hands down, is, I would say, out of the top five tools that I have used over the last year. Otter is in the top three and I'm gonna get to one of those other that's in the top three in just a moment, because it's not only changed how the post-production of after you've done the hard work of creating content and then you don't want that content to just wither away and die. You want to continue to find ways to use it. So often you will see social media clips, you will see email campaigns all very valid in things that I have done for each of these shows but being able to compile all of that information together and being able to package it in a new way is such a game changer for content creators out there that are looking for new ways to take the content that they already have and try to repackage it in a way that's going to make sense for their audience. So that is just use case 1A. For me, use case 1B is being able to fully focus on the meetings that I'm having and not worried about taking notes every single second, and that's what I was doing before, with a lot of prospect meetings, with a lot of client meetings. Now I'm able to fully focus on the person that I'm talking with, knowing that the meeting is being transcribed, so I don't have to do that and try to pay attention to the meeting. At the same time, I know that I have those notes that I can go back on and if something is really really important, maybe like one or two takeaways, then I'll write that down on a post-it note while I'm talking to the person. But one post-it note and being able to focus 98% of the rest of my time on that conversation, that has been such a game changer for me as well. So I cannot recommend otterai enough. I know that there are other sort of meeting note-taking tools that are out there, but the reason I really love otter is because the speech recognition they also recognize my voice. So when you're doing post-production for a podcast or a YouTube video or even some of these meeting tools, you have to go in and you have to clean up, typically the company name and the spelling of the names that are mentioned either people or companies or brands and that's kind of you know. It kind of can be all of those same things at the same time, but you have to clean those names up. In a majority of transcription tools that I have used With otter they recognize the voice. So now I don't have to blithe Brumlee can you imagine how many times, you know, some kind of transcription tool has screwed up the spelling of my name? With otter, though I said it once, it now recognizes my voice and I don't have to worry about going in and finding my name in all of these different transcriptions and fixing that spelling. So that's one little thing that I don't have to do anymore because the technology recognizes it. It's now getting to the point where it's recognizing the regular guests that I have on the show. So, like Grace Sharkey, she comes on once a month. Some of my favorite episodes to record are with her. Otter now recognizes her voice as well and will automatically add her as the show name into the post-production workflow. It's a very minor thing. It takes something, you know. It only takes, you know, five seconds to fix that in a typical transcription. But when you're saving yourself from having to do that for every single transcription that you have, those little seconds kind of add up. It's not, you know, it's not significant, but it's not insignificant either. So those are the one A and one B of why I just love that software. They don't pay me to say this. It's 200 bucks a month. It is hands down the best $200, not $200 a month, $200 a year. So if it was $200 a month I might consider paying for that, to be honest, but it's $200 a year. So if you haven't started using you know some of these, you know note taking apps and things like that. I would highly encourage you to try Otter, but then also be wary of who is getting access to that information. So there are certain meetings when I don't allow the transcription to play a role, especially if they're really personal meetings or something like that. I just don't want that I guess record out there. Just you know, with anything, I think you just have to be overly cautious if the conversation is really personal. But in the couple of use cases that I've given, such as joining meetings, I think there's also a tremendous amount of opportunity for people who know marketing and sales is really important. They want to upskill, they want to learn. You know what are some of these commonalities that prospects are coming to them with. Maybe even some of the executives are wanting to know what are some of these commonalities that our prospects are coming to us with. Maybe it's a marketer in your office that isn't able to join, you know, sales meetings. This is an opportunity to take a tool like that, have it auto join the meeting and then it sends a summary of what that prospect call was like, so the marketer can then take that information, take the questions that are being asked by the prospects and then be able to make content around that. I just there are so many different possibilities to be able to use this tool and make it be a force multiplier within your organization. So maybe you have a VP that is charged with increasing revenue, which I mean. If you're trying to increase revenue right now, god help you, we all are and using a tool like this can help you find out what are some of those deeper moments with your prospects and customers that you can then package together in new content and new marketing. Address that with some of your current content marketing. Maybe have your executive team be able to speak on those issues at a higher level. There's so many different possibilities that can happen, but you have to start with, you know, communicating with the internal team, and this is a great way to make that happen and make it happen in a way that's not super intrusive. Where are super time consuming? Where you have to have, you know, a marketer sit in on all of these sales and prospects meetings and they just might not be worth it. There's better uses of their time. But if they could get an email that has, you know, these are the six sales calls that we had today, then they'll be able to briefly glance and say, oh, here's some content goldmines, some nuggets of information that we can use. That's going to fuel the rest of our marketing ship. So I've talked a lot. What did I just spend 15 minutes talking about one software program? Okay, so autoai, very, very good. The next one that I will recommend because the cost and the time that it has saved me is so I cannot understate it enough Opus Clips. Opus Clips is it was founded and is being currently being built by a bunch of ex-TikTok employees. So these ex-TikTok employees saw a need to help people with social media clips. You know those little clips with the text that's overlay on the video. You kind of see two talking heads that are stacked together on a vertical video. Those social media clips take so much time, or they used to take so much time, to create. I mentioned earlier about the transcription process and how I would have to look at the transcript or listen to the transcript, type it out, listen, pause transcript. You know it was just a convoluted flow. In order to make that happen, you have to do the same thing with social media clips as well. You have to listen to all of the content, find those moments. Then you have to find the moments that fit within a certain time period that is appropriate for that social media channel LinkedIn, for example. Up to 10 minutes and video length of what you can find. You typically don't want to do 10 minutes just because everybody's attention spans are so much shorter. Unless the content is really good and it justifies the 10 minutes, then by all means have it. You know last 10 minutes, but something like YouTube Shorts, which is really important for folks to discover. You discover your channel. It's a max of 59 seconds. If you go to one minute long videos, it will treat your video as a video and you won't show up in the short feed. So you have to keep that content at 59 seconds. Twitter is like two minutes if you don't have the verified account. I think Instagram is somewhere similar to LinkedIn, where a reel is a minute and under, but the or maybe three minutes, I don't know. I can't stuff to keep up with Instagram and all of the things that they're trying to copy and trying to steal, but I know that you can upload a little bit longer videos to Instagram reels as well. So my point being is that there's a lot if you wanted to look at one hour long show, transcribe it by hand and then find you know a few social media clips for one or two different social media platforms. You're talking about hours, sometimes days, of what this used to take me With Otter using the transcription. That's 15 minutes With Opus. Now what I can do is I can take my videos. I can either upload it directly to their platform or I can take a YouTube link of a video that I've already published. I could paste the link in about 15, 20 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes, depending on the capacity at the time. I will get back 10 to 15 social media clips within the timeframe. It looks for specific keywords. It can look for just generic keywords that you know, ai has identified, as you know, key moments that are within a conversation, so they'll automatically gear towards those keywords. But you can also give it specific keywords of content that you want it to find. You can also give it a specific timeframe of where in the show that you want it to search for, maybe a really powerful moment happened in the first 15 minutes or the last 10 minutes of a show, and so you can. They have a lot of different variables that you can use from Opus so that company is called Opus. There are $150 a year. To put it in perspective, I used to have a contracting team that I would hire periodically to do the same thing, and they would have to do a lot of this manual work. Manual work typically means expensive because you're paying for people's skill and you're paying for people's time. So if you can cut down on the amount of time that it takes for them to have to do this, then you are expediting the rest of your content flow, and I was so. Periodically I've used this team for different content projects, with not only just my team or my stuff. If I have a big project coming out and I want some social media clips for it. I've hired them in the past. I asked them for a quote to do this on an ongoing basis. Keep in mind, this was right before a lot of these AI tools, especially video focused AI tools, started hitting the market. They quoted me at $3,000 a month. Now, I love this team, I love working with them, but for me $3,000 a month is a lot and I would only get and I say only, I would only get four videos a month and 10 to 15 clips from that one video. And because of that cost, I was like I have to find. I know this is a need for me, but I also have to find another solution. Is there another solution that exists that is not going to cost me $3,000 a month? And that's when I found Opus $150 a year and it gets me with most AI tools. It'll get you about 80 to 90% there. And what I love about Opus is that they have this almost like a grading scale or a sliding scale where they list out. So they list all of your clips once they've created them, and then you can go in and you can set up different brand templates. You can put your logo in them, you can make it. If it's a solo show, it could be just you. If it's you and another guest, they can cut it to where you're kind of the stacked talking heads. They automatically add the captions in and then they give each video a score from zero to 100. From my experience they haven't showed me anything that's under 70. Typically, for a lot of these videos that are 90 and above, I don't even have to touch Like. They're post ready immediately after, not immediately, like 15 minutes, which is pretty damn near immediate. They are ready for me to start posting immediately. The amount of time that this tool has saved me. I have been using it for the last four months and it's just it's compounding. It's almost like compound interest for the financial nerds that are out there, for the content creator nerds. It has saved me days, days that it would be devoted to hand-scribing or hand transcribing a full hour long podcast interview and then to go in and spend probably a full day's work of finding social media friendly clips, cutting them myself, editing myself. Not just that whole workflow. But then you have to consider that you got to add it to another transcription tool because it's a mobile video. So then you got to use another app that's probably going to cost you a hundred bucks a year or $20 a month or whatever the going price is nowadays for that, and you have to spend your time updating that transcript as well. Opus and Otter they cut out all of that. Where now the post production time is out is, I would say, probably two hours is what I spend on a show now, versus 20 hours a show before. That is a significant savings, not only in time but money as well, and I cannot I cannot sing the praises of these two tools enough. I've been trying a lot of different copy editing tools Copyai I used for a while, liked them, jasper liked them. I've used other copy writing tools large language models, things like that but to me nothing is better than taking a transcription and then feeding it into like a chat GPT and saying summarize this for me. And it does it in minutes. So that's what my new sort of workflow looks like when it comes to content creation, and the reason that it has been so powerful has been because of these two tools that have allowed me the flexibility, because with this now I'm able to dedicate more time to creating more content, but the content the level, I guess, of the content that I'm creating doesn't have to suffer because I can give myself permission to do a little bit of extra research on that interview that's coming up, to do a little bit more legwork on what makes for great topics and conversation in the world of logistics that I can be talking about, that I can offer a unique view that's different from everybody else. So it allows me that bandwidth to be able to create better content faster. So if you're not using these two tools yet, there are. Even if you're not a podcaster, if you're not a video creator, these tools will still save you hours of time. Because think about from the lens of a webinar. I'm sure most companies out there have either been a part of a webinar, they've hosted one themselves. And then where does that webinar go? It goes off to the content desert to die a slow death. With these tools, you can then come up with new creative ways to repackage that same content that was on its deathbed and you can revive it. And you can use these different tools to revive it in a way that's better for your audience, it's better for your prospects, and you can continue to drink from that. Well, to keep using, I guess, sort of water and desert as analogies here, but you can continue to add new life into that content you've already created. So think about it from the lens of what content do I already have? And then how can I use and maybe experiment, do a trial run with some of these tools? I think both of these tools either have a free trial or you can upload up to like, I think, two hours max to opus right now for free, and so you can try out these tools for free to see if it's a good fit for you. And think about all of the content that you've recorded in the past. Maybe you've been on interviews, maybe you've participated in webinars or live streams, any kind of content like that. You can now take and repackage it in a way that makes sense for you and your business and, ultimately, the ROI that you have in mind. Because, like I said, I've tried a ton of different copy. You know AI tools, large language models I've talked about it a ton on this show. These two things have been game changers for me. Another tool that I have talked about in the past is Swell AI. I still think that they're incredibly valuable as far as the package and the services that they're offering is pretty much a transcription tool, podcast show notes. They help you with social media promotion, things like that. I still think that they're a great tool to use as well, but I would not put them in my top three and it pains me to say, because I really love the founders of that company and the things that they're building. But with my podcast tool, with my podcast host, buzzsprout, they now have a lot of those same capabilities that Swell was offering independently. They're now built into my podcast host and I think you know just kind of looking at you know what the AI market is right now. With a lot of these different software tools, I think we're seeing where consolidation is taking place, especially among some of the bigger players Google, microsoft, they're all still making big, big plays and in and around AI, and I think that they're doing that to bring in together kind of an ecosystem for their current customer base. So then there's less incentive to want to try a new tool. So if you're looking to try new tools, there are so many that exist, but if you're looking for something that's actually going to fit into your workflow, I would consider Opus and I would consider Otter, and they have had just such a dramatic effect on my entire content production, my entire. You know just the way I think about content now. It has changed dramatically where I can do so much more with more time, and that's, I think, that's what every business owner is looking for in these circumstances. So that does it for that topic. Next topic I want to bring up is very kind of relevant to the first two tools that I mentioned, and that's bootstrapped marketing ideas that I talked about on FreightWaves now a couple of weeks, maybe last week. I think it was last week. That's neither here nor there, but I talked about it because obviously there are a lot of companies Freight is struggling Right now. There are a lot of companies that are gonna close or either close to closure we're gonna get into yellow in just a second but this topic of bootstrapped marketing ideas when you don't have a lot of time or mula, that is what we discussed a couple of weeks ago on FreightWaves. Now, with the preface of, we've been doing a lot of stories. This is coming from FreightWaves. We've been doing a lot of stories about companies close to pulling the plug and a lot of companies that are playing it very close to the vest. What should you do with your marketing dollars if things aren't looking good. Obviously, it's a terrible idea to not market, but can you get by on the free stuff? And, if not, what do you need to spend your money on in order to keep the doors open until 2024? So, basically, what can you do to market your company in order to ride out the economic storm that everybody is currently experiencing? Right now and this gets back to the tools that I just mentioned you have to be able to do more with less. Bootstrapped marketing is essentially the only reason why I learned marketing to begin with. I have always wanted to be a business owner, and I but I did make a lot of money, especially 15 years ago when I first, when I started my first business I started up a sports entertainment blog didn't have a lot of money. New marketing agencies were very, very expensive and I knew I couldn't afford it, so I started learning how to do marketing myself. This was also the time that and I'm dating myself here but this was also the time in the like 2008, 2009, 2007, when some of these, a lot of these social media platforms Twitter, facebook, I think, instagram was 2011, but a lot of these companies started hitting the market, and so I was basically forced to use social media, this new fancy way of communicating with people, in order to market my business, because I couldn't afford a marketing agency. So Bootstrapped is essentially in my blood To this day. There are a lot of things that I see I could do it myself or I could learn it myself, and that's the approach that I take to marketing is I have to be able to justify the time and the money that is spent on marketing, and I have to be able to justify it at a business level. Once I learned how to justify it at a business level, everything changed for me. Everything changed for me, and I have to, and now I wanna share some of those tips with you. So, first things first is having conversations with your customers. If you are a Bootstrapped marketer, if you are a Bootstrapped company and you're looking to still market yourself, having conversations with your customers it sounds so easy. I know it does Conversations regularly with your customers, not just hey, how you doing this is the freight I can move for you today. This is the equipment I have available. None of that. I'm talking about setting aside the pleasantries of normal everyday conversations and instead schedule in-depth conversations with your customers. That's where a tool like AutoAI can auto join some of those meetings and be able to take notes for you. But being able to get that firsthand insight of what's going on with the customer, what are they struggling with? Where do they need help with? Can my business help solve those problems for them? And what does that look like? What does that ideal relationship look like either to do new business or expand on existing business that you already have in play? So that's where those in-depth conversations really come into play, whereas if you look at it from the lens of, maybe what folks have done historically from a marketing perspective is they've looked at what their competitors are posting to social media. They're looking at what their competitors are Webinars, content they have on their site, advertisements, things like that. The problem with that approach is that you're constantly playing from behind. A lot of those things take a lot of time to build Webinars, social media presence, content, advertising campaigns. If you're doing it right, a lot of those things take a lot of time to build. They take a lot of strategic thinking and to put all of those pieces together, you're pulling together Somebody who's familiar is a advertising, for example. You're pulling together someone who's familiar with graphic design, copywriting, ad tech and also somebody, ideally in sales, who knows how all of those people should create those things to add to the thing in order to make people buy the thing. That it's a lot of moving parts, but if you're having conversations with your customers, then you're already ahead of the game because you don't have to spend that time doing the market research or playing catch up to a competitor. So what you can do instead is have those conversations with your customers, prioritize those conversations with your customers, set aside time. It doesn't even have to be that much time. Maybe once a week, maybe a couple times a month. You spend half a day just scheduling meetings with your current customers. You want to check in, you want to find out what's going on with them, what they're struggling with and how you can get ahead of some of the problems that they may be experiencing. You're not going to discover some of those in-depth insights by having the pleasantry, the normal conversations hey, where are my trucks? My trucks are here. Hey, where's my stuff? My stuff is here. You're not going to get those kind of insights when somebody is in that type of mind frame. You need to set aside the time frame in order to have those in-depth conversations and be able to get to the point quickly. So that's why I would suggest having conversations with your customers. Then, if you add on some of these other tools, like Otter in this case then you'll be able to take a lot of those insights, not only share it with your internal team, but you can share it with any marketers Maybe you have contractors that you're working with as well. You can share that direct insight. The direct verbiage that the customers are using is so important Because, especially in our industry, we have a habit of using acronyms for everything, using insider knowledge to kind of prove how much we know. Customers don't know all that stuff, and so you need to be able your marketing and your sales needs to be able to speak To the language that they're using, not the language that you're used to using. So that's one really important takeaway, and the reason I mention this is because that segues into. The next point that I want to bring up is that 95% of your audience is not in a buying cycle. It might be even lower, or maybe even higher than that, where 5% is estimated. Around 5% of your buying audience is actively in a buying cycle, meaning they're looking to switch providers, they're looking to switch products and you hope to be able to capture that 5% of attention when they're ready to buy and you, hopefully, will be the ones that they remember. Or if you just praying to the SEO gods that if they Google the type of solution that you have, that you're going to show up at the exact moment that that customer is going to find you and then they're going to book a meeting with you and become a customer, that margin of error is so slim. For that to actually happen in today's age, where you need to be proactive, you need to be having the conversations with your customers, because the reason you're having those conversations with your customers is you're going to be able to take those conversations and you're going to be able to parlay that into content that you're going to create, that you're going to get on camera and you're going to speak about that. You're going to write a LinkedIn text post about, or a LinkedIn newsletter about that. You are going to be focusing on those areas because you want to be talking to the same customer profile that is already experiencing those same issues. So you're going to be creating that content, not just once, but on a regular basis. It's going to be the gasoline to your content fire, and so that's where you're really going to gain a competitive edge and avoid the SEO trap of trying to rank on the first page of TMS for Freight Brokers or something like that. It's going to be very challenging to organically rank for that keyword, whereas you need to be focused on brand. You need to be focused on people knowing who the hell you are and the problems that you're solving, and the only way you're going to be doing that is either through a lot of money that you spent on advertising or you take the organic approach and you publish to social media. You build up an audience and you build up that content snowball slowly but surely. So when that 5% of your audience gets into a buying cycle, you win before they ever get to Google, because they're Googling your brand name and they're coming to your site and then they're going to convert and hopefully convert, and then they're going to hopefully become a customer. That is the pathway to conversion and if you're not focusing on those key metrics, that takes time, it takes investment, but it doesn't take a lot of money upfront and it's going to pay off in dividends because you're not playing from behind by just focusing on what maybe a competitor is doing, because they're not focused on you. That competitor is not focused on you because they're already ahead of the game. So how do you get ahead of the game? You get ahead of the game by talking to your customers and by having those conversations with your prospects, finding those commonalities, finding those questions and those concerns that they have, and then creating content on top of that to address all of those things, and doing it repeatedly. So that is my marketing plan, like 101, for any business out there that is bootstrapped, that doesn't have a lot of money and you're looking to make it to 2024. Start with the customers you have, because without them, it's going to be really challenging to try to find new business. Because, if you think about it from the shippers lens, they got plenty of you brokers, carriers, beating down their door trying to do business with them. They're not typically going to Google and searching for these things Because they already have people that are blowing up their phones, contacting them nonstop, stopping off in their office, which is happening a little bit less than the other ones that I mentioned, but the point is is that they have a lot of people beating down their door to do business with them. And if you are sending a templated email that is easily identifiable because of the fonts that are. I guess this is circling back to a show that I did a few weeks ago where we had a shippers panel at the TMSA Elevate conference and he said that he could tell if you're sending him a templated email, because Gmail and Outlook have identifiers for templated emails that come from companies like HubSpot or companies that create email templates under the guise of it's going to be easier for you to send out cold emails. Well, guess what? The shippers can tell that you're trying to do things the easy way. They can tell because the font color is different. They can tell because the font size is different from the email that you're sending, and then you will immediately get deleted and none of that software is going to make a whole lot of sense, because it made it easier for you. It didn't make it easier for the end business users. So we're in a new era of marketing. Covid should have taught all of us that. If COVID didn't teach you that, then maybe these economic circumstances will teach you that that only the strongest are going to survive. And if you place that investment into your customers and into your prospects and learning more about them, that is how you get stronger as a business. That is how I have marketed myself as a bootstrapped business for the past 10 years and it is something that I still continue to do to this day, and I only devote more money to marketing when I earn more revenue and I can justify it. But I still come back to these tried and true methods of talking with my prospects, talking with customers and creating content that they care about. So I will, I guess, a few other tips that, coming from this conversation on freight waves, there's a couple more tips. A lot of you may be saying I don't have time to do this. If you don't have time, batch it. And what I mean by batching it is by setting aside a half a day once a month at minimum in order to have these conversations with your customers record. Not well, I guess. Let me back up. If you're going to batch it, you should be having these conversations regularly with your customers and with your prospects. If you're not sitting in regularly on these conversations and you need to have some meeting tool, meeting note taking tool that's going to join those conversations and then you get a copy of it. When I say batch it, this is what I refer to is that the content you're going to be creating. You need to set aside time for that. If you set aside half a day, maybe a Sunday, maybe a Friday, when things are a little bit not as crazy as a Monday set aside, block off your calendar and devote it to just creating five to 10 pieces of content. Maybe it's a LinkedIn text post, because that's typically the easiest way to reach your audience. You know shippers are already on there. You know carriers and brokers are already on LinkedIn, so you don't have to get on camera to do a LinkedIn text post. You don't have to get on camera to do a LinkedIn newsletter. Think about these things that you can batch it and you can just figure out how to solve this problem by investing in your customers and by investing in your business and yourself, by just dedicating time to it. All you have to do is dedicate time to it. We have a world of freelancers and gig economy workers that will be able to help you edit a video or to record a podcast or, to you know, post all of your content out. To you know, 12 different social media platforms. We have freelancers and gig economy that can handle all of that, but the I guess the focus of the message still needs to come from your customers and from you. So don't make excuses. Make time, and you can make time for it by setting aside one day a month or two half days a month to focus on this incredibly important task that can help keep your business afloat and not only help keep your business afloat, but help your business grow. So if you don't have time, if you're trying to make up excuses of who's going to handle all of this, it's just like is it Matt Damon from the Martian? Like solve one problem and then you move on to the next one, and then the next one and then the next one. But you're not going to get anywhere if you don't start and if you don't dedicate time to doing it. It is very important dedicate time to do very important things.

Bill Priestley: 1:24:43

Guys, thanks so much for joining us here on the program, as we talk about something that I think is going to be very important over the course of the next six, eight months or so in terms of people getting kind of getting back on their feet and getting through these tough economic times, especially in the trucking and transportation industry. So let me just start off with kind of a general question here and just understand this both from a sales and from a marketing perspective. Live you first here. Should you have the same marketing and sales approach, regardless of the freight economy, if it's extremely good, like it was in 2022, early 2022 or now as it is in 2023?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:25:19

I tend to lean more towards that. It should be the same approach. You should be coming at the approach from a customer first approach, meaning that oftentimes the one person marketing team is sitting in on sales meetings. If you don't have time to sit in on sales meetings and hear those direct customer interactions and interactions with leads, then you don't really have a clear compass on which way to take your content marketing plan. Starting with your content marketing plan, you can really have those insights if you're participating actively in those sales meetings. And so I think getting back to basics and getting back to building a strong foundation is where at the core of any decent marketing plan. And if you have a decent marketing plan, then that can set the groundwork for growth in the future.

Bill Priestley: 1:26:04

Kevin, what do you think? Do you take the same strategy, good times or bad?

Kevin Hill: 1:26:10

The same exosynos, the same blocking and tackling, if you will, in the sports analogy. It's all the same. It's fast and heavy customer approach first and then, depending on the market, you tweak it here and there. Bad markets are good to set up for the good markets, Good markets are good to set up for the bad markets. So it's really all a cycle and Blight hit it right there with the marketing people sitting in on the sales meeting, sitting in sales and marketing talking to each other, being complimentary to one another as well.

Bill Priestley: 1:26:47

Let's take that ad as one step further in terms of the relationship between sales and marketing. Blive as you look at it. Let's ask the chicken and the egg question Do you set your marketing first and let your salespeople follow that, or do the salespeople dictate what the marketing should be?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:27:04

So I actually I know this opinion has evolved a little bit over the years, but I am of the opinion that if you have a really strong marketing department, then you don't necessarily need a ton of entry-level sales reps. You should be prioritizing those customer conversations, listening in on those conversations what questions specifically that they're asking, what verbiage specifically that they're asking and crafting a content marketing plan based on those questions with the clients and with the leads, or with your customers as well. And so if you have that setup, that infrastructure setup where maybe you don't have time to attend every meeting, but you can have some kind of an AI note-taking tool that can attend every meeting for you and put it in a digestible format of takeaways and notes that are automatically sent to you, I think that that is a brilliant way for freight companies and small marketing teams all over the country to start taking their marketing at a strong foundational level and kicking it up a notch. And so if you come at it from that perspective, then you're coming at it from the perspective of the customer is already well-educated on who you are and the problems that you're trying to solve for them, based on the marketing that you're already creating. And so when they do eventually reach out, when they do book a meeting or when they take that meeting with you, then they're talking to more experienced account representatives not entry level, more of the director level role, where they can get immediate answers and sign up much more quickly. And so your closed one ratio is a lot higher because you did the work on the marketing end first.

Bill Priestley: 1:28:33

Kevin, it's also been noted that basically 20% of brokers will do 80% of the revenue as well. Do you, if you have a situation like that, do you let that 20% say, hey, here's what we need to do marketing-wise, or do you kind of work it so that marketing still has a hand in exactly how the company is going to be viewed externally before they get to a salesperson?

Kevin Hill: 1:28:52

If we're talking about the top 20%, you should design your marketing system, like Black says, to generate inbound leads so you can skip the entry level cells. If you don't have that, though, I think it's just a natural evolution, right? You start at ground zero, making cold calls, reaching out cells, being the heavy arm or the heavy lifter of everything as you develop your marketing program. But your natural evolution, what you really want to get to, is that cold outreach at the beginning stages of a company or a cycle or what have you, and evolve that into inbound leads and leading with inbound leads, having a content marketing structure and just overall marketing structure that generates leads. But you don't start there, from ground zero, right From T zero. You don't start with that. So you build that up over time and you use cold outreach to do that.

Bill Priestley: 1:29:51

So let's kind of. I want to take a broad base approach to this, obviously, in terms of trying to make sure that we get to a very basic idea of what people should be doing to survive 2023 and get to 2024. And so why don't we just start in terms of marketing? Obviously, excuse me, you get to where you have. You've got to have a strategy in place. If you had to start over, if you had a blank slate, what are you telling your people? What are you in terms of marketing and how you want to get the word out and how you're going to survive this, what's necessary for you to do that?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:30:27

So what I would do is I would start at the base level of the customer interviews, of what we talked about before, but then I would also look internally at the founders and look at the executive team. Is there anyone within the executive circle, or the founder, preferably the founder are they able to be conversational on camera? Are they able to do interviews like this? Are they able to jump on podcasts interviews? Are they able to put together three or four paragraphs that they could promote regularly on social media, focusing on who the founders are and who the executives are that are going to be there for the long haul? I think utilizing your internal executive team and your internal leadership team is a quick recipe for success because it doesn't involve the marketing department spreading themselves too thin. Now, if you do have a marketing department, aka one person that's handling everything, what I would do immediately is slim down everything that's not working. If it's not working, say, instagram is pretty tough to. Unless you're posting memes, it's a pretty tough nut to crack, and so, from that perspective, I would turn all other social media profiles if you're active there, I would turn them more into informational overview pages, not posting regularly, and then I would double down on the platforms that are working. So think about LinkedIn is an obvious answer for a lot of folks within our industry. But then, if you have time, in addition to that one platform, I would start looking into either YouTube shorts or I would look into a community built platforms such as Discord or Twitter slash X. There are growing freight communities on those platforms and so you get a little bit more bang for your organic buck without having to pay for that additional advertising. Then you can get some additional exposure and brand awareness by simply just conversating with people. It takes a little bit of a time investment, but if you focus on the time investment piece, then you could just focus on one platform, two platforms max and then you can really find out what nuances and what languages and verbiages are working on that platform. Engage your employee leadership base in order to post on their own and be creative, and then you can amplify each other based on those platforms and that that strong focus of where you're going to put your time and attention for right now, until you can build on, add more people, add more contractors, freelancers, and then you can expand to other social media platforms.

Bill Priestley: 1:32:48

Hopefully you can figure out what those platforms are fairly quickly there as well. Kevin, starting from the ground up, or at least starting from where you are in terms of the sales team that you've got and how you kind of work that forward. Do you take a position of all right, do we need to educate, do we need to train, do we need to get better? Or do you take these if you're just starting right now and trying to enlist a new outlook, a new philosophy, if you will, or do you take the Glengarry-Glenn Ross method and say, hey, first place gets the car, second place gets the knives, third place gets the door?

Kevin Hill: 1:33:22

Well, you don't really want to totally take that attitude but at least at the time to win that attitude is taking a lot of ways. But I think I think at the core of it right now that to set yourself up and make it through these growing times, you have to embrace the nose, you have to embrace the silence, you have to embrace starting from scratch in a lot of ways, because a lot of your messaging that you go out like I talked a lot about the platforms you need to pick out your platforms. You need to pick out your messaging too and I'll talk a little bit about the content is your core values, your core business, your core strengths, your core message that you really want to, that you tell your sales team. You need to take it out publicly and don't expect a lot of activity from it at start.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:34:07

Are you a great sales with a book of business?

Kara Brown: 1:34:08

looking for a new home and we talked about all the time.

Kevin Hill: 1:34:12

It takes a long time to get a podcast up and running.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:34:14

These are the kinds of conversations worth exploring in our podcast interview series called the Great Agent Trenches, sponsored by SPI Logistics. So it's the same thing with your messaging and your phone calls, your outbound marketing your agents with out-cancel operations such as I and. Fireeating Sales, but I would much rather, you hear it directly from SPI's Friday agents themselves. And what better way to do that than by listening to the experienced Friday agents tell their stories behind the how and why in joint SPI. Hit the Friday Agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or if you're ready to make the jump visit.

Kevin Hill: 1:34:53

SPI3PLcom. A lot of the sales process is all about credibility. And if you can get to credibility and get up to that scale where you're credible before you even talk to that prospect, the sales become so much easier. And when there's an upswing, when there's a need that arises, it is like shooting you know, shooting fish in a barrel. I think I messed up that analogy, but, or that metaphor, but it really is. It makes everything so much easier. So now's the time to actually get out there, pick your platforms, pick your content and run full steam ahead.

Bill Priestley: 1:35:32

Gladless Back up a little bit, just talked a little bit about the structure of how things go here. I know this could be really nerve-wracking for marketing people, especially having been one for a while and knowing this myself from personal experience. But in terms of how you want to set this up between sales and marketing, do you have them under the same umbrella? If you're safe for it through the CEO or an operations person, do you have them under the same umbrella and that person calls the shots to what marketing does and to what sales does, or do you have them as more independent entities?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:36:04

I think it needs to be a little bit of a separation of church and state, but it also needs to be a collaborative effort. You don't want to have marketing completely on an island, separate from sales, because that's the way they're going to operate. They're going to operate independently and not work together. So if they're working together, if marketing is doing the job of sitting in on those meetings and proving to be a helpful resource for sales, then that's a tremendous opportunity for the sales to have a two-way relationship with the marketing department to say, hey, this messaging or this ebook or this video is working really well with my leads and with my audience and I'm closing more than I typically was with any other content that's been created. Let's go create three more versions of that same type of content and keep building on that. And so I think that they need to operate independently but they need to be collaborative together, because otherwise marketing is not going to be able to create the content that's going to be driving revenue, and in today's world, marketing needs to understand what's driving revenue. Otherwise, you can't justify the things that you're doing, you can't justify the numbers that you're reaching and you can't justify the goals of the content that you're creating. If you have a boss that's coming to you and saying, why aren't we getting leads from this landing page or from this ebook, then you need to be able to explain clearly as to why and how you're going to be able to fix it, or what the original goal of that piece of content was. If it wasn't to generate leads, it was just to generate brand awareness or to generate email signups, then that's a totally different metric for marketing success versus someone that's going to book a call because they're ready to buy right now. The reality is that most people are not ready to buy. Only about 5% of your audience is ever really in a buying, active buying cycle, but you need to be creating that messaging for the 95% that are going to eventually hopefully become ready to buy in the future.

Bill Priestley: 1:37:59

Kevin, we've got a chart here that used last week on freight waves. Now, in terms of the number of brokerages that are out there, we get a little bit active at this particular point, maybe not depending on how small they are, how big they are, how they are moving as that number continues to increase. Obviously this becomes much more as I mentioned in the opening a street fight between people in terms of trying to get the freight that they need to pass, to get into red numbers, essentially, or to get into black numbers, essentially. As you look at it from a sales perspective, how important is it to make sure that you've got the right people and not necessarily going to that Glingary-Glenroth method of attrition, if you will, and losing who's not being effective? But how critical do you need to be of your salespeople to make sure that they are doing what they need to be doing to survive in this kind of an economy?

Kevin Hill: 1:38:52

Oh, it's essential. It's essential to have your salespeople on the same page, having that positive attitude, because there's a lot of no's out there I just said it A lot of silence as well. But to be able to embrace that and think long term, think to the next turn on the cycle and embrace the gap to there, I want to say don't worry about the short term, but don't put all your eggs in that short term basket, because that is going to trip you up. There's a lot of activity that salespeople do that is based on future sales and that's what marketing does mostly bring in future sales. There should be a lot of concentration about that. It's a good time to train Whenever you have this downtime or this slow time in the market training, training, training and really just your sales process, your automation. How do you get all the manual tasks that take time away from your salespeople being on the phone, being in front of customers? How do you automate as much of that as possible? That's what you want to be thinking about right now. It's all setting the terms, being solid in the short term here in the down cycle, but building up to attack the market once it turns again. Most brokerages, most salespeople will miss most of that rise and they'll be just hitting their stride when it peaks. All of a sudden it goes back down again. You want to capture that rise up, because that's where the profits are.

Bill Priestley: 1:40:31

Blav, if you're the marketing person, again let's say we're started, we're on a new strategy, we're moving forward. What are the metrics that you want to look at in terms of if this is working or not?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:40:42

I would be looking at specifically when it comes to your website, because that's where. That's a property that you own. It's one of the three properties you're ever going to own between your podcast and your email list, and also your website. All of your social traffic, all of your marketing traffic, should be generated back to, or should be focused on generating traffic back to, your website. If they're on the website, you want to be looking at the landing page metrics, those key metrics. Is the visits to this page going up or down? How is that trending this quarter versus the previous quarter? You don't really want to look at month over month because there's a lot of variations that can affect that. Holiday travel, summer travel all of these things can negatively impact those numbers. Looking at it on a quarter versus quarter basis is really where you get a lot of those eye-opening insights. Then you can compare the half year versus the previous year once you start collecting that insight. If you're looking at the traffic, is it trending up or down? Are the lead form fills? Are they trending up or down? What kind of insight are you getting from those lead form fills? Are you asking people? How did you hear about us? It's a thing that I just preached to the high heavens. You make it a field on all of your high intent converting forms. You ask people how they heard about you. You make it a free text field no dropdown, no text or check boxes. You just let people freely tell you how they heard about you. Then you can take those answers and you can funnel them through Kevin mentioned, using different automation tools. There's also AI that can come into play with these, as you can export all of those different data points. Then you can use AI to analyze where's the majority of these leads coming from. Are they coming from an advertisement? Are they coming from a webinar? Are they coming from a guest appearance? Are they coming from a single social media post? Are they coming from a podcast? All of those things you can tell from that kind of data, which a lot of marketing attribution software cannot tell you. They're going to tell you that somebody came from Google search when in reality, a lot of folks just go to Google, type in your name and then arrive on your website. A lot of leads will get unjustifiably attributed to Google search when they should have been attributed to something else. That's the reason for asking how did you hear about us. You really want to look at those key landing pages. Are they trending up or down as far as visits? Then also on the forum fills, are they trending up or down on those forum fills? Those are your key impact pages. As long as you're looking at that, then that can tell you the story of where you shouldn't be investing more time, whether it's on the landing page itself or whether it's on social media campaigns or email campaigns that you might be working on.

Bill Priestley: 1:43:15

Kevin is it a mistake, if you're taking that particular perspective? Is it a mistake to measure sales growth as a function of how well your marketing is, or is that sales growth basically dependent mostly upon the effectiveness of your salespeople?

Kevin Hill: 1:43:32

I think it's mostly effective on the marketing, on the marketing and your messaging out there, and less on the sales team itself. I think that's where I would land, on that you have to have an effective sales team and that they have to be doing their XOs and their processes. I think marketing has a lot to do with that and the overall messaging of the organization.

Bill Priestley: 1:43:59

Gotcha, we've got just a few minutes left here. Blive, if you were to put it out in terms of how you want to set this up and what is maybe one or two things that everybody or every broker needs to be concerned about in terms of how they're going to market, how they're going to get out there, what do they have to do, what is definitely on that checklist to be successful in 2023, to get to 2024?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:44:23

Immediately, I would sign up for a tool like otterai. It's a meeting note-taking tool that automatically joins all of the meetings that you are scheduled to. It automatically takes notes so you can focus on the meeting at hand and then get those notes afterwards. Those notes are shared with everybody who is on the call and you have that database that you can then look up in the future to find different content ideas, find different social media ideas. Then I don't have time to really get into it too much, but develop what's called a why buy? Campaign, where you're talking about what the problem of the current state is, what is the future state and some pseudo-controversial opinions that you have and how your company solves those things. I've written about this before. I'd be happy to share it with you guys, but that's where I would start, because it starts with the foundational insight at gathering and then also from the lens of okay, this is how we're going to develop our messaging from a sales and marketing perspective in order to go after the customers that we really want to target.

Bill Priestley: 1:45:18

Kevin, looking at that, what is one thing that, as a sales manager, or as the CEO, looking at the sales team, what is one thing that you definitely want to see happen in terms of either if it's training or if it's quotas, or what is it that you want to see in terms of getting this thing going to make sure it's successful?

Kevin Hill: 1:45:35

I will borrow a line from Brent Orsiga that he said on Put that Coffee Down years ago activity and attitude. You want to monitor activity and attitude because those are only two things that you can really control. You can't control the market cycles, you can't control buying. You want to, as Bly said, find your why buy and what works right now, but it's all about activity and attitude. You can have the training, you can have everything else out there, but in the sales force, activity and attitude. Keep it upbeat, keep it flowing. Make sure that your salespeople have the activity and attitude and things will pay off.

Bill Priestley: 1:46:16

Moving now from 2023 and the doldrums of 2023 into, hopefully, a land of prosperity in mid-2024 and beyond, hopefully there as well. Blythe, as you look at that again, we've said kind of keep it the same in terms of how you use your marketing and sales philosophies to move into a better economy. Are there any minute changes that you absolutely look at in terms of I know you're always in a constant state of evaluation what's working, what's not working but in terms of when things start going, do you change any little nuance just because it is a better economy?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:46:51

So I think when it is a better economy, that's when the groundwork of the organic posting so the non-paid posting or the non-paid content that you've been working on you can look back on and see okay, this performed really well from an organic perspective. Now that the economy is coming along a little bit, it's looking, it has signs of improvement, then you can justify more budget, to take that budget and then invest in advertising because you've laid the groundwork. You're listening to your customers, you're listening to your leads, you've developed that messaging, you've developed your Y-Bys. And then you can test and you can see okay, all of these things have worked really well from an organic perspective. Now I have justification to go to the executive team and to be able to ask for an advertising budget that I can go to a specialized agency, a specialized freelancer that is experienced in social media advertising, and then you can take some of that organic content that you've created and you can put a little juice behind it with some paid advertisements, because it's more well-organized.

Bill Priestley: 1:47:47

I've got about 15 seconds left here. I've got to go to Kevin real quick. Kevin, do you change anything in your strategy? No, we'll have to keep it there. Blav Bromleave and Kevin Hill wonderful talking to you and great to see you both, and thanks for joining us here on For your Presents.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:48:06

So let's just go ahead and dive into it. Give us a sense of your career background and how you came to founding the company Lead Coverage.

Kara Brown: 1:48:14

Yeah, I've got to down to like a two-minute science, pretty short. I was one of the first employees at Echo Global Logistics, super proud of that, so fun Got to be on the floor as we spun the whole thing up. And Doug and team walked over one day and said, hey, you want to write the S1? We're going to go public. And I was like, yeah, boss, I don't know what that is, but I will Google it and figure it out. So they're so kind to let me be a part of that experience. So my name is actually on the IPO press release for Echo in 2009, which was awesome.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:48:43

Oh, wow.

Kara Brown: 1:48:44

Yeah. So post IPO, got picked up by Osborne Hesse Logistics, which then became Geodis. Post Geodis back to Chicago, popped out kids and then moved to Atlanta and here in Atlanta sort of restarted a consulting practice. So my husband said to me hey, you know, you're happiest when you work for yourself, right? And I was like, yeah, let's try this again. And then I learned the statistic that less than 2% of female founders will ever break a million dollars in revenue and I said that sounds good, hold my beer. So we did that in about eight months with an all female team. It was super fun. The early days were zero to one, was wild and so many women and pink walls, and it was awesome. We do know how our men for sure. And then Will Haraway, my partner, and I sort of combined efforts. He was doing PR and I was doing marketing, but only in supply chain, and so we were sharing clients back and forth and finally said this is kind of silly, let's just do this together. And so in 2018, 19, we made it official and so we do very specific work, only in supply chain. So Will and team do all things public relations and analyst relations. So this is anything that touches the press, like yourself, as well as analysts. So this is Gartner, forester, morningstar, sort of. Even the second and third tier analysts have a lot of sway in our space, so being able to use that for marketing. My team does the marketing and then we also have a team that will make the first call call, so you can use us for the entire process and we're a HubSpot diamond shop, which just means that we know a lot about HubSpot. But a little different about us is we don't do any creative. So most agencies, even folks in our space, are like making websites or picking the photos of the trucks that go on your cell sheets. That's not our jam. We are all about math. So for us it's about ARPR, demand gen revenue operations, which is sort of the new term for sales apps, and making the first out.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:50:40

I love that you said that you don't do any creative work, because that is probably the most annoying part historically of my role is a web design, because you can never tell people's preferences. It's always you know just something, can you make it pop, or you know whatever, and it's just annoying. So I recently just cut web design out and it's strictly website hosting best decision I ever made. I don't know why I did not do this sooner. So I love that you said that, because people are just they get a little crazy when it comes to their creative, rightfully so, sometimes wrongfully so yeah, and I think they're really, really solid creative teams out there, and I think you don't need to know supply chain to know great design.

Kara Brown: 1:51:16

You do need to know supply chain to know great copy. You need to know what press to get in front of. You need to know what is going to resonate with your ideal customer profile. Are they a shipper or a carrier kind of verticals? Are they in right modes? Do they do? But when it comes to the website, you know, and with WordPress, as ubiquitous as it is, you can outsource the WordPress website situation for a couple hundred bucks and it's just there's not a lot of become a commodity. Same thing is designed right with Canva and now a chat GPT to like there's just so many opportunities for people to get economies of scale about having to spend money on it. So where we can deliver value is aggregating all of that and showing the math of marketing. So how and this is actually the first conversation that you and I had I was like I will put all of my clients on your podcast. If we can actually show our why, like, let's work on it together, which we are, and so we are all about delivering actual ROI so we can track from public relations and analyst relations. You can track how much ROI you're getting from analyst relations, from your partner relationship, which can feel expensive, all the way down to the bottom line, and the democratization of the tools now in in all things Mar-Tac. So that's HubSpot demand based six cents sales and tells human foe really lets you be able to see some really sexy data about who is interested in buying from you and, frankly, who is not.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:52:42

Well, when you talk about all of these different tools, is it overwhelming for your clients to know that you know all of these tools are in all of these different places, or are you bringing that data together so it kind of makes it, you know? I guess much more of like that, that macro level, that eagle eye view of seeing how their marketing is performing.

Kara Brown: 1:53:01

Yeah. So if you hire us, like, we'll do it for you, right. But if you're going to do it yourself, the average B2B tech stack marketing technology stack is 22 pieces of technology and that's not a care brown number. So this is your website, hubspot I don't know lead feeder demand base, like just the volume of tools that your marketing team is coming to you saying, hey, we need this. Or your sales team, right, we need sales loft. How is sales loft different than HubSpot? How the sales force doesn't have? Why do we need sales force and part out, like, why don't they work together? Because none of them work together, right? So, yeah, it's super overwhelming for a lot of our clients. They spend time, like significant amounts of time and energy, picking the right tech stack and oftentimes they pick the wrong one, which is kind of painful. But we're tech agnostic, so we'll help you out. If you're a part out sales force shop or if you've chosen Zoho and Dynamics, which is not a combo, that I suggest will help you and we do a lot of moving from one system on to HubSpot. It's sort of become the middle market CRM and marketing automation system of record. It's really easy to use. We can set it up for you and you can have sort of a junior person run it. Once it's set up, it's getting more complicated the longer it's been out, but still it's the best tool in the market. So yes, to answer your question, it can be super, super overwhelming, and even these quote unquote simple tools are getting really sophisticated. The other side of that, though, blythe, is the amount of data you can get on your potential buyer before they even know that you're sort of checking into them before you make a phone call is incredible. So if you know how to harness the marketing technology stack and you know how to get in front of the right people, the amount of data you can have is unbelievable.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:54:54

I think for a lot of just the marketing ecosphere in logistics in particular, it feels like something that has been severely under invested historically. Do you see that landscape shifting over the last few years, or is a lot of companies just still kind of stuck in? If it ain't broke, why fix it?

Kara Brown: 1:55:12

Well, I like to tell you that the smart ones invest in people like me. So, yeah, we've grown pretty fast. We've had some great clients who have some clients that don't get it. Even when they hire us, you can see that the leaders are like, yes, like let's hire this woman, she clearly knows what she's doing. Then we get in and the rest of the team is sort of behind. You know, just, they haven't quite caught up with the rest of us, or the tech is too much, or they're stuck in. You know, are we using the word digitization or digitalization? Nobody cares. Just so we're on the same page, like nobody cares what your copy says, because they're not reading it anyway. So I think, yes, we're seeing a turn. I think what's? I'm really kind of excited to see how things turn out at the end of sort of like 2024. There were a bunch of really smart folks hired in the pandemic in supply chain that never would have been hired before. Right, that never would have been supply chain sort of a second look. I'm sure you're hearing this from your CEOs that come on the podcast about venture capital and private equity. That never gave supply chain a second look. You're seeing the same thing in the marketing talent pool. So two things are happening there. One is the talent available for brands, like for just supply chain people in general is solid, like there's a really nice pipeline of folks are getting laid off now, but also for us finding talent because we only do supply chain as an agency. We're in Atlanta, so every Atlanta agency has Coca Cola as a client, like every single one. We don't have UPS as a client because they're not really our target market and so people will come up, will find us and they'll be like oh, ups must be your big client. We're like no, not even like I'm a little bit right, and so in like our world, the hardcore sort of B2B supply chain that we do is becoming sexier and sexier and people sort of understand what it is now. So your question was how is it sort of changing the the landscape of marketing and supply chain? I think smart executives are investing and I think the talent is now interested in coming into the supply chain marketplace like to never before.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:57:18

Yeah, it definitely feels like it would. The ever given getting stuck in the Suez Canal was sort of the catalyst for the casual audience to know just what the hell you know a global supply chain is. And so for a lot of your clients you I was listening to a video and you said you service 3PLs and freight forwarders and then also us, a lot of the shipping carriers Are your marketing tactics different for each segment? I imagine some things are, but is it mostly the same approach for each one of those segments of the supply?

Kara Brown: 1:57:48

chain. Yeah, I mean, great marketing is great marketing. So it follows a very, very simple sort of matrix share good news, track interest, follow up. Pretty simple, right, you have to go from unknown to known so no one knows who you are when you pick up the phone. Your phone calls are going to go through because no one knows who you are.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:58:09

So you got to build some credibility.

Kara Brown: 1:58:10

People like you help a lot with this right getting our clients onto the right podcasts, getting them profiled by the right analysts, getting them into the right press so that when someone goes to your website there's really there, and then emails and phone calls and LinkedIn and all of the sort of demand gen tactics that we use. Track interest is really all things making sure that you are talking to the right person and that you know that they're interested in what you're saying. So this all comes down to one question Do you own your Tam? So what I mean by that is do you own in your system I don't care if it's sales force, zoho, hubspot, whatever it is Do you own every single record that could potentially buy from you? And I want? When I use the word record, I mean email address. Human right, they're not leads because they don't know who you are. So they're definitely not leads, but their records, right. So do you know every single record who could buy from you? And 99.9% of the time, the answer is no like either. We have a database of 30,000, but we haven't cleaned it since 2011. Shocker like, none of those are valid. Yeah, yeah, we know a whole bunch of them and we get in with like 4000 records on a 400,000 time, like the. Just the math around. That is like really really, really important and most marketers and most supply chain sort of shops, just I don't know, it's like kind of a forgotten art of like the sales team has a list and people are buying lists and they're not paying attention to what's in them. And then, lastly, is follow up, and so a lot of times in our space I grew up in a brokerage right we used to literally take out the phone book and bang out dials. Like I remember those days. We have gotten a lot more sophisticated than dialing through a phone book, and so the follow up is also super important, right? So, as long as you get these three pieces correct, you get sharing good news so that your ideal customer profile knows who you are and when they go to look you up. That you have credibility from credible resources. That you are tracking those interested parties against that sharing good news. And then you're following up inside sales, and Harvard did a study in 2017. It's kind of dated but I still like it. That says if you can talk to a prospect within five minutes of them showing you a buying signal, you have a 900% better chance of closing a deal than if you wait 10 minutes 900. So you need to shit, tell people your your position, track who is interested in your position and then call them immediately if they're interested. That's really it. The language is different. The ICPs are the ideal customer profiles are different. It's a forwarders are going after different folks and brokers and TMS is. I mean, there's 9000 different types of TMS is to so like. Our clients are all sort of going after different people in the space, but the actual physical structure of how marketing works in today's environment with technology is all the same.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:01:16

Wow, that's. I have five minutes. So how are these people making that? Are they getting alerts? And I'm thinking like, maybe in HubSpot you get an alert when someone is visiting, visiting your website or something like that. Is that how they're making these fast connections is?

Kara Brown: 2:01:29

literally bone tracking software. It's exactly how it happens. So the reason it's so important to own your Tam in HubSpot is if Cara Brown visits your website right, lifecom and I am in your HubSpot HubSpot will tell you that I'm there. I don't have to fill out a form, I don't have to click a button, I just have to literally show up. And if I show up, hubspot will alert you and say Cara Brown is on your website right now. So I actually have a great story about this. So a million years ago I did an Iron man and I feel like a vegan because, like I have to say, I don't every podcast anyway so I had sent a proposal to this guy that I knew it's million years ago. This is like this is, this was like the original sort of way we use this, and he ghosted me on. The proposal happens all the time I had. I had not yet learned that you don't just send a proposal, that you sit down with someone and walk through the proposal, and so I'm learning all the time. And so I start to see him hit the website. So HubSpot starts sending the alerts that this guy is like clicking all over the place. So he goes to this page and he spends a minute, goes to this page. So I finally just picked up the phone and I was like hey. And he was like hey, cara, I was just thinking about you. You sent me a proposal like nine months ago and I think I'm ready. And I'm like that's so weird. I was just calling to say hi and like totally close the deal. So the short answer is yes, like it works, and if you can connect the interested buyers. Hubspot says that only 5% of your total buying market is in market at any given time. So we spray and pray to 100% of the market, looking for the fraction of that market that's actually interested in what we're selling, and with the, with the data that's available today and the technology solutions that are available today, you can actually pinpoint that 5% pretty quickly. The next sort of question you're going to ask me, or the next, the next, like you know, natural question, is are people doing this well? And the answer is no, and so I think the teams out there that are doing it really well are, you know, not going with like hiring agency, like us, but also like connecting sales and marketing. So these marketing campaigns, it's more than just sending out a bunch of batch and blasts right. It's thoughtful, it's appropriate, it's market specific, it's in an inbox when it's appropriate. And so when they hit that reply button or they hit that yes button, that it doesn't feel like they're being, you know, crammed on someone's throat, but instead it's like oh man, like you've given me enough information now. That makes me interested in what you're going to, what you're selling. Like let's have a conversation, and those usually go really well.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:04:21

I love that story and how you brought it like full back, full circle. There was another story that you told in another interview where you I think it was the early days of your, of your marketing. I think you said it was like 2013 and you started sending out these mass emails and significantly more.

Kara Brown: 2:04:36

Oh, this is a great story for us.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:04:44

It was such a great story because I guess you know truckers in particular really love to get emails from stripper selling names.

Kara Brown: 2:04:51

This is actually all about tech too, right? So this is the early days of a tool called outreach, and I mean like early days, 2013. And I had 25 reps on the floor and eight reps on like a desk and they were able to use this cool tool and so every night I would send an email out on their behalf and they would get in the morning and they would just reply. So we had this amazing marketing qualified lead rate, because people were just replying to our open loads, essentially, and one person on the team kept getting higher MQL rates than the rest of the team over and over again, and it was the only woman. And so I was kind of irritated because I'm doing all the work, she's getting all these accolades and I'm like she's literally doing nothing but responding to emails. So I went ahead and turned all the boys into girls. So Joe became Rachel, bob became Sheila. It was awesome. And then a girlfriend of mine was like well, who are you emailing? And I was like well, basically, truckers, right, like dispatch and whatever. And she was like turn them into strippers. So we did. So we had Bambi and Candy. It was amazing. We ended up with a 68% marketing qualified lead rate and like crushed the quarter. It was awesome. And then the software called and they were like this feels weird to us, like what's going on? They figured out that we were using fake Gmail addresses. They didn't love it so they shut it down, but it was great. Well, it lasted, but that's. You know. Like that's the whole game in marketing, which I think is why I love it so much, is just try new stuff all the time, right, yes, the spaghetti method of throwing something against the wall and see if it sticks. And so you know we're doing things like, like, instead of doing podcasts. Like you're a podcast host, so we will put, we will put our people, our clients, on your podcast, but instead of recommending that our podcast, our clients host a podcast which you can tell us is a ton of work, right? So, instead of hosting it, if you really want to get your message out there, this could be for, like tech companies not necessarily brokers, but like TMS tip providers is do a limited series podcast. Do five podcasts. Have someone like you produce it, because you're really good at producing podcasts and they are not. And then do a limited series. So you have, you know, instead of a series of webinars whichever one sort of webinar it out, right, since the pandemic. Do a series of limited podcasts. If it works for the New York Times, right, the New York Times 1619 podcast, like blue, everything out of the water, right. Like, do it for the company. And if you can find five partners or five really smart people to come on and be a vendor or a partner on that limited series podcast, that gives you content for days I mean days it'll give you content. So months, really, yeah. So trying different stuff, right. Limited series podcast is one trying like. We don't love the LinkedIn and mail inbox, but there is kind of a fun way that we use LinkedIn for our executives and then we like sort of scrape, who's interested in what the executives are saying? Throw them into a nurture campaign and sometimes we don't know what's going to work. Sometimes we know exactly what's going to work because it always works like email, but other times we're like let's just try this thing and the clients we have that are willing to sort of like, come along with us on this journey of like, let's give it a shot are usually doing really well. My new favorite thing is a tool called propensity, and propensity isn't as an intent tool, so a data intent tool, so it basically tells you who in the marketplace is interested in what you're selling and you can buy it now by the drink. So it used to be really. It still is actually really expensive. So demand based and six cents are these two big tools and they're like 100 grand a year and you have to have a human to use them and, frankly, they're way too sophisticated for most of our supply chain clients. And so propensity has got a cool solution where he does it in HubSpot and you can do it by the drink, and so we're just trying all these things all the time with all these clients to see what sticks. And then what's really cool is the ability to sort of use that intellectual property across all the clients. So we're trying this cool thing for a TMS provider, and then we whip it into something different for a broker and like it's all sort of the same stuff just different ICPs. So it's super fun. We're having a blast. Thanks for bringing that story, though. That's a good one.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:09:03

It was such a fantastic story and I was like, oh my God, I wish that I had asked that question originally because it was just such a. It was such a great story to tell and it really is. Just want to add simple change to your marketing can have just a dramatic impact on what you do.

Kara Brown: 2:09:20

Gender of the email address it's unfortunate. I guess but sex sells, it is what it is.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:09:27

Yeah, we all got to make money somehow. Exactly no, with you had mentioned. You know you mentioned a few times with you know LinkedIn strategy. Let's get into the little bit of the LinkedIn focus. And so you are really big, I'm really big on LinkedIn. I know it can be a little bit cringey at times. I think you're really big on LinkedIn as well. So give us a sense of how somebody knows that LinkedIn is important, but how they can get started.

Kara Brown: 2:09:51

Sure, I'll. Actually I'll give you the whole shebang art. My LinkedIn strategy is not a secret. I've talked about it on podcasts before. So we can track about a million bucks in revenue to LinkedIn. And it's not a direct attribution. You can't directly attribute LinkedIn to work, except when someone feels like, when someone DMs me on LinkedIn and like I like to talk and then we close that deal, I sort of assume it comes from LinkedIn. Now, maybe they also met me at a trade show or they watched your podcast, like there's many ways you can sort of see me. But I court is sort of good that of one to one, a one to one connection. So my LinkedIn philosophy is post as much as possible, as many times as possible. Be annoying about it, because only a fraction of your audience is going to see what you post anyway, so you might as well post all the time. So my structure is really simple. It's one of the very few things that I do on a regular basis. I'm not really a process person, so I'm kind of a little replace. This is the one thing I don't miss. Every week, so every Tuesday afternoon, I have a call with a ghostwriter. She's actually a social ghostwriter. These are my words. So I usually send her topics. I went to Harvard a couple weeks ago and I had a notepad for like notes for the business and then I had a notepad for like ideas for LinkedIn, and so I just send her topics. She keeps a running list of them and then we go through them and I talk for I don't know five to 10 minutes on each topic. She writes sort of the distilled 200 words, puts them into a Google Google doc, sends them to my team and then my team schedules them. So they're my words. But it takes me like half an hour, half an hour a week to come up with four podcasts, four posts a week and then I manage all the comments, I manage all the engagement, right. I probably should be commenting more, but it's just really hard to stay engaged while you're busy and it gets us on a really regular schedule, right. The next thing I'll tell you is the liking, sharing and engaging of posts should be pretty regular, pretty regular, and it's easy to have your team or sometimes we'll do like a podcast, like a LinkedIn pod if you're on your own to just get on there like sharing and engage. So LinkedIn rewards human interactions, not company interactions. So we don't recommend that you post from the company on your big stuff. Post from the human, for sure, and then the company can like, share and engage or also post later. But yeah, it's actually pretty simple. I wish it was more complicated because then I could spell it. But, like you know, besides I mean we also have social ghost writers. You can hire that, hire us for this, but it's it's really about the discipline. To get on the phone with this. It's an easy call for me to skip, it's an easy call for me to ignore, but I don't. This is a really important call for me and after a couple of years together, amy is my ghost writer. She can sort of like read my mind and she can oh, didn't we talk about this before? And hey, let's think about these in a different way. And then, like the last part of this is even like kind of sexier is that it's all going to become a book. So we've got three and a half, almost four years of these LinkedIn posts which are like just like thought bubbles right, and someone who is not me is going to go through. Is art like actually right now, going through the thought bubbles, sort of put them into some sort of structure and create a book, and it's already basically written, which is kind of great and they're all my thoughts. So Charlie, actually Stefareno from CS recruiting and I talked about this a lot she's amazing and she does all of her own LinkedIn. She's she's very proud that it's like all her all the time and I'm like no way man. So I have no problem sharing that. They're my words, but written by someone who is a writer, right, who has time to do it and all the engagements fine.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:13:49

I love that approach because it I empathize with Charlie, because I love that you know, for years it's sort of a badge of honor that you write. Everything you write sounds like you, and so if you try out like you know, even like chat, gpt, where it doesn't sound like you, you can kind of, you know, mess around with the verbiage or whatnot. And I was like, well, maybe in theory I was thinking that this could help be my ghost writer for you know, podcast transcriptions. Can you take this and turn it into a LinkedIn post and it just doesn't say it's just not there yet. So I love that you mentioned that you have a ghost writer, because then they can actually take your words and turn them into something of value for somebody else, instead of just sitting in your head, sitting in a notebook and never getting shared with anyone. I love that you can actually have a process in place that gets those ideas out of your head and gets them out for the world to see.

Kara Brown: 2:14:42

Yeah, there is a tool that can help. Jasper is the one that we like the best. It's sort of an AI, like it'll take a word giant word document breaking into smaller ones. But you're right, like you still have to touch it, like you still have to like touch the final product. And what I love about our system is, I mean, the first couple of months that we worked together, I clearly had to go in and edit, but now, like she knows my voice so well that I don't you know, I don't even need to worry about editing the posts, and the team has got it down to a science or like they add the emojis. Sometimes they come up on my phone and I'm like did I add this emoji? And I'm like I don't know what emoji is like and they're like it's really funny because you can tell like the team member that is like adding emojis is like really young and cute and hip, and then sometimes another team member will edit and they'll be like no emojis. So, yes, someone else adds my emojis. I probably wouldn't use them, but it's you know.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:15:39

Yeah, just don't add too many, otherwise you look like a psychopath. Yeah, you know 1400 emojis in one post.

Kara Brown: 2:15:45

Also, I think if you're, I think this is just a care brown thing, Like I think people take it way too seriously. Like, come on, 5% of your market is going to see your posts if you're posting super regularly, right, and it in our space. One of the things I hired a guy from Coca Cola and I remember one of the things that blew his mind was I told him no, we don't need 3000 people, we need one deal. Like we need one right. One enterprise deal will pay for this whole thing, right or like for us, like because we're not, we're not cheap, but like one really solid client or two really solid clients, a quarter and we pay for ourselves. And so you don't, you don't need that enormous exposure. You just need one person who matters to pay attention. And I remember going to a lunch with an old friend who's now a very successful CTO and like doing all sorts of amazing things, and he was like I read every post and I was like you have never liked, you have never shared. He's like and I never will, Don't expect me to, Okay. So I would imagine that you and I both probably have bigger audiences than either of us know, but you know because of the gentlemen in our lives who are in supply chain and may not, like you know, engage in social. They're probably watching us, but not even like participating, if you will, so don't do it seriously, it's you know, it's fun, it's a you know it should be a fun sort of environment to share your expertise.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:17:23

One phrase I heard years ago that completely changed how I post to social media is no one remembers your content like you remember your content and even like Gary Vee recently is going on a tirade saying like you need to put that same content that you've posted posted again, edit it slightly, posted again and he's like, keep doing it until if you believe it's good, then it's just a matter of getting those eyeballs within the first five minutes of the post. That's all algorithms do is they analyze it within the first five minutes of the post and, depending on the day, the time, whatever people's mood, it could take off and it could be a dud, but keep posting it and keep trying, because no one remembers your content Like you love that I'm gonna say that's a takeaway for me is to go back and pull the.

Kara Brown: 2:18:03

We've been doing this for a while, like maybe I can take a break for a minute and post some old stuff, yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:18:09

Yeah, there's. There's actually a great tool that I've started shield analytics. I don't know if you use them, they will tell you what your most impactful LinkedIn posts are. So now I'm in the process of taking those and copying them into a Google sheet and CSV so I can upload them and just have evergreen content constantly pushing out. It's a pain in the ass to do it, but I think it'll set myself up for the long run.

Kevin Hill: 2:18:31

Something to get out, sorry.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:18:33

Yeah, that too, and that's you're giving me a lot of ideas here and I'm like, okay, I need to hire a ghost writer. I'm going to go ahead and just hire another freelancer to take care of that so I could take some of these things off my plate, so I can do more conversations and, have you know, talk to more smart people like you. And so, as we talked about LinkedIn, what about the cold calling side of things? I was on the brokerage floor as a marketer and I hated hearing to brokers just yell all day and just hammer the phones. I thought what a miserable job to just be on the phone all day. But now it feels like it's kind of evolved into more of, like you said earlier, with the software tools that are available and you know, honing in on it, is it really a cold call anymore? It's kind of warmed up a little bit. So where do you see the cold call playing a role in today's logistics marketing?

Kara Brown: 2:19:21

Yeah, that's a great question. It's sales really. So one phone calls are not dead. Well, they're definitely not dead. This is a HubSpot number. These numbers are HubSpot numbers, but I really appreciate how much they're willing to share. So HubSpot says that cold dials, like cold, cold never heard from you before just like banging the phones, converts to closed deals at a 1% conversion ratio. That's not so great, right? So we don't do a lot of cold, cold dialing and warm dials convert at an average of 40%. So we like the 40. That would be great. We don't usually get up to 40 unless they are like hardcore, filled out of form. I'm interested. We're in a buying cycle, right. Like that can be super, super high, but dials aren't dead. It's just a matter of who you're dialing and making sure that you understand that they have shown some interest. One of the sort of conversations that we have a lot with clients and even our very sophisticated marketers is what is the threshold? Right? So you think about a lead score. So a lead score has two things. It has demographic and behavioral information. So the demographic information is is Blythe a broker? Does she have more than 200 million in revenue? Is she currently using a TMS Like what do we know about her company? What is the demographic profile Right? Or a shipper Like what are they shipping? How big are they? What's their transportation span, etc. The behavioral profile is has this person come to the website? How much have they clicked? How long have we been in a relationship with them, a digital relationship? Have they ever clicked on a Google ad Like show me their whole history in a behavior with us? And one of the decisions that we have to make oftentimes with our clients is what is the threshold? When you set the threshold so low that we're emailing the coldest of the cold and we're going to make a phone call after one person opens an email, you're basically making cold calls. Like we should set the expectation relatively low. If you're setting the bar pretty high and you're saying we're only going to make phone calls if they have, you know, given us their information freely at some point, if they have shown up to a trade show booth, if there's a human inside our inside our organization that owns this relationship, right, you can sort of set that bar as high as you want, but the phone calls are definitely not dead and I think one of the sort of best in class things that we do help our clients with is understand where are the gaps in the funnel. So I'm having a text conversation with someone right now where we're talking about you know what's the expectation and how many leads are, how many leads are going to bring in, and, like you know, tell me how many, how many meetings are you going to set? And I'm like I have no idea, like. I'm like how many are you setting today? And so we did the math. And this particular person has five sales reps let's just say they're making 100 dials a day and he's closing about a half a meeting I'm sorry, closing about a half a deal a day. Well, the math on that is a 0.02% conversion ratio. Well, that's not so great, right, like? So, instead of just throwing more bodies at the cold dials, let's try to improve our ability to close those deals when we do get them on the phone. And the only way to do that is through all the way back to the beginning share good news, track interest, follow up, right. So sharing good news and then getting an inbound funnel right Like. Really seeing people come to you instead of you go to them gets really sexy. But that's all about credibility, building awareness, which is time intensive, expensive and sometimes folks don't want to put the sort of time and energy into it. But cold calls are not dead. People still do them. I got one today actually. But I think warm dials are just so much more effective and if you can put the energy and diligence into creating a really strong pipeline for folks to come to you, it can take a while, but once you do it, those leads are 10 times, 20 times, 50 times as valuable, they'll close faster and they'll be better clients. So we'd like to track three things Volume, velocity and value. So volume is how many deals do I need to make my number? Value is how much is each deal worth to me and can I go up market. And velocity is how fast are they going through the funnel? And that's pretty much all you can affect, right, you can affect one at a time and we sort of treat it like hypothesis testing, right. So we understand the metrics, we understand the deltas, we understand what we're doing today. The goal is to 3x this or 5x this. What are we going to test, right? Are we going to turn the boys into girls? Are we going to try a tool? Are we going to spend some money. Are we going to do Google AdWords, whatever it is, to try to increase that? So those are the three things that we can sort of flex volume, velocity value, and sometimes cold calls will be a part of it and sometimes they're just not. So cold calling is not dead, but we much, much prefer warm dials.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:24:28

So, with that whole strategy that you just talked about, which sounds brilliant, how can say the marketing department, or maybe a one person marketer, how can they help facilitate the sales team to get to that level of success?

Kara Brown: 2:24:42

Yeah, it is 100% about math. That's it. I mean, it's just about math, it's about taking and I'm happy to share. I have a pretty sexy model like a financial model, marketing financial model that we put together and I'm happy to share it with anyone who wants to reach out. It's just a Google document, put your own numbers in, but it requires understanding the funnel. So let's just say you have a three phase funnel, you have to understand top of funnel to MQL and MQL to SQL and SQL. To close, right, if you have a two phase funnel, you need to know the three, like you have to know the deltas. And we work with some enormous companies, enormous companies, and when we ask them what is your top of funnel to MQL, they look at us like we're aliens and I'm like this is you know you hired a marketing shop, right? Like not a question that you should have known. This question was coming and somebody should know, like someone somewhere in your enterprise should have some math about how many humans you touched and how many had a meeting with you. And if you don't know that delta, how are you supposed to know how many had a meeting with you and how many became like really qualified and then how many closed. Right Now everyone knows the closed number, obviously, but backing into that top level of the funnel seems to be a challenge for a lot of folks. So if marketers want to sort of put their stamp on what's happening in sales, make the sales and marketing connection a lot denser. Really help out a VP of sales or a CRO. Get into the math, like, really get into the math and start to prove that if you can sprinkle in a little marketing magic, right, that you can start to change some of these deltas. This is a great example from a SaaS based company who worked with a long time ago. It's sort of at the tail end of this. So we started working with them. They had a 92 day from Doc sign to conversion timeline, so they were a software that handled like a freight audit payment type thing and so they had an app so you could sign up for the app. But they didn't get paid until you use the app, right. And they had a 92 day from app sign up to first transit, which is a long time. It's a quarter. They waited for a quarter. So someone said, yes, I'm interested, signed up for it and then we take them a quarter to get the cash, which is insane, right? So we sprinkled a little marketing magic in there and we took it down to nine days. And so, as a marketer, you have to know the benchmark right to prove the value. And I think a lot of times marketers, we talked about sort of websites and creative like we focus too much on what it looks like and is it pretty, and we don't spend enough time on the math. And so if marketers really want to understand and they really want to see to the table, the only way to get a seat at the leadership table is to prove the math. Walk in there with this is how we're going to do this and I've proven it right. So we do a lot of that and we help our clients. I love that too, so we'll like provide them with the math for the board meeting right To show that we've made improvements.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:27:50

That's awesome, that you help the marketers themselves become like the superheroes in the boardroom, because it's Well. It's typically when the recession like you know what we're experiencing now or may experience in the future that's marketing is the first thing to get cut. So I know we only have, about, you know, five more minutes with you here because you got to run, but this has been such an impactful conversation and you work with a lot of great companies. But any tips for some of the smaller to medium sized businesses out there that want to get their marketing started? That they know it's important, they just don't know where to start.

Kara Brown: 2:28:21

Yeah, such a good question. I actually had this conversation yesterday, so I will tell you exactly what I told him. He was like I can't afford you. What do I do instead? I was like no problem, I got you Right. So number one is buy HubSpot. Okay, if you don't have it already. But the key is there is a. There is a caveat as an asterisk Don't buy HubSpot from HubSpot, okay. So if you buy HubSpot from HubSpot, you're going to pay full retail value and everyone's always like oh, I got a discount. Like, no, you didn't. So buy it from a partner. We're a diamond partner. Any partner like if you're like neighbor, is a partner. Buy it from your neighbor. Even if they do like econ, it doesn't matter. Like you can buy it from like. Go on the website, find a partner, buy it from them. You'll get a discount. Like you'll get extra bells and whistles because you're like with a partner by HubSpot and then start small and they're sort of like very specific things to do. So one is buy the HubSpot tool, fill the HubSpot with your TAM, okay. So go get the records Sales and tell I don't love Zoom and vote. I think it's really expensive and technically you have to give the records back when you're done with them. It's really weird Sales and tell is our preferred tool. Go, get some leads from those guys, stick them in your HubSpot and like know that they're exactly the right record, right, like you want to go after shippers, get the shipper human at those companies inside your HubSpot, then share some good news to LinkedIn. Post the month, one blog post and one email newsletter a quarter. Like super simple, right. Really, really, really easy. You can outsource the content. Right. There's some really nice shops out there that do a really good job outsourcing just supply chain content. Keep it light. I think one of the mistakes that smaller shops make is that they try to jump in to all the things, right, and they try to. I'm going to measure volume, blessing value, and I'll carry it to get. The delta is not going to just take it slow. Right, share the good news, track the interest and HubSpot. And then you got to follow up right, and you can outsource the follow up. Give it to someone else on your team. But I would say, for the folks that are sort of just getting started, or do I hire someone? The short answer is yes, but that's the formula right. And the last piece I'll say on this life is if someone walks into your office or if you are working with someone and they tell you that you need a website makeover, run the other direction. Nobody cares about your website. Nobody cares. Like, look at Amazon, their website looks terrible and they're Amazon. Like, nobody cares right, as long as it looks halfway decent and it says what you're supposed to like. It says what you do and it's kind of credible. You're fine, especially in the next two years. The next two years are not the time to spend 50, 60, even $20,000 on a new website. Everything I'm talking about can be done without a $50,000 website. So that is what I would say to a shop that is sort of getting started.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:31:21

So let's just go ahead and jump right into it. The first thing I'm hearing a lot is companies that are spending a ton of money thousands, sometimes, well, hundreds of dollars, for sure, but sometimes thousands of dollars on PPC, which stands for pay per click campaigns. Now this strategy is just flawed in so many ways because what happens is that Google is seen now a pay per click campaign is typically when you pay somebody like Google or Bing or another company in order to pay for high intent keyword phrases so you can rank for those keywords and show up at the top of searching results and order. You know for a visitor to go to Google and they do a little quick search and hopefully you show up either organically or from a paid perspective If you are paying for it. It is called PPC and a lot of companies are overvaluing this because Google as a channel, as SEO, as a strategy, is incredibly fragmented and it's in chaos right now. With chat GBT entering the landscape about a year ago, it has really thrown the entire search engine optimization, search engine marketing world into a full on fury because they don't exactly know, or we don't exactly know, where the market is going. A lot of users, close to 100 and well more than 100 million now. Chat GBT launched about a year ago and it was the fastest growing app to 100 million users, and it reached that within three months. Now, for a lot of folks, what they primarily have focused on is organic SEO, which means that you know you're optimizing your website for keywords, that if somebody is searching for a carrier in your region, a broker within your region, or maybe not a broker within your region, but maybe a broker that specializes in a specific type of equipment or a specific type of commodity Now, some of those from an organic one-time perspective is still absolutely a good idea, but if you were spending hundreds of dollars, thousands of dollars, on pay per click campaigns, you need to reevaluate that budget that you're spending and, in my opinion, probably cut it, and you probably wouldn't even miss it. There are numerous studies. I think eBay in particular was very famous for a few years ago. They completely shut off all of their pay per click campaigns and saw no significant drop in traffic, no significant drop in customer activity, and so I would caution every one of you that if you are looking for ways to trim your marketing budget and you are spending a lot of money on pay per click campaigns, I would caution you to look very, very closely on the production of that, and when you look very, very closely, I would caution you to look at it from an objective eye, not from a Google representative or a marketing agency that may specialize in pay per click campaigns, because they have a financial incentive to make sure that they're showing the value of that platform, and the way that they show value and the way that Google shows value for their pay per click campaigns is Google is treated as a pass through channel, meaning very rarely does someone Google your, does someone know the direct address of your website. What do they do? They go to Google, they search your brand name and then they click on your brand name and arrive at your website. If they convert on your website, that lead is attributed to Google. When Google was just the pass through channel. They just use that as a means to get to your website quickly, and so for a lot of pay per click campaigns, they appropriate that lead to that campaign when it had nothing to do with the conversion that took place to begin with. So in my opinion, that's what I'm hearing a lot on the calls that I am on. You know, really, today. I took three calls today and all of them were talking about their pay per click campaigns and how much they're spending and if they should continue to invest in that or not. Now you need to be able to look at this from an objective eye. But also, why don't you take a page out of eBay's book? Take a page out of their book by shutting off all of your ads. Shut it off for a couple months and see if you notice any change in traffic and leads that are coming to your site and how those leads are converting and if their quality leads to begin with. So there's a lot of money being wasted in pay per click campaigns and a lot of money being wasted and paying for the top result on Google when it's basically a free for all right now, with chatGPT funded content that we're able to now, from an organic perspective, be able to pump out thousands and thousands of words and hundreds of articles in a matter of hours and be able to instantly rank for those keywords. So that is a number one strategy that I would take a look at. If you're looking at trying to cut your marketing spend and without seeing a huge drop off, then consider turning off all of your PPC campaigns and just seeing how it goes and just seeing if you keep all everything else the same. How would that cutting off that specific campaign and how that would affect your traffic and the leads to your website and the quality of those leads to your website? So it's important to know that a lot of things are going to be changing in the world of SEO, whether you pay for it or whether you take an organic approach. Even me myself, I still invest in organic SEO, but I do so because I pump out a lot of content. If you are not pumping out a lot of content, then you're not going to be able to see a noticeable change in your search engine rankings and your search engine traffic, and it might not make sense for you to even have that turned on. A lot of brokers, a lot of carriers, are paying for PPC campaigns when they don't need to pay for those things. Think about it how often are shippers going to Google and searching for your solution? They're not. They're getting hundreds of calls a day. They're getting thousands of emails every single week from brokers and from carriers looking to do business with them. They don't have to go to Google to do these searches. The people are coming to them. So the search engine traffic the numbers that you're getting is probably very flawed and it's very skewed, especially depending on who's providing that service to you. That one, to me, is an easy one to cut out and just do a trial. If you're spending a lot of money, just do a trial. See what happens if you shut it off. You can save a little money in the process but also gain a ton of insights on if the marketing agency maybe you're working for is worth their salt and providing a lot of traffic to you or a lot of high quality leads to you. You can kind of see, and you can gauge that, if you just turn those ads off for a couple of months and then come back to it and see what those results were. That's the first thing I'm seeing. The second thing I'm seeing is a lot of y'all don't. A you don't have a website, or B it hasn't been updated in years. We are living in the age of fraud, double brokering, impersonation Lots of these things are going on all over the web, and if you don't have a website, then you're not able to establish what I like to call trust moments on your site. So think about it If you were trying to attract a shipper and you have been maybe cold calling them, you've been emailing them, maybe you've been doing all of the right things and creating more brain awareness on social media, and when that shipper has had enough with their current provider and they're ready to start doing business with you, then they Google your name, they come to your site and they fill out a high intent form or they check to make sure that you are who you say you are. So what they're looking for on your site is they're looking for team photos. They're looking for bios. They're looking for what kind of equipment, what kind of experience? Are you part of any associations? Have you won any awards? They're looking for all of these different trust moments on your site in order to make the decision on if they're going to take that next step to do business with you. Now, for a lot of websites and the overwhelming majority of data that I see, someone comes to a freight website and they're either coming directly to their homepage or they're coming in through a blog post article. The second page that they're visiting after that is the About Us page. Overwhelmingly, they want to come in see who you are and then learn more about you. So, making sure that your website has been designed in the past three years, that it doesn't look like something that was built out of the 90s you can do this at a very affordable rate. We offer these kinds of services. I'll get more into that later on but if you have the capabilities, if you have the technical know-how in order to revamp your website and it's been a few years there are plenty of AI tools out there that will help you speed up this process and help you get it done much more quickly. Long gone are the days that you need to pay five, ten grand for a site. Do not pay that much for a website, specifically if it's just a regular website, now you might pay around that price. If you're looking for really like custom animations and custom design, you really don't need custom design. Because why? Because there's plenty of sites out there that have made their business and building website templates that cost 50, anywhere from 50 bucks to 100 bucks. So, thinking about it from that lens, you could go and you could purchase your own website template that you like and then you could install that on your own site and build up your site from there. Now there are other companies, of course, that will do this for you, but you shouldn't be paying any more than three grand, I think is pushing it for a site. Five grand is you better? Have a lot of content, that's typically what jumps up. The price is, if you have a lot of content a lot of videos, blogs, short form content, things like that that's what makes your price jump. Because if you're creating more content, you're creating more data, and that more data requires more server space. It requires more maintenance. So just to keep that in mind, if you're paying 10 grand or more for a site, that is crazy. If you spend any more than 10 grand on a site, unless you're getting fancy API integrations, things like that, that's when it can start to make the price jump. But I would argue that API integrations have nothing to do with the presenting website and has more to do with the back-end capabilities maybe some TMS integrations or WMS integrations, anything like that. Because, again, api integrations typically means more data. More data means more maintenance, more server space, more bandwidth, not just from a technical perspective but also from a people perspective. So that's where you can understand the fluctuations in price. But if you haven't had a website redesigned in typically three years I typically do mine at least every year and a half, where I will be revamping the overall look of my personal site. If it's been more than three years, I would seriously look at just purchasing a website template or hiring a company like mine in order to help you facilitate that process. Because, again, if shippers are looking to do business with you different partners they want to make sure that they're working with a company that is up to date, that they know who they are, that they can see those trust moments created throughout your site, and so that's. Another thing of what I'm seeing is a lot of sites, a lot of y'all sites. If you even have one, it looks like it was built 10 years ago, and that just doesn't scream that we've evolved into a modern day organization where we're going to take care of your freight from investing in tools and solutions that are going to help track your freight and keep it away from double brokers and keep it away from fraud, and that you're keeping up with the times. I mean, frankly, your website says a lot about you and your company, and so if you're not keeping up to date with that kind of information, then you're probably going to see a lot of missed opportunities and you probably won't even see them, because they won't ever take that next step to book a meeting with you or to fill out a request for quote or anything like that. They're just not going to. They're going to move on to the next person because they're getting all of those contacts every single day, either through cold calling or emailing or, however, stopping in through the front door. Shippers are getting hounded and they have the luxury to sit back and pick the one that they like the most. So that's another thing that I'm seeing Now. Next one that I'm seeing is a lot of companies and this is really frustrating to say a lot of companies are still asking about organic SEO. Now, I kind of mentioned this in the first part of the show is that for a lot of companies, you are investing in a tactic that is a decade old, it's past its prime and currently we just do not see a very clear path towards relevancy if you are only focusing on creating SEO blog content, and what I mean by that is that you can have a website and you can optimize one time your site for organic keywords and the reality of what you want to do on those pages is for your brand name and then for the main services, equipment that you offer. You do that one time on specific pages on your site and then that's it. You shouldn't be touching regular SEO keywords, research writing, blog content, things like that. You shouldn't be regularly doing that. There is a better way, and that is by going to social media. Social media is where your audience is already hanging out. They can see your profile, they can see if you are a real person, you are who you say you are. They can read your thought process. They can see what kind of messaging that you're putting out into the world. And then when they're actively in a buying cycle because, keep in mind, 95% of your audience, probably more than that, is not in an active buying cycle and so when you focus on SEO, you are focusing on the 1 to 3% of your TAM, your total addressable market, who is actively in a buying cycle. And if they're going to Google, you have to compete with every other person, every other ad that is on that main page, also videos YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet and Google owns them and so when you are competing for the attention of that 1 to 3% that are actively in a buying cycle, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Instead, you should be using social media in order to communicate what your customers are care about, what your customers are wanting to see. You can communicate that messaging on social media to that 95% plus of your audience that is not actively in a buying cycle, because when they do get into a buying cycle, when they are tired of their current provider, if you've done your job right, then they'll remember you and they'll come to you before they ever go to Google, and so keep that in mind. And so the next step in this process is well, how do I figure out what my customers care about? And this is the most, and if you've listened to any of my content, then you know that I have shouted this company out. They don't pay me to say this, but OtterAI. It is the best kept secret in sales and marketing and it is the single biggest helper in order to creating a content plan that your customers and your prospects care about. So what you want to do is you want to take a group distribution email Maybe it's sales at yourfakecompanycom or whatever. You want to take that email and you want to sign up using that email for Otterai? I swear by them. They do not pay me to say this, but I use them every single day and the way that I use them is that it's a note taking app for your meetings. It auto joins your meetings records the entire thing, takes notes during the process so you can focus on who you're talking to and not writing down a million notes After the meeting is over. Everybody who is in on that call gets a copy of that transcript, gets a copy of the takeaways, and on the takeaways it typically has questions, main themes that were talked about, and it has a drill down to where you can find that exact moment and that conversation of where that moment was referred to. And so what you do afterwards is you take that and you share it with your marketing team. You take all of those insights and you share it with them because then they know what to post to social media, what to create email campaigns, maybe videos or blogs. Everybody has one of these cell phone, if you're listening and instead of watching. Everybody has one of these, has one of the best cameras on the market, right here in the palm of your hands. Take that Otter AI transcript of those common questions that you're asked over a week's time, over a month's time, and you could turn that into an FAQ. You could turn that into a landing page on your site and then you can take all of that content and you can turn it into social media content. You can turn it into email campaigns. It is the single biggest missed opportunity right now, going on in freight, is that you don't you're not using some kind of an AI note taking app If you just sign up for one of those. I know there's more than Otter AI. Maybe there's better ones out there, but frankly, otter AI does more than everything that I've needed, so I swear by them. I use it religiously in my content marketing plans and I'm able to use those conversations in order to drill down and really refine what I talk about on shows like this. On on you know, on guest appearances, what I communicate to my audience and what I communicate to my clients and customers. It is essential. I know how much it costs. That's about $130 a year. It is, hands down, the best investment that you will make. Another great thing about it is that you have the ability to export those transcripts from those conversations and then say you hire a marketing assistant and that marketing assistant can then take those transcripts uploaded to chat. You'll be T cost 20 bucks a month. They can rewrite that entire transcript and make a content plan out of that transcript. I've done it myself. I've taken not dozens, but I took the other day I took seven to eight transcripts that were all based in one specific category and I said let's make a content plan based on the conversation and the takeaways from these transcripts. And you know it sent me an entire content marketing plan based on transcripts and conversations I'm already having. So these are tools that I wish I would have had when I was working inside of an asset based 3PL, because it would have made my job so much easier. I would have known exactly what kind of content to create, because those are the exact conversations that your sales team is already having, your leadership team is already having. So give your marketer marketing team a break. If you have a marketing team or maybe it's, you know it's somebody that is handling marketing in addition to their current role, but using that is such a game changer, and if you couple that with auto AI, so it's 130 bucks a year. Canva is about $100 a year. That's a graphics tool that you can use to create different social media graphics. That's about 100 bucks a year, and then, with those two tools plus chat, gpt is $20 a month. Right there you have an entire marketing suite of tools that you could be using in order to fuel your entire marketing ship. So that is another big takeaway. Now maybe you're in a situation where you don't have anybody that is in charge of marketing, that you don't have the resources to hire somebody in order to help. That's where making some of these budget cuts like what I talked about with the PPC campaigns shutting that off and devoting that budget to something else Shutting that off and devoting that budget maybe a thousand bucks a month to a part time social media coordinator, where they'll be able to use auto AI and Canva and chat GPT to create a resource hub, a Google Drive folder or Dropbox folder that is filled with social media post ideas that come directly from the conversations that your team is already having. So that's another option that you could be thinking about for the new year, or really just to hone in on your current marketing team. Maybe you already have a couple people that are in charge of marketing and you're looking for ways to cut costs because, it's frankly, it's a tight market and marketing is typically the first thing that is cut. So you can make a justification of making your current team more productive by being able to use some of these newer tools that have just hit the market in the last year or so that can really bump up your productivity and really put your marketing on steroids, and using those conversations that your sales team is already having. So that's how I would approach it, that's how I would choose to conquer my marketing for the rest of this year and in the new year. Make sure that you're mapping out your processes before you cold call, before you send an email, before you write a social media post what are those steps that you're doing in that process? Write it out and then see where each of those three tools that I just mentioned in Otter, ai and Canva and ChatGPT see where they can replace any of those other marketing tools or software that you may have bought. And you thought it was going to solve a lot of problems, but then it just created an issue where you have all this software and you're not using it because it's confusing and it takes time to learn, and you can cut some of that out in order to make your current team more productive. So that's where I would re-evaluate my entire marketing and sales processes. I would immediately purchase Otter AI or another similar note-taking app tool and then I would copy in my marketing team or marketing person on all of those different conversations so that they have some kind of a database that they can pull from without bugging you nonstop on how to make different marketing plans. Now, maybe you don't have plans to hire any kind of marketing person and maybe you just want to handle it all yourself. You could follow that exact same playbook and gain those insights and then dedicate an hour, an hour and a half, the first part of the day in order to conquer a lot of those different goals. So after you've established your processes, you're going to trim the fat from your marketing budget and then you can use some of these tools, especially ChatGPT. In the last couple of weeks they have made a tremendous amount of improvements to the platform, so highly, highly advise getting just coughing up the 20 bucks a month. It is well worth it. Now, if you're interested in any more from my services, my team everything is logistics is taking podcast sponsorships. In case you want to reach a highly engaged audience because that's actually a direct quote from a guest that recently appeared on the podcast we can help you increase your brand awareness through podcast sponsorships. They said, appearing on your podcast sent us the most leads out of any campaign we did all year. And then another guest closed the largest customer she's ever had simply by coming on this podcast. Now that's one caveat. That's one revenue stream for me. The other revenue stream is helping freight companies get online and grow through digital dispatch. You can check out some of our website plans. A lot of the same things I talked about in this episode are exactly the blue book or playbook that we follow over on digitaldispatchio, so you can check out both of those things. I've got them linked in the show notes, so hopefully that helps you sort of craft out your marketing plan for the rest of 2023 and beyond and stay tuned for everything is logistics for more content like this. I hope you enjoyed 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. Subscribe to the show, sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at everything is logisticscom. And, in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let y'all know about another company I operate and that's digital dispatch, where we help you build a better website. Now, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one, off to a co-worker's child, a neighbor down the street or a stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website. Well, that doesn't happen at digital dispatch. We've been building online since 2009, but we're also early adopters of AI, automation and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit new employees and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business. Our new website bills start as low as $1,500, along with ongoing website management, maintenance and updates starting at $90 a month, plus some bonus freight marketing and sales content similar to what you hear on the podcast. You can watch a quick explainer video over on digitaldispatchio. Just check out the pricing page once you arrive and you can see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I'll see you all real soon 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.