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Episode 109 of 133

Project Manager James Timberlake on Clarifying Your Strategy: The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 109

station description Steve Brown believes you, the entrepreneur, are the invisible hero of today’s econo... read more
The ROI Online Podcast
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Duration: 49:36
Do you struggle to clarify your brand, message, or strategy? Being a business owner can be tough, but a clear understanding of what you do makes it easier to get the work done. On this Feature Friday episode of the ROI Online Podcast, Steve talks with Project Manager James Timberlake about how he he
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Do you struggle to clarify your brand, message, or strategy? Being a business owner can be tough, but a clear understanding of what you do makes it easier to get the work done. On this Feature Friday episode of the ROI Online Podcast, Steve talks with Project Manager James Timberlake about how he helps entrepreneurs navigate the rollercoaster of having a business—and come out a winner.James is a Project Manager at ROI Online, Co-Founder of The Story Sherpas where he pairs first-time authors with a personal writing coach to help guide them from idea to manuscript to success. He loves listening to people’s stories and why they do what they do. That’s why he connects well with entrepreneurs who need clarity.People often think that there is a magic bullet that will make you a success. They’re often looking for the right keywords, website, video, etc. The truth is success comes after a lot of failures. No one thing works for everyone. And that’s why everyone needs personalized guidance.Among other things, James and Steve discussed:James’ experience and backstoryWhy he chose to work at ROI OnlineWhat the ROI Pitstop is and how it can help anyone struggling to clarify their messageThe difference between business marketing and management Why marketing management is important for your business You can learn more about James here:Follow James on LinkedInRead the books mentioned in this podcast:The Golden Toilet by Steve BrownThinking of starting your own podcast? Buzzsprout’s secure and reliable posting allows you to publish podcasts online. Buzzsprout also includes full iTunes support, HTML5 players, show statistics, and WordPress plugins. Get started using this link to receive a $20 Amazon gift card and to help support our show!Support the show ($stevemfbrown)
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So what is that? What's the difference between business management and business marketing? Uh, I think that is so business Mark. I mean, if you think about marketing, it's just a subsection of managing your business. It's not. They're not distinct. And that in the in a sense, I mean, it's just one is part of the other If you're managing your business, part of businesses, marketing and marketing can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But you still have to manage it in some sense, as just in the same way that you can manage your finances or you manage your employees. Or you'd manage your legal obligations and things like that, right or any other facet of your business. It's just another thing. So marketing management is just a subsection of your business management. In my mind, it's just as important as your HR process or your purchasing process or your invoicing process it has. It has the equal importance and priority as these other things because it's saying one piece of a cohesive or comprehensive peace that grows. It's a piece of the asset that you're building this business. It grows the value of your business Very important. I mean, yeah, it's a You have to have a holistic approach of what you're doing okay. And marketing is is an essential part of that to your point. And I think, like you said, a lot of people see it as some some weird, distinct thing. That's Cookie, and nobody wants to do it. But again, I think that goes back to because they think there's only one way to do it.
The whole point of the marketing is that for a lot of people is to lead to a sales call or lead to an appointment or an on site visit or something like that. What you're really talking about is you just want the opportunity to connect with your ideal client is what you're really hoping for. And, um, and to have them have some idea of the person they're connecting with already, right? So you hear a lot about people talking about Well, you got to build trust ahead of time, and that's the whole point of, like, certain types of social sharing and things like that and that and that. I think that's valid. But the but to your point, the goal of all of that sharing and building trust early on through one too many types of of, um, whether it be social broadcast or whatever. Um, the the end goal is still the same. You want that one on one connection. You want that one on one relationship with your client or your team, whoever like, even for when you're talking about like because it's not just clients. We talked about that a lot, but sometimes its employees to. You want to? You want to bring the right employees in? Well, the way you do that is by making sure that you're drawing the drawing in the right types of applicants. Right? And certain people apply to certain types of brands. And so the way you put yourself out there is going to completely change the types of applications you get right and the amount of time and effort that you put into your, um that you put into your like job postings, for example, right? Well, a lot of people you can tell a lot about their company through their job postings as an example, because if they just throw up some, you know, copy and paste it I needed Okay, Like Web developer is the best one. If I need a Web developer, I can go to Wikipedia. If I'm an HR manager, and I can copy and paste the description of what a Web developer does, put it into a bullet point list and go do this. This is what we need. We need to do all this and we'll pay you this and we'll give you these benefits. And then there's a nice checklist. And and if that's the if that's your job posting them, probably. I know that I'm going to go in. I'm going to get to fly under the radar as long as I do my checklists, Um, I'll be another number in a big cog and some for some people. That's what they want because then they can just focus on their little job. They can go home at night. They don't care, and that's what they want. And that's cool. That's perfectly valid. But for other people, they all right. They'll write job descriptions that won't even mention experience. They won't mention you know, the coding skills wherever. What does it talk about? Talks about passionate talks about culture. It talks about you as an individual as a team member, because for those companies, and it's usually the smaller companies or the startup companies, where for them it's less important about a specific skill set because skills can be learned. What's important is you as a person, because if you're part of this team, then you're part of this team and you're part of the whole team and your your input is going to be valued and expect it. Well, that's a very different type of applicant than the one we were just talking about, right? Neither one is right or wrong, but there could absolutely be one that is right or wrong for your company, your culture, your business, in the same way that having a bad client is sometimes worse than having no client at all. Right and again, that's where you know, knowing, knowing your brand story. And if you're an individual, knowing your story is so important, because then that's the lens that you use when you're putting things out there to invite people to engage with you, whether it's as a client of vendor or an employee or a partner collaborate or whatever it is, Um, that's what I mean. That's all marketing is. It's just saying, Hey, this is who I am. This is what I can do and this is what I need
I get these questions all the time is like So what is business, marketing and management? And you think about that question and it's a really a legitimate question because the Ashley's you know, the Stevens that we work with. They are really trying to discern where is the place that marketing has in my business? Mhm. What's the priority? But before, to me, marketing has always been treated like this ditzy blonde cheerleader. That is kind of like annoying, but we have to put up with it, you know, from time to time, because we need something creative to post on Facebook and then get that out of the way and then move along to take care of. We got to do real business now, but these are merging, and now it's We're finding that a lot of our clients, especially in this past year, they've been woken up to. We need to really get our act together online. Mhm. So when you're working with, like some of our pro clients, kind of help us see what they're struggling with and try to figure out, like where does municipal pumping systems fit in with and expect of a marketing strategy slash sales support strategy. Yeah, well, again, it kind of just goes back to those those conversations. And in this case, what we're talking about is, Well, who are your stakeholders, right. Who are the people that you actually need to serve and what are the best way to do those? And then you, you you work backwards from there, and so use your example is like the people you might have a company, like they you're talking about who services, you know, municipal clients. But they also serve industrial commercial clients as well, and but they need very different things, right? So even though some of the technology will overlap as far as the physical things that you're selling, the needs are very different. And the way they go about buying is very different. I mean, I used to do government sales. That is a completely different process from industrial sales, which is a completely different process from consumer sales. Right? And so you to say that one is going to work with with all of them. Generally you find that you again you work backwards. Okay, Well, what do these people need? How do they How are they going to look for it? How are they have to go about buying what kind of process to build. And then where can you insert value into that process in a in an authentic way, Right. And so for that client, it makes sense to do a bunch of different things. But, um, one of the things they do is they start teaming up with, uh, engineers, local engineers, right who are on the front lines are getting. These bids are getting these contracts. And maybe it's something where they need support. Well, if you've already introduced yourself as somebody who's provided support when you weren't expecting anything in return, then now when that engineer has a job that they need help on, they're obviously going to go to the guy that's already helping them, right? And And I'm working on a book right now in one of the things in that book that really resonated with me. That I think applies here is this idea of Sometimes you have to give trust to earn trust, right? And a lot of times we we put out these these flashy things to your point on social media or whatever, because it draws eyeballs, but it doesn't provide any real value. And you're not being vulnerable. You're not. You're not trusting anybody to do with it, right? You're just saying, Look at me. It's very celebrity esque type of mentality. Um, but then you you see the other people who do the exact opposite, and and we, you know, we have clients that they have essentially no social media presence. But they have real relationships with the key people in their industries and the keep people in their client or organizations or potential client organizations that they're trying to work with that bring real value to those people. And so you're building a relationship and people when when that need arises, they're not having to go online and search for you. They're not having to, you know, they're just go. Oh, my God, I need to call Joe or I need to call stiff Stephen or I need to call whoever because they're my so and so guy, right, Like I know that and and you and you do see to be fair, you do see certain people that do this through sharing content online. It's not that it can't be done that way. But the people that I see do it doing it really well are people that are doing it very authentically, right? So they're sharing their personal. They're sharing their failures right, and in a very humble way, they're sharing life lessons that were learned the hard way. A lot of times, right? Um, they're sharing client success stories, not their own success stories, right, things like that, things that are aspirational and inspirational in nature. But again, coming from a humble and a very authentic place. Those things tend to resonate well, but it's hard to fake that. If that's not your passion, it's hard to get on a video and pretend like I care about something For a lot of people, you know it comes. I think most people, especially now because there's so many examples of it, can spot a inauthentic person like that
How do you How do you go about that? How do you lead someone that's feeling kind of naked and afraid? And the wilderness? How do you lead someone to safety in that process? Well, the first thing you do is you let them know they're safe, right? Like you have to provide a safe environment. So I need you to tell me the things that you care about is that you're passionate about. But I also need to know the things that you're scared about, the things you're insecure about, what are things you don't like doing and what don't want to do? What are the things that make you kind of like shrug up and go into your protective mode? So that way, when those things come, I know how to help steer you around them or through them and just, you know, and that So that's I think the the thing you have to start with is that is that feeling of safety. So that way, when you get further down the road and you do get to something where you need to push back or dig deeper, they know that those questions because that's really all it is right. You're just asking questions, clarifying questions over and over and over and over again. And I'm only able to do that because they know I'm not asking to catch them in something that I'm not trying to prove them wrong. I'm trying to clarify their point right, and I'm in it with, like, we're doing this exploration together, right? It's not. It's not your book. It's our book for for this time, period. It's our book. It's our business for this time period. It's our business, and I'm just as invested in it for this time that we're talking as you are. I mean, yeah, obviously, when the call is over, you're gonna go off and write. You're going to go off and do your marketing. You're going to go off and serve your customers and I'm not. That's that's obviously the case, But in that moment we should be of a of a cord right and and all that is important is what is best for the business. The book You as the author as the entrepreneur, um, and so any time I'm asking clarifying questions or if I'm coming at it from a different angle saying Okay, but what about this? Or what about this? And maybe I'm marrying objections? Or maybe I'm playing the role of a customer saying, Well, why does it cost so much? Or why wouldn't I just go with this guy there? The big name in the group, right? I'm not doing it to try to catch you. I'm doing it to make you think through. Well, what is the real reason people should come to me over so and so Or why do I charge as much as I charge? And having those open, honest conversations lead to a better understanding of If it's a book, it's a better understanding of your message. If it's a business, it's a better understanding of your offering. Um and so I think just being again, providing a safe place and then pushing back with questions that come from a place of really wanting to understand, not challenge has been invaluable. Um, for for the people that I've been working with
I think the biggest misconception that people have coming in is that it's gonna that there's there is a proven formula for success that is this. There's a magic bullet. Most people think that there's some magic bullet. If I can take the right course, if I can learn the right thing. If I can put out the right video, you know, with the right key or optimized for the right S e o whatever it is, if I could just do that one magic bullet, then I'll be a success. I'll be a viral success or I'll be an overnight success or whatever. And, of course, anybody who's ever gone through the process knows that, uh, you know, every overnight success comes after, like, a lot of years of failure. So, uh, so there's no magic bullet, and I think again that goes back to why we do it the way we do it, where we make it really personalized because there is no one thing that works for everybody. If if it was, if there was, then everybody would do that one thing, and then it would stop working and you see that like, you see that when there is some new magic, I mean, and this is not just in marketing this diets and everything else too, right? I mean, that's why you have fad diets where everybody thinks it's a magic bullet because it worked for some people, right? So then everybody's like, Oh, it works for this 10% of the population cool. Now the other 90% should buy into it. And then all of a sudden, everybody's doing the I don't want to. On any in particular. Everybody's doing the X y Z diet now, right? And then it goes, Oh, this diet doesn't work because, you know, and then you start having people work for me. Well, it didn't work for me. So, like, then you're arguing whether the diet works. It's like it's not a magic bullet. It works for this person because it matched their circumstance. It didn't work for this person because it didn't match their circumstance. And I think that's I think that's something that, um, people like right off the bat, we have to. We have to tackle and say, Look, that's not it. That's not how it works. Um, it's It's a lot of hard work It's a lot of trial and error, and its consistency over time equals success. Um, if there's a magic bullet, it's that consistency plus time plus failure and iteration equal success eventually most of the time.
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