The Power of Storytelling in Business with Trista Sobeck | Rise Grind Repeat 040

In the 40th installment of Rise Grind Repeat, we chat with a former colleague of mine and talk all about the power of storytelling in business.

We dive deep into what it is like to manage other creatives and what it is like working with a generational misunderstanding.

Rise Grind Repeat Podcast
powered by EIC.Agency
Hosted by Dustin Trout

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00:46 Yeah, yeah. I think it’s interesting because every organization that I’ve worked at from like whether it’s been like a college or like a small digital agency or anything, the best ones really start to understand and know who they are intrinsically and not guess about who they are. Like not from like not even using the word brand. I think because that’s scary. Like people have, oh this is a brand now we have to put a framework around it. You know, you have to know who you are as an organization and what you stand for. And then you have to know who you’re quote unquote selling to or talking to. Um, because if you don’t, the communication is just going to go like this. Yeah. And I see that all the time. You know, where when we were out together at the university, um, I feel like we had a misunderstanding of who we were talking to. Um, I think you and I were on the same page and some of the younger people were on the same page of what we were trying to do. But um, and I don’t want to say it’s a generational thing, but I think it’s just getting clear and really crystal clear on what that idea is of what you’re trying to do and what you’re trying to sell and then really know those people. Yeah. Cause if you don’t know them, you don’t know how to talk to them.

02:05 Exactly. And at the end of the day, it’s, I mean, it’s bringing in value. Like we’re offering something, you gotta it’s a solution to something. And so you gotta everyone has a different pain point. And if, if you’re trying to speak to everyone instead of isolating the, the audiences, it’s what is it, this person to actually come in is gonna be different than what we’ll like what you say to this person. And it’s, it’s identifying the pain points and then each generation, each age, each demographic, all that, there’s different pain points and it’s identifying them and knowing who you are as a brand and how you can fulfill on that and all that. And it’s, it’s, it’s a big thing that’s missing across like just everything I feel like

02:39 and how you’re, so now I’m working at a health and wellness company, so it’s like how you are, you know, we have, so we have all of these products, natural products and thing, and it’s like, if we don’t know, we know what these products are, you know, well, we have like, you know, the special thing it’s called, I’m not going to say what the name of the product is because then someone will know where I work. Um, but you know, it’s this really healthy thing that comes from like, it’s located in Russia, in this primordial region. It’s like, is it sounds like too good to be true, but it’s a really good thing. I take it every day and it’s full of these things called adaptogens. So it’s this health and wellness kind of Elixir, right? So we have this thing and people are always, you know, I write, I write up a description and I try to make a story cause there is a lot of story behind this one product, which is, you know, I used to drink like five cups of coffee in the morning and now I don’t even need one to get out the door because of this thing.

03:37 Yeah. And I’m like, I don’t believe in things. Like I’m like, you know, what is this? But, you know, so I started taking this and then, you know, people are like, so I start writing about it and you know, as a writer, I think writers and designers to kind of really put their heart and soul into as a creative deliverable. Um, you know, when people are like you, someone like in marketing will go and like write all over it, put their comments, they’re like, put this here cause this is what we say every time we talk about this and mentioned x, y, and z because this is the benefit. This is the feature that we talk about. Oh that’s another thing. Features and benefits. People get that confused all the time, but it’s like, yeah. Yeah. So it’s like put this in here and it’s like, you can’t say the same thing about everything. Every single time, every single piece of communication. It’s a story. It’s a, it’s a big, you know, kind of exchange and relationship building between the company and organization and who you’re selling it to.

04:37 You go to. Right. Is that helpful to identify the audience and who you’re trying to write to and,

04:43 yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You have to because, um, and this is sometimes, you know, some companies are just like, we’re writing it for first time buyers. Oh, okay. How old are they? First of all, that’s a big thing. Um, how do we have any stats on how, how much they use Facebook, how much do they use Instagram, how much are they, how digitally connected are they, you know, where do they live? Do they live with their parents? Like you want to get so granular, granular, you know what I mean? You want to get so specific on who that person is. So I’m writing exactly to you. Just like, I feel like every piece of communication should be a personal letter to somebody. And these days there’s so much chatter and so much noise that if you’re not that targeted, it’s not going to be hurt.

05:31 And what’s crazy is like with Facebook and everything, how, how in depth you can target. For example, like a, uh, we were doing something talking to realtors yesterday about Facebook ads and started just going through the platform and okay, targeting people that just are interested in real estate and Zillow and Arizona. It’s like 910,000. Now let’s go to people that, uh, a 10 mile radius around here. It dropped down to like 500,000. Then we said employment is only nurses. And now it’s it. It got it down to like 10,000 people. And it’s like as you look at that number going down, the bigger it is, sure it looks awesome, but how can you have a personalized one-to-one conversation with that person? If you know that someone is interested for a house and they’re a nurse and you have a sweet ray bite or whatever program geared towards nurses, now you can have a conversation with them.

06:20 Absolutely. And you could even, you know, whoever is writing that or designing that, whether it’s an email or a, you know, if they’ve opted into texts or whatever, whatever that piece of communication is, you can have this really personal communication that is almost like I like in my head, I always call it like a love letter to somebody. I mean it’s not a love letter, but you know, it’s so you’re trying to develop a relationship and you know, we need develop a relationship with somebody. You don’t just always say, you know, you don’t sit at down at a table with somebody and go, I have red hair. I used to wear glasses. I am tall. You know, you don’t, you know, you don’t go through the check mark the checklist every single time, then the next time you meet you don’t say the same thing. I am tall, I have red hair. You know, you, you have to build this story and this relationship and this, you know, talk about different things at different times. Yeah. And Yeah, and I think that’s a big, big buzzer too. Conversational. I think a lot of people aren’t sure what they’re saying when they say conversational. Um, cause we’re working, I’ve all, I’ve always been working on like brand styles and brand guidelines and every place I’ve worked, we want our tone to be conversational. We want our tone to be conversational.

07:35 How have you seen a defined, and I guess how would you define it? Yeah, yeah.

07:39 How I would define it is, well, first of all, and it’s interesting. Like now where I am now is finally where I got so point where I kind of like stop. I’m like, when you say conversational marketing person, what do you mean? Because they think it to mean like just how we’re having a dialogue, you know? Um, but then sometimes I don’t, I remember you and I mentioned this at the place where he used to work before. Um, we, we would write that way and then somebody would see it and go, [inaudible] that’s too conversational. You know, is someone going to take that the wrong way? Is someone going to be, you know, so I divine conversational. If somebody, if an organization company really wants to have a conversational tone, you gotta keep it throughout. Um, and it can be used wisely. It can be brought up, yelled and shouted, or it can be brought down, but you have to remember it. It’s kind of like if you’re talking to like your best friend or your boyfriend or girlfriend versus your mother-in-law or your, you know, you’re going to put your tone, your tone is going to be this. You’re going to be you, you’re going to be you. But the way you dial things up or down, you know, is going to shift.

08:55 And where to here, there might be different a, yeah, it’s not the same across the board. And it’s always a little bit different based off of who your audience is.

09:03 And that’s, yes. And that’s why you need to know who you are as an organization, what you’re going to stand shoe to. Like, okay, if we decide we’re going to go conversational and we’re cranking it up all the way 11, you know, we decided we’re going to be bold here and you see if someone sees it and they start questioning, you know, internally, you know, is that the way we should have talked, spoken to this person. You know, you have to have everybody internally stand behind that and say, yeah, that’s who we are. That’s

09:33 and that, that sounds a lot easier said than done. I mean how have you seen a time whenever that conversation progressed and okay let’s just do it, let’s try it. Um, cause that’s usually the biggest thing is that it all sounds good. But once he started actually seeing the words and going, wait, that’s not what we’ve said for the last five, 10, 15 years and all of a sudden it gets scary to some people.

09:53 Yes. And I’m going through that right now a little bit where I am right now. Um, and it’s all, it’s all par for the course. It’s all completely normal. Um, because I think when people see it done and they see a brand, you know, if you just Google like 10, um, brands that are killing it from a copywriting standpoint, you know, you’ll see all these really cool, you know, examples and you can show that to somebody. I’ll be like, yeah, we want to do that. We want to do that. We want to talk about silly stuff. And then, you know, we wanna you know, um, cause that’s how we’re going to get people’s attention. Um, so when they see it final I think is something different than S. I’m not going to get really tactical here, but from a writer standpoint, if you see it, if people see it just on our word doc with just words and you’d say, okay, tribunal or whoever’s going to review your work.

10:44 Um, from a branding standpoint, um, take a look at this. They’re going to just change everything. And you could stand there and say, but, but, but you said conversational, but we’re going to go bold. We’re, you know, it doesn’t matter. I think the biggest thing you can do is, you know, as an organization or as a company or as someone in an internal organization or at an agency to say, we’re going to either test this, which is always fun to do. Um, because sometimes you’re wrong, you know, but then, you know, so it’s either, you know, we’re going to test this or let me just show you a mock up of what it would look with, you know, these three words that are bolds short sentences and you know, one line, um, subject line and let’s check the open rates and see what happens. Cause numbers talk. You know, that’s the only thing that talks is numbers. Not, um, but you said conversational, but you said this, but we said we want it to be cool and you know, retargeting, you know, I get, I get, you know, um, I just got something that’s something to work on were like, we’re targeting, we’re targeting gen Z in this. I’m like, oh, are you

11:56 okay?

11:56 We’re targeting gen Z or you know, over target, we’re targeting millennials. I’m like, well, there’s a lot of different kinds of millennials, you know, you can’t just sit here and be like, all millennials are the same. No, they’re, it’s just like anybody else. Like who are we talking to? But I think they meant it to be like they meeting, you know, the branding and the strategy was like, we want it to be, they wanted me to use like slang. Right. And I wrote what I wrote about this description and I looked back at it and I’m like, it looks like a 50 year old woman. I’m not 50 yet, but is trying to write for an alien on another planet. Like I’m using like all these words, like I’m like, I don’t think kids like kids talk like this anymore. You know? Cause I’d be like, how about you use on fleek? I heard the kids are saying

12:51 it’s trending. Google, it’s true on sleep

12:54 or um, I don’t know, whatever, you know, like younger people say just like out there. And I’m like, it’s here for a second, that word, whatever that word is, is here for a second and then it’s gone. You know? And sometimes if you are trying to sell something, they don’t want to read that. They’re like, I think you’re trying too hard. You sound like my mom trying to talk to me. You know?

13:17 Is there a better approach in maybe finding a copywriter that’s more in line with that demographic or how do you go about that approach to taking yourself out of your audience and putting yourself into a completely different audience?

13:30 Yeah, I think it’s about, first of all, it’s really helpful to work in a company or have, um, peers within your community or somewhere where you can bounce things off of. You know, whether that’s, you know, diversity from, you know, if you’re working, you know, for people who are in the African American community or Latino’s or you know who, or just women are younger people, you know, you need to have people to bounce that off of. If you are just working in an organization and it’s full of white people, you know, I’ve all had the same experience growing up and are all maybe 30, 40, um, it’s gonna sound and sincere and authentic. So I think you need to have that sounding board or you’re just sitting in an echo chamber. Um, so it is good to kind of take a second and maybe, um, okay, we’re talking to millennials, are they female? Are they male? What do they want? You know, can we go maybe inauthentic route because instead of, you know, using slang, you know, it’s, it’s B, it’s more of the spirit of what a millennial wants, which I think is authenticity. Um, you know, kind of the whole, no bullshit. Can I curse?

14:43 Yeah. [inaudible]

14:45 full, no bullshit. You know, it’s like we have this, we have this product, we think it’s going to be great. You try it, we stand behind it, money back, guarantee, contact us with any questions. I think anything like that, just straight forward rules speak more than saying like, our product is on fleet. Like that’s not gonna work. You know, it sounds so insincere and I think yes, having, you know, diversity in your organization and company, whether that person’s in the marketing department or not going to somebody and saying, can you read this? Would you buy this? You know, and I think having those kind of people to bounce things off of is really helped.

15:25 And so does that, does that just not happen that part of the process of bouncing ideas and just say, w is this, does this actually sound good or are we forcing this? Does that just not happen? Or just people just don’t care. They don’t want to take the time or like, cause that, that is a big struggle that I’ve seen as well. Um, so I mean it, is it the fact that people just don’t take the time to do it or

15:45 I think a lot of things are based, and I don’t want to get myself in trouble here. Um, a lot of things are based on opinion, which is fine. It’s to be expected. We all have opinions, we all have our preferences. We all have what we like. We’re never going to shed that at all. You know? So I think it takes somebody, maybe it’s not a writer, maybe it’s not somebody in marketing. Maybe it’s more of a strategy person who’s kind of couple steps behind to be like, okay, maybe I don’t like it, but who cares? Right? That’s not my job. Let me, let me look. Does it hit? Is it hitting on al the pieces of the strategy? Is it hitting on all the things that I found out in the survey that maybe they found that they sent out and got results from? And if it’s hitting on that, I think, um, companies and you know, organizations need to trust their creative folks because that’s what you hired them to do. You know? And if it fails, again, I’m really of the mind. We’re living in a digital age, fail, fail fast, move on,

16:52 be smart about it. Don’t put 100% your budget on this test. And it’s like this one little mistake. Or what you think is a fail isn’t going to tank your company if anything learned from it and do better than,

17:01 yeah. I remember a conversation you and I had once like I have never forgotten about this cause I think about this every once in awhile is where you and I sat in a meeting and for an hour 20 people talked about one word. It was an email. We all talked about this one word. Should we use this word? Is this the right word? Can sub and break up. The thesaurus is [inaudible] is that too like are people gonna know what that means? Like it was such hand ringing about this one word and it literally took an hour to get through it until all of our energy was spent. We probably could have tested the thing five different ways within that span of an hour and we, I felt like we were wasting so much time.

17:46 This is something that we talk about quite a bit and it’s, it’s like, and that one word is that one, we’re going to drive 30% more rent, all that stuff. And it’s like, okay, we multiply 20 people by how much you make an hour, all that, all that stuff. There’s what could have been done with all that brain power over this one ward. Maybe we could have produced a video or done a couple of other things or done six different emails that maybe tested that word. There’s so much more that we could’ve done and it’s, it drove me nuts.

18:16 Yeah, I think it did. It drove a lot of us crazy. But um, you know, I just, I think that that was actually, I think it was a really good learning experience because from a writing perspective, it’s also the placement of the word. You know, maybe it was an important word. Maybe it was something that did mean something to people and maybe it wasn’t the right word and maybe we should have tinkered with it. But it was buried. Like, first of all, I think it was an email, like three paragraphs long, probably shouldn’t do that. Um, but it was buried like in the middle paragraph, you know, online three where someone’s probably not even going to see it. So how about if that’s such an important word, I think you could have flipped the, we can flip the conversation and say, you know what, we’re all worried about this word. There seems to be some consternation about this word should this word or something like this word being a headline and be Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah

19:10 shirts. If it’s that important that a drawing this much time to think about why is it buried down here? And like maybe the, and we’re even having the wrong conversation because it’s him and he’s not even the word.

19:21 Yeah. And I think that that’s, that takes somebody, yeah. I think that takes somebody to like stand up and it is hard, you know, when you’re having these conversations and some people are intimidated, some people are. Um, I work with some really, really young folks who are just not afraid to say anything. And I’m like, who are you? You know? But then I’m like, Eno good. You know, because I think we should always be questioning things like that because that’s what leads to some more ideas

19:51 that you said was the, I mean don’t get in trouble, but the opinion and that’s, that’s not, cause I, I mean I am so data-driven. I try and say emotionless as possible when it comes to testing and all that. Cause it’s like I don’t, I don’t what I think could be completely wrong, all that matters and what I’m tasked to do is do more, drive, more leads, sales, whatever it is from my job. And it’s like even if I had the best idea, I’m not going to push it just because it was my idea. And literally like at lunch today had a, it came, it came to realization again because working with a another client and it’s just some of the stuff that we’re going over. It’s like, how is this such like not a no, Duh, why aren’t we going forward with it? One thing he brought up is you also have to think like, people that, you know, higher up and companies seem and stuff like that. If they come up with a decision, whether it’s right or wrong, it’s their decision and they’re gonna be, they’re gonna push it. And that’s, that’s what frustrates me is like, like, I dunno.

20:45 Yeah, I know. It is a really phenomenon, um, that happens when you’re working, not for yourself, you know, when you’re working in a company or as a creative, as an internal agency, you know, I think it probably happens when you’re working in an, in an agency, you know, as being hired by another company. But, you know, but you can at least say like, there’s that I think cache, you know, like I’m paying for this more, you know, so it must be better if I’m paying an agency, you know, but for internal agency, um, but I guess, you know, happens to you too. So I guess it happens, you know, everybody has an opinion. So I, I think it’s just, um, you know, I think everybody has to be on the same page. Like, okay, maybe if I’m a marketing person and I’m working on strategy and I’m working on like how does this product fit into our product line?

21:38 And I know the benefits. I know the features, which are two different things, you know, but I’m going to rely on my creative team to execute it. You know, I think that that is a shift that is probably very difficult for a lot of people. I mean, especially if you’re in a company or organization or university or whatever that may be, that’s like, this is how we’ve always done it and we use all, we have always seen success because this is how we’ve done it. We’ve always talked this way. We’ve always had conversations like this with people and we have had success. And it’s scary. You know, the Fujifilm look at JC penny is, look at the seniors.

22:23 You know what I mean? Yup. Yup. But I think it’s the only difference I think we have now, um, is we have digital, you know, things at our fingertips where we can say, let’s test it. Let’s just take a second. Let’s just test this. Let’s take this creative versus this creative and we’ll, we’re, we’ll test your opinion. Maybe your opinion, you know, maybe you’re, you’re right because your seat, you’re the CEO and you’ve gotten somewhere because of a reason obviously. And maybe, you know, and we’re totally off. It’s very, very possible. Um, I don’t like to say that, but yes, of course it’s, it’s, yeah. You know, but it’s like, it takes, you know, I always look at apple and I think everybody looks at apple is kind of like the company and organization that kind of thought everything, oh, sorry. That kind of, you know, flipped everything on its head, you know, and want it to look at everything differently, you know?

23:19 So I think it just takes that voice to be like, you know what, maybe we should listen to this writer over here who’s in the corner. You know, I’m thinking for like writers coming up, you know, maybe they do have something here as far as how we speak to people in an email journey. You know, let’s, let’s try something different. Or does it have to be an email journey? Are people even opening emails anymore, you know? So I think it does take someone to kind of stand up and say let’s try something different. And where I was going with that was, you know, we now have so many abilities to test and you know, it’s so cheap to run a Facebook ad. You showed me that, you know, and to kind of see what happens when you do that. And um,

24:07 that’s why I love where you’re going with that is we could sit here and talk about it more, but I mean all that time we could just say, hey, you know, let’s do a 50 50 test. Let’s run it and let the data say, and then that lets us know moving forward. Now it’s like, Hey, now if you were to cut like a half hour out of everyone’s time, 10 people, it’s like you have an extra 10 hours this month. Now that you cut out. Now we’re testing where we’re finding efficiencies better now. What more could we do if collectively we had an extra 10 hours as a company and all that. And you start doing that meeting by meeting, by meeting and all of a sudden it’s like, Whoa, we’ve got actually 200 hours, let’s get some more videos. Let’s do this.

24:39 Yeah, let’s do something different. Let’s look, let’s take a problem that we all know exists and let’s deconstruct it together. You know, because um, so many companies are trying to do the thing that um, Google does where they’re like, you have x amount of time to solve whatever problem you want to solve. You know, and then, you know, at the end of whenever they choose or you can pitch it, you can pitch the idea and see what happens. Um, I think that’s where Google doodle came from. You know, I think, you know, on the Google, on the home page where they have like, you know, if it’s married Maria Carrie’s birthday, they have like some kind of cool little, I think that came out of that. Also Google sheets I came, came from out of that. Like someone was just like, what if we had an idea, you know, so they had all this free time to just innovate.

25:28 That’s what it is. And that was a word that kept coming up. Innovate. Um, and it’s, it’s, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s fine. It’s crazy how just small little changes were just trust the team. Like if anything, that’s, that’s my thing is, it’s like if you’re constantly pushing against the team, it’s almost like, well, did you do a good job at hiring the team that, you know what I mean? It’s like to, if you have that trust, you’re going to build a trust in the team. But also I would rather like, no, I’m glad. I, I’m glad I did a good job hiring a team to identify that I’m wrong and that they were right. Like, that’s better than me saying, no, I was right. You guys are wrong. Then it’s like, well, then I did a bad job.

26:04 Yeah. And it’s, it’s, it’s really interesting. Um, I’ve managed creative teams for probably about 12 years now and something that I, I feel like maybe I just do it instinctively. Um, is everybody thinks so differently from each other. Like, I’m not in your brain. You’re not in my rein. You know, we could have same opinions, we could have same. Um, we could hold the same beliefs and ideals, but the way you experience that is so different than anybody else. And I really think, you know, when you’re communicating to like masses, why not get as many opinions as possible from your creative team because you’ve hired those people to do that, you know, do the work to do the strategy, do the, you know, positioning and tell me what, you know, why are we selling this? How does it help the people where, you know, we’re selling this to what benefit, you know, is it, what does it have that people are going to be excited about?

27:08 That’s a feature that’s a benefit. Um, but you know, tell me that. And then I will, you know, the team will come up with 20 different ways for you to sell this, but it doesn’t happen that way. And I think the best brands that do it are the ones that are in s, you know, I think this is why startups are so popular because they’re, you know, lean and there’s five people and there’s no ego because nothing, you know, what do you have to lose? You know, you already don’t have any money, so, you know, whatever, let’s just, you know, make some stuff up. I think those are the best brands that do it. And then from that time, moment in time, those nuggets of genius kind of stick and then evolve over time as the company grows.

27:58 One of the best campaigns I’ve ever worked on has never come from one individual that’s come from a course of five or six different meetings and a couple of emails and like, Oh, didn’t even think about that. And then that got me thinking this way. Oh, didn’t think about that. And the campaign shifted quite a bit from the original concept, but I think it was executed really well just because you had more collective thinking. You get, you get more perspectives when you get more perspectives, you get more [inaudible].

28:21 Right, right. And, um, there was something else that I thought about, you know, as I’m thinking about like writers and different teams, like in a traditional inhouse agency, you know, you have the marketing and the strategy, um, you know, the SVP and then you have the designers. You know, for some reason I feel like everybody thinks they’re a writer, which is, which is really interesting and I think it happens in, in teaching as well. Everybody thinks they can be a teacher, you know, like that’s, you know, so I kind of compare the two, and maybe it’s not a fair comparison, but I’m like, everybody thinks it can, can be a writer because they can, you know, know the English language and they can write on a piece of paper, you know, everybody thinks they can be a teacher because how hard can it be? I’m just standing in front of kids all day and just as there’s nuances and teaching and education and, um, you know, how you control your classroom and how you are addressing everyone’s needs. It’s the same thing in copywriting. And, you know, I compare a lot of the s to when there’s designers. Well people go, I couldn’t be a designer. I don’t know how to do Photoshop. I don’t know how that’s all a mystery. You know, I don’t know how to buy ads. That’s, you know, same thing. Everybody thinks they can write. And I think, you know, I, I’ve dealing with that in my whole professional life and um, I don’t know how to overcome it.

29:46 That’s a huge Aha. Only because it’s like a painting. Everyone can tell if that thing looks ugly, but you can put a few words down and anyone can say that look like there isn’t anything that says, Hey, this looks ugly unless it’s just horrible grammar and all that. But it’s easier just to put words together. Like anyone can do that where, where if you don’t know how to work Facebook ads, you literally can’t get in to do it. Like anyone can get a piece of paper and write. And so that it is, I can see exactly where you’re going. And that does make it difficult. Cause now it’s a hundred percent opinion-based. I mean,

30:17 yes, exactly. And it’s kind of like, I think about Jackson Pola Galore, the painting, um, the painter, you know, he just, he started this whole abstract movement of just the dots, the like basically throwing the paint right. And people were like, I could do that. But I mean, Jackson Pollock is Jackson Polk for a reason. You know, he was one of the first people who did it. You know, there was reasoning behind it, there was thought behind it, there was motivation behind it. And I think the same goes for copywriting. You know, writers don’t sit there and just go, here’s a bunch of words, go sell it, you know, feature, benefit, Dah Dah, Dah. You know, it, there is an art to it and a science of how you place the words, why you’re placing the words, which words you’re choosing. And it,

31:03 it’s a lot of psychological. It’s a lot. Yeah. And so, I mean it’s a lot, it’s a lot of time that goes into putting those words down and then marketing manager, whatever, I’m by so quickly,

31:13 horrible. But then, you know, I think, you know, the good thing is, you know, when you come to the table and there are a bunch of changes, where are these coming from? Where did I miss? Yeah, what, where did I miss the mark? You know, let’s, we were all in the same kickoff meeting. You know, what happened, you know, and I think that happens a lot and, but it takes time to do that. It takes time to have those conversations about like tell me what I’m missing, you know, and then we’ll go back to the drawing board and you know, figure it out. But yeah, it’s, you know, it comes down to like, we’d rather spend an hour around the table talking about one word.

31:53 Yeah, exactly. Well, I mean that’s like us, the Facebook ads and stuff is easy because it’s like you have, this has had a 10% conversion rate. This had a one like everyone could tell this is a winner where it’s like you have a couple of sentences and some people could say that one sounds better, that one sounds better. There’s, there’s a clear winner and loser. And like what we’re doing and that makes it a lot easier to have that conversation. And I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to have that. Why? Like instead of just why, why did you cross it out? It helps just get that different perspective again and it’s people I feel just don’t respect the process enough. Like I don’t like,

32:27 yeah, respecting the process. That’s a, that’s a big thing. I think, um, you know, if you’re working in an internal agency in a company, like there has to be this underlining kind of agreement that we’re going to respect not just each other. I mean, I think everybody is like, yes, of course I respect my coworkers. Yes. I like, but the process, and it is a process very much when you’re trying to get to that final, final deliverable of what that thing is, you know? And uh, respecting the process that somebody goes through, you know, as a writer or a designer, you know what’s happening and it takes time.

33:05 Yeah. It takes time on these. You’ve mentioned a couple times benefits and features. This is something that I think, I mean just there’s a lot of opportunity because people are selling features and not benefits. And it should be other way. Cause that’s, that’s the, the problem that you’re solving is what you should be selling. Not though what it is to solve the problem because people don’t get the Aha moment. But we’d love for you to explain what the difference is between the two.

33:27 Yeah. Um, great question. So, um, a feature is over this, this plant right here. Um, this plant is green. It is, I think it’s fake. It’s fake. It’s fake. Um, that is a feature. It is prickly. It’s pointy. Um, it’s, it has, there’s two of them. You know, it’s in a black vase. Oh, I’m sorry. There’s three. Look at that. Another feature. Um, the benefit is, um, it is, it is fake. Therefore, the benefit is you don’t have to water it. It’s pretty, it just sits here and you will not have to take care of it. So just that one little thing to sell something like this is like, are you looking for something to sit on your desk and you kill plants all the time are lifelike, you know, yet plastic again without authenticity, you know, um, center pieces will, you know, give you what you need cause you don’t have to pay attention to them, you know? So I think it’s just, it gets convoluted and confused, but it’s just what does the thing look like? That’s the feature. The benefit is what, what does it do for you? How does it help your life?

34:40 And you just, you just said it perfectly. This is a fake plant and that’s what most people are selling. It’s like, hey, we are, we sell fake plants instead of what you mentioned is it saves time. Everyone wants more time back in their day and you need it with that.

34:55 Yeah. You find the power, you find the pain point, you know? And also, you know, I was just, I was just listening to something, I don’t know if it was a podcast or something before I came in here and it was like, she was talking about, um, selling bridal dresses. And she was talking about a time where a woman came to her and said, you know, we need to open a boutique. And she was like, you mean we need to open our own company? She’s like, not a company. We need to open our own boutique. She’s like, you mean our own store? No, a boutique. And I think she was telling something and like back in the forties, you know, from like this origin story of this bridal company, no, it’s a boutique, you know, and this is like 1950 so a boutique will, we can’t open a boutique.

35:36 That’s something in France, you know, and she’s like, we’re not selling bridal dresses. Like she was explaining how her friend was saying like, we’re not selling bridal dresses. We’re selling the dream. We’re selling the experience. And this woman who is a seamstress, you know, she just couldn’t get that because she’s a very tactical, she makes the dresses, you know? Yeah. And the other woman came in with kind of the more, um, you know, kind of the dream part of it. Like we’re not selling dresses, we’re selling a dream. We’re selling this idea of, you know, fabric from France. You know, and I think at the time it was after the war. So in this example, she was like, well, this fabric from Frances coming and barrels, it’s rags. She’s like, it doesn’t matter. It’s from France. People don’t care. You can make it look beautiful. So it’s not about just take it, you want some plastic plants. It’s like, look, our plastic plants are plastic. You know, I think you need to be authentic, you know, but it looks real and it does the job and it dress ups the seat and you don’t have to water it, you know? So I think you’re selling an experience

36:45 and then you can go into the, the time and that you tie it into what, who is it that this audience is, are their parents. So it’s, it’s you love plants, but would you love to spend more time with your kids instead of, yeah.

36:58 Fired or wasting money, but yet succulents are cool. Everybody wants them, but they take a little bit of time. You have to make sure you’re getting you in the right light. I deal with this. I love succulents. You know, when I kill them, I’m very sad. But, um, you know, if you have one, you like the look, it’s just a desk. It’s just, you know, the camera doesn’t pick up the fact that it’s fake, fake, sorry. It’s ruined. It’s over. Um, you know, that’s, that’s when somebody will be like, yeah, I’m gonna, I want to buy that. You know, for maybe, you know, dressing homes, you know, to sell homes, you don’t want to, you know, so I think that that’s kind of like, you need to, you know, batted around a little bit and talk about it. Like, I’m sure this company who sold this plant, they probably hadn’t many, many conversations about this, which seems ridiculous and very, you know, like in the minutia of things. But whoever bought it, you know it worked because it’s here.

37:54 Exactly. And there’s so much more you can go with that. So I mean that’s just the slight copy and then it’s just instead of what you’re buying, it’s the emotion or the the, yeah, the what you’re getting more of and then you can take that and create more content around that. So we’re going to keep going on the, if you want more time with your kids now it’s now you can write a different blogs about just by buying this, imagine if you guys went to Disneyland and got to do like, I mean it gets exactly, but that’s where it gets fun. Yeah, exactly. So then, I mean that gets into kind of storytelling and all that and we got into that quite a bit and you know, last place. And that’s something that we’ve been trying to do more. Just talk more about. And that’s a, just storytelling we’d done. I mean we’re doing more and more videos and they look really good and, but one thing we’re trying to focus on is how can we tell a story in 30 seconds and then I, then it’s okay, well what is the story? And then it’s, it’s, have you heard of the hero’s journey? And so just trying to learn more about that and that’s it. It’s super interesting. I mean, just,

38:54 and how do you do it like this? How do you do it in 30 seconds? Yeah. Um, I saw this really good ad. It actually made me cry and I think Nike does a really good job of, of these and they don’t always make it on TV. I think a lot of them are on their youtube channel. Um, I think it might be like 45 seconds and it’s this, you hear like you just see a long path and you just hear this and the, the camera’s just right there. It’s not moving and you just hear the pounding. And finally in the distance comes this, you know, kind of overweight, um, kid who’s probably 20 and he’s sweating and he’s just like in pain, but here he is going, going, going. And it’s like, just do it. That’s a story. That’s a story because your brain, like I just got goosebumps because I’m, because your brain fills in the rest.

39:49 You know, it’s like Nike is, Nike isn’t just for athletes. It’s for anybody who wants to try to do better, you know, just do it, you know, just do better and try to run. Like everybody can run, you know? And a story can be told in many different ways. And I think that comes back to like, how can we tell this story? You know, what is the thing we’re trying to sell? You know that to get to that point. And Nike probably went through many iterations, you know, probably went through very like, you know, somebody telling a story about a kid, you know, or, but then it’s like, well, what if we just showed this? Showing is always better than telling. You know, even though I love my words and I love my writing, but you know, show me, especially if you’re going to sell something is always better.

40:36 Yeah. So I mean going love the whole storytelling and the power of storytelling in business. How, how do you approach that process from like, like let’s say we’re going to sell video production service. Like how, how do you start that process for your creative? Anything like that? Cause that’s, that’s something that we’re trying to figure out is how, how do we even start it? Is it identifying the audience first as a,

40:58 I think, you know, for a company that’s selling something, you know, like you’re selling a service, um, is find somebody who you’re working with already who’s paying, who’s, you know, your client, they’re paying you money to, to do stuff. They have a story there. Whatever they’re doing. Somebody has a story in why they started their company. You know, you said you worked with a realtor, right? That realtor has reasonings. He reason these reasons as to why they’re doing what they’re doing. There’s, there’s something interesting in there. Everybody has a story. Even if think they don’t, they, they do. You know, and they might, they might be missing it because it’s part of their life and it’s part of who they are. So they don’t even see it as something interesting. But I think it, it, it could start with as easy as talking to your current clients and say, you know, why did you get into this business?

41:52 You know, what beats you get into this? And then once you find maybe something interesting there, it’s kind of like there’s all these threads and you’d try to just pull on these little threads, you know, and tease out. And, you know, maybe with that one person that there is such a compelling story that you could build your whole story around that one client. You know, Charlie came to us because he’s a realtor and you know, his parents are from Russia and he never thought he knows the American dream was such ingrained in his soul. He has something like that. Right? Or is it like, okay, you’ve talked to Charlie, now you’re gonna talk to sue, who does, you know sells. Um, I dunno, something else, you know, um, VCRs, which don’t exist anymore, but you know, something like that, which they sell something, you know, you want to find out why did they get into this? And maybe there is a line that puts all these people together and you could build a story that brings them all together and then they were so, you know, maybe it was something like so compelling, you know, about the American dream if that’s the thread you chose to pull on. You know, they came to, they came to us

43:01 and I think that’s why I’m so big on the podcast thing and why we want to offer it as a service. And it’s kind of, we’ve been trying to figure out who we are as brand and it’s like six months ago, if anyone came up to us and like, who are you? What do you guys do? It’d be like, Oh, well we do digital marketing, email, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah. We list all the things we do. Um, and then I mean just, I said recently I’ve just been hitting more on the storytelling, the building store cause everyone loves stories. That’s how everything has past generation generation. And so through podcasting it’s doing a 30 minute, 40 minute thing. There’s a lot of stories that come out in there and then kind of we’ve seen that. And then what we’re doing is taking clips from it and then over the course of six months taking all these clips and then using Facebook ads and all that building audiences. But I think the reason why I’m, I’m all for it is because there are so many stories that get told and then you can clip them out and tell one big story. And so I think there’s just so much value there.

43:55 No, you’re doing I, that’s exactly what I would tell you to do is kind of just talk, talk to people, talk to people because people have stories and at the end of the day we’re all people who have different stories, who have different experiences and that’s what sells things, you know, is different experiences. People are interested, uh, you know, of what other people’s experiences are. And um, you know, just like with the Nike Ad, you know, you, you’re like looking at this kid, you’re like, what’s his experience? Was He bullied? You know, and you start, you, you know, sometimes your brain, your brain has a very good, so sometimes all is all you need is a little interesting. Yeah. So I even tell them the story

44:37 really having enough to let the imagination finish the story because they’re going to give the fairy tale ending or whatever, whatever it is. But if you can lead them to it,

44:44 yeah. You know, maybe that kid, you know, used to be, you know, maybe he’s really good at running, even though he’s fat and overweight, but we tell the story to ourselves, oh, he’s been bullied at school, he’s trying to lose weight, and that it becomes very, you know, emotional. But maybe it’s not. Maybe he’s just like, everything’s fine with him, you know, but when you have something that can lead someone’s brain, you know, kind of manipulate them a little bit, you know, into thinking other things at that, that’s also a good, you know, motive of how to, how to tell him.

45:18 Is it a tough, isn’t it tough to say that we’re literally having this conversation yesterday where it’s just like literally all marketing is, is manipulating of smoker. Even as I’m saying, as I got to the point, it’s still hard to say because the word manipulation and something,

45:33 so it’s the derogative term, you know what I mean? Or most people take it, I think, yeah, I manipulate someone usually to taking advantage of, but I think people know people were so far advanced in advertising, um, that people know that they’re, they go in there with like, you open that email, you’re like, okay, manipulate me. I mean, you know what I mean? Like you’re not saying that, but you, you know, you’re like, especially if you get an email of a brand that you really love, you’re like, Ooh, what’s on sale today? Sell it to me. You know, so people kind of go in. I think with that expectation and with new companies when people are trying to get unawares, you know, to know their, their name, you know, it’s, it’s tougher because there is no hook there. You know, that’s why I think going in authentic is the best way to do it. You know, it’s like this is who we are, this is what I want to sell to you. Here’s why. And then you have to build on it from there.

46:34 And the thing that excites me the most about just story done is on that I heard like probably two months ago. Um, but one thing that’s interesting is when someone’s listening to a story and actually engaging with it, it actually releases a chemical, um, oxytocin that is the same chemical that gets released whenever you’re hugging a family member. So that chemical that makes you feel like family and all that. If you’re a brand that can tell a really good story, this is a quick way to make them feel like your brand is part of their family. If you can execute on that story really well. And after that I was like, man, that’s,

47:07 that’s powerful. You’ve now given them a physical bond to your, to who you are. Um, yeah, that’s very, very true. And I think like if you think about, do you remember the first book that you read that you were like, oh my gosh, that is such good writing. Do you remember like as a kid or anything?

47:24 I don’t remember the exact one, but I do remember that because I read two or three. I won the fan, but it was a baseball.

47:30 Yeah, yeah, of course. [inaudible] but you were like, oh, I remember the first book I read, it was called tuck everlasting. I was probably like, it was like, you know, there’s like no pictures in it. And so I was probably like six or seven and I remember I read the book, I closed it and I burst into tears. Not because like it was a sad ending, but I was like, I am sad that this book is over and I cannot go and visit these people anymore. The story’s over. I close the book and I like, I was so little and I just remember that. And that’s how, you know, stories are just so they stick with you, you know? And um, that’s, that’s the, that’s the a great vehicle for, you know, selling a product is, you know,

48:18 and I think there’s huge opportunity in it because anyone and everyone, the camera now can make videos that were like before to, to make a video commercial. I mean, you had to hire all this stuff and like, so now we get a lot more content being produced, but there’s no stories, nothing behind it. And so I think there’s huge opportunities if you can identify how I identify and execute on telling a story well in a 30 to 60 seconds.

48:42 Right? Yeah. And sometimes I think it comes upon you in a happy accident, you know, especially like as an or like as a company like yourself who is like, just like collecting all these things. You’re like, you’re like a collector. I think this story can be created later. You know? I think that that’s what you’re going for. Um, but then I think once you start, you know, seeing how it starts coming together, you can, you’ll be able to easily get in front of it and be like, Oh, here’s the story. This is how it created itself. I can create that, you know, by looking for it and looking at spout, looking for patterns. It’s about looking how people relate to certain things. So it’s all it is. It’s very, yeah, they say that writers should always also major in psychology now. No, I think I’d be too dangerous. [inaudible] in this world. It’s over game over.

49:39 Awesome. Well I mean as we kinda wrap up, I’d love to hear if I’m a business I’m, I know I like, I know I needed to be telling stories and I needed a ride. If, what is the best way that someone could go about writing? Not just to put pen to paper and just write stuff down, but how they can think about how they can articulate their brand or tell their story. What would be the best approach?

50:00 Yeah, I think, you know, it’s some of the things that I, I have done, you know, if I don’t have time to like sit down, like open up my journal and write this, you know, like it becomes a thing is just record yourself talking. Um, I’ve done this, like if you have a thought about something and I think thoughts can come to us, like in the middle of the night, they come to us in the shower, which is amazing. Um, you know, and just ha if you’re working on something like this, like what is a story I can about my company or a product I’m, you know, trying to sell, just ask yourself that question and your brain will start working on it, you know, automatically. And then I think just having like a recorder with you at all times and whatever comes into your mind about who you are or what that product is or why.

50:48 I mean, the person’s an entrepreneur, so they’re probably passionate about something that they do. Like where, why are you passionate about this? Why, why do you like selling plastic plants? You know, why are you passionate about, you know, being a realtor, you know, or you’re selling the American dream, you know, so pull on that, you know, and I think to sit down and write, you know, our tight, you know, that takes, but to just talk, everybody can do that. I mean we’ve gotten laser and laser, which is why, because we’re busier and busier, but if you’re working on launching your own company and trying to get that product out there, you have time to just talk about it. It’s probably one thing that you’re really good at. You know, so just record yourself talking about, you know, okay, why did I start this company and this just start talking and something is going to come out and you know, nine, 10 to nine times out of 10 that’s what an agency is going to do when you’re like, Hey, I need a campaign.

51:43 You know, I need something. I, they’re going to say, tell me about your business. What do you do? What are you passionate about? You know? And I think that that’s what it comes down to and that’s where the story is, is the passion and the emotion. You know, why are you risking everything to sell x, Y, and z. You know, and I think that person who is selling x, Y, and Z, we’ll have a reason that probably no one else can think of because it’s so personal and so ingrained in them and just to kind of, they may not know it, but if they keep talking they will pull it out.

52:15 [inaudible] and especially as they do it more and people hear it and people, it resonates with people and then it’ll come out more in that. That would be a good exercise because that’ll help you quickly identify once you get to that ninth or 10th why, who your audience is like what your true Vat, like what you’re trying to solve for the world and then that just can help everything and how you want to know who you’re talking to, how to communicate and all that.

52:36 Right, exactly. Yeah. It comes down to, you know, the passion selling, you know, the coal idea of what you’re trying of the passion behind that and getting somebody to kind of go, yeah, yeah, here’s, here’s $50. Give me your fake name, take my money. Just take it. Yeah.

52:56 I love it. I appreciate it so much. I mean this, this was helpful for us cause I mean there’s a lot that you answered for me. Uh, for me that’s going to help us quite a bit. Cause that said, just this storytelling is so just writing and just basically communicating communication. There’s so much power there and that’s, that’s what we’re trying to figure out how to do between audio and video and all that stuff. Yeah.

53:16 Yeah. And I think, I think it’s great that you’re just kind of a collector of things right now. I like that. I like, you know, you have like the Facebook ads you have, you know, the stories, you know, and, and at some point, you know you’re going to have enough or you’re going to go look at that.

53:33 We’re getting there. So it’s, it’s a, uh, one thing that we actually count with about a week and a half ago is like send a full service digital marketing agency is, is, hey, so what we do is we help brands grow by telling her story digitally and so,

53:47 and how long did it take you to get to that? Like, yeah, it’s so simple, but,

53:53 and now I’m just like, how, how can you tell? Not like what [inaudible]

53:58 yeah, yeah, exactly. But it took you awhile to like really get it.

54:04 Sure. Feedback from 20, 50, a hundred people us talking internally on like, what is it that we love to do? And it’s, it takes time. It takes a lot of conversations. It takes a lot of uncomfortable, not uncomfortable, but a lot of the why’s that it’s like, it’s just easier to say, ah, I’m not going to answer it. Then really take the time, 30 minutes, hour to think through it. Yeah.

54:21 I think that that’s why it’s, it’s valuable to pay a professional to do things like this because you’ve already gone through that. Right? You know what it takes to get to those what, four or five words. Yup. Um, and people think it’s easy and it’s not, you know, but now you’ve gone through it, you know how to do it. And I think that’s why agencies exist. And that’s why internal agencies exists because they know what it takes to get there. And back to what we were saying, respecting that journey. Yep. Love it. Appreciate the time. Thank you.

54:58 Thanks so much for tuning in to the very end. I love data a lot. And the data shows that only 10% of the people listening are actually subscribed. You love the content for these things and want to help us grow. Please subscribe.

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