01 Nov Episode 6: Do What I Do… NOT What I Tell You To Do
Consultants and marketers need to model good digital behavior to clients. At B2X Partners, this means practicing what we preach: constantly putting out great content that positions us as experts in our field, and using internal tools to keep our projects and people organized and accountable.
- Tools like Slack and Vox can save your team time and make onboarding new team members simple
- Use one conversation to create multiple pieces of content
- Position yourself as an expert to drive inbound sales
- Consistently provide value so that you’re positioned to ask for the sale
The result of these marketing efforts? All of our sales are inbound – meaning we answer the phone; we don’t call out. This is because B2X Partners is a content machine, constantly turning out valuable content. People are searching for great content and if you put it out there, it will lead them right to you.
We package our content into different formats (blogs, podcasts, videos, articles, etc.) so that it reaches our audiences on multiple platforms, reinforcing brand awareness and positioning B2X Partners as a valuable resource. You can “do what we do” to position your own brand to be the first one a customer thinks of when they have a problem to solve.
Hey, this is Justin King, and welcome to B2B eCommerce Secrets. Today, we’re going to do something a little bit different. We’re going to go behind the scenes to why we do so much marketing, created this podcast, and blog and all the things we do in marketing. I hope you enjoy it.
Do your kids ever point out your hypocrisy? So, I have four teenage daughters and believe me, there is nothing more that has helped me personally be more self-aware than these kids in my family.
My oldest daughter is a marketing intern here at B2X Partners and she helps transcribe the podcasts. A little while ago, she said, “Hey, Dad, did you know you don’t have a search box on eCommerceandB2B.com?” [it’s true, I said that] I started to come up with this excuse because nobody wants their daughter pointing out their hypocrisy, but then I realized, you know what? She’s right. [I love to hear that, thanks, Dad] So, we worked with Algolia to create a search engine that – yes – we’re going to tune and make better each month because that’s what I tell you to do. I tell you to do that, so why wouldn’t I do that myself?
I don’t know about you, but I feel like a lot of consultants don’t practice what they preach. In the digital world, they tell you to do search, social media, digital advertising, webinars, marketing, branding, “white papers,” images, video; the list goes on and on. But, when you look at what they do, it doesn’t match up with what they’re telling you to do. It’s like they’re telling you, “Do what I tell you to do, not what I do.”
As a parent, that’s a really difficult thing to say to your kids: “Do as I say, not as I do.” It’s a common phrase we use, but it’s not a good practice. We should model good behavior to our kids. As consultants, we should model good behavior, model good digital behavior to you, and tell you, “Do what I do, not just what I tell you to do.” Do what I do, follow me, follow along with me, walk beside me, and learn from what I’m doing, not just what I tell you to do. I think that that’s what makes a great consultant… but, I’m a little biased.
So, here’s what we do online here at B2X Partners, and we have a crazy good marketing engine:
So, first of all, straight up, all of our sales are inbound. Meaning, we pick up the phone, we don’t call out. That’s the marketing/sales goal. Why? Because we drink our own Kool-Aid, and we have this crazy good marketing machine as a result. First of all, We are a content machine. I have a team of people – yes, that I have hired – that we’ve brought in in-house, full-time, and all they do is create content. We have a marketing department. That’s what I tell you guys to do, right? Create great content. People are searching for great content. You’ve gotta create your own content that people can find. We do the same thing.
There are some really cool things about how we work at B2X, so here’s just one quick insight: we use a tool called Slack in our business. So, we have no internal e-mails. No e-mails are sent between team members inside of B2X. Everything is in Slack. The brilliant thing about that is when we bring in a new team member, everything is organized by clients and projects, so we don’t have to forward them a bunch of e-mails. All we have to do is give them access to the channel with your information – if you’re a customer – or the project channel. They can go back to the beginning of the project and see all the communication. All that used to be in e-mail is now on Slack: the attachments, files, back-and-forth, videos, meetings, notes, and project status meetings. They can get a full accounting for the project. We use that same tool for marketing.
Sarah Falcon, my VP of Marketing, regularly works with our entire team. She pulls information out of them. She uses Slack to do that, she schedules calls with them, or she does Voxes. Do you know what Voxer is? Voxer is this app for the iPhone and Android that allows you to send voicemails between each other. Now, you’re probably saying, “Why wouldn’t you just send a voicemail?” Well, you don’t have to call someone and then leave a message, or then call someone and they pick up. This allows someone to do voice. Voice is the quickest way to communicate between two humans, so we use Voxer to send each other messages. So, when Sarah needs information, I Vox the information over. I leave her a long voicemail and I explain the concept. When she wants information about taxonomy, she talks and Voxes with her taxonomy team about user experience, project management, marketing, [or] whatever it is. She pulls this information out of them. She’s not requiring them to write these articles, she’s pulling this information out of them. Then she takes those ideas, those best practices, and she writes lots of articles, formats them, creates videos, [and] lots of pieces of content from this one single phone call or this one Vox. That’s pretty cool. She then takes that information and disseminates it across multiple platforms.
So, we have a blog called eCommerceandB2B.com that’s like public education [and] teaching [with] no real sales that are happening on that site. It’s pure education, pure thought leadership, but yes it’s marketing. We’re trying to draw people into our ecosystem.
Then, we have B2XPartners.com which is our agency site, and some information is appropriate for that, maybe it’s a case study.
Then, we have our online paid community called the Digital Branch. That is our deepest knowledge, our deepest thoughts, our most relevant information. It’s training, it’s teaching, and some of the content goes on that.
Then, we take all that content [and] package it up. Some of that content may be made into videos, others of that content may be made into podcasts, blog posts, media articles, and LinkedIn articles. And then our social media team – after taking all the graphics and images and things like that [which] is all done with a pretty detailed project where we literally move things from stage to stage – prepares all the postings we’ll use in social media: what goes on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Medium, FaceBook, Instagram, [and] Snapchat.
Why do we do that? We do that for a simple reason: we’re trying to give value, value, value. Gary Vaynerchuk, one of my favorite guys that I follow, talks about his, “jab, jab, jab, right hook, jab, jab, jab.” Give value, give value, give value, so that you’re positioned to be able to ask for the sale. You’re positioned as an expert. When they have a project to do, you’re there.
Your world and the distribution and the manufacturing world, it’s about giving great information about the products and services that you have. Maybe it’s how-to information about how to best install, fix, or use this product. Or, the most innovative ways of using this product. You’re doing that “jab, jab, jab,” so that you’re there for the right-hook: the sale.
In the previous episode, I talked about branding. This is all a part of branding, so when they think of the product, they think about you.
There’s a rule of seven that someone has to see your brand seven times before it sticks in their brain. Blogging, social media, [and] video platforms are all about branding. It’s about, “Jab, jab, jab, right hook,” to be there in position so that when they have a problem to solve you can solve the problem. You’re the one they think about first.
This podcast is our way of testing some of these ideas that we have out there. We think that podcasting is a great platform. Do what I do, not what I tell you to do. Do what we do, not what we tell you to do. Let us model good digital behavior for you.
Now, one side note, straight up: when we started B2X Partners just a little over two years ago, I built the website in one week. I mean, that’s pretty cool. I’m a really good website builder and very good at content. I’m not a great designer, but I do okay. But, we built it in one week before we had any team members on board. That’s pretty cool, but it’s also not drinking our own Kool-Aid. Our new website for B2X Partners will be launched in just a few weeks. Why? Because I want to be the consultant that tells you, “Do what I do,” instead of, “Do what I tell you to do.”