2022 Predictions with James Carbary and Rex Biberston

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode Benji is joined by James Carbary and Rex Biberston to provide 4 predictions for the year ahead.

...my name is Benji Block. We're excited today to be joined by rex and James guys, how you doing? Fantastic man, this is gonna be a blast, I'm feeling it, we're gonna go through some predictions here, they're gonna be good. Yes, so we got 11.5 months or so before us, 2022 pretty much a blank slate. And we're gonna have each of you bring to predictions to the table, excited to hear your thoughts and where you think things are headed James, let's just kick it off right with you. What's the prediction you have as you look at the year ahead. Yeah, so I think we're going to start to see niche media properties and communities like marketing, millennials, peak community rev genius, D GMG, maybe even pavilion. We're going to see one of those major marketing communities get acquired probably by a software company. I just think it's too smart to go. Like it takes years and years and years to build these audiences and companies that have raised lots of cash, it just makes a lot of sense for them to go and acquire those audiences. The trick will be for them to still continue to treat those communities like the way that the brand's treated them to build them up to where they are today. So I love seeing what outreach is doing with the sales hacker community. It's not a pitch fest, they're still continuing to run sales hacker like an independent community, they obviously own access to it. So there's massive leverage that they have by being able to own a community of their ideal buyers, interesting. So when you think about that, when you're kind of looking at the landscape and seeing other people, what excites you about the move towards community and these sort of niche groups. And honestly, I think there's a lot of room for innovation within community. So yes, I think communities are going to start getting acquired, but I don't even think we've begun to scratch the surface in terms of creativity with how people are building communities. So what we're doing this year, what rex and his team are doing this year is really doubling down on what we're calling marketing squads. One too many communities are great or can be great because they're one too many. I mean, there's not a whole lot of value in it for me to hear one person particularly talked to the masses. I can do that by following them on linkedin. But what we're trying to do with marketing squads is actually similar. I think Pavilion has the best shot at making a pivot into this model. And not to say that this model is is the only way to do it, but we're building micro communities. So by the end of this year, hopefully we'll have hundreds of people in these monthly one hour micro communities that meet with and we're excluding everybody but director level and above in house B two B marketing leaders. So there's not gonna be agency folks in there. This isn't gonna be a pitch fest. And we're putting 10 like minded individuals. Director VP level marketing leaders in the same zoom call, inviting 10 of them to, to be in that zoom call once a month. And that group will last six months at the end of the six months, people can say, hey, this was super valuable, I want to do this again or hey, I'm out and we'll have a slack community or some sort of community that's more, one too many that bolts onto that. We'll do some in person events as part of that. But as you know, we're not necessarily building this for it to get acquired. But over the next 234 years when we've got hundreds or maybe even thousands of people in these micro communities that we are directly influencing. It just makes a lot of sense for a software company trying to sell the marketing leaders to come and try to buy our community. And so as a business builder, I just think that's really powerful. I mean, we're, we're building a show and B two B growth that I think 5, 10 years from now easily acquire a ble asset, we're building a community that's an easily acquire a ble asset on top of our service...

...business, which is also an acquire a ble asset. And so I think there's massive value in building community with intimacy. And I don't see that in a lot of the one too many type communities, it feels more like audience building than it does. Community building an audience building is great. We're trying to do that too. We've got a director of audience growth that is bullish on that and we hired him to be bullish on that. So uh not not at all downplaying or just a different, yeah, it's just, it's just a different type of community, but again, we don't have the market cornered on how to build a great community. I think what chris walker is doing at refined labs with those weekly calls that he's doing, it's hard to argue that he's not building a legitimate community of really, really sharp B two B marketers over there as well. I really like the way we're doing it and I really like the way we're thinking about it. And I think in the groups that we've already done up to this point, I think they've added massive value to people. And so we're ready to double down, We just hired someone to focus on that full time, um that comes from a marketing leadership background. The first guy that we had running those didn't come from a marketing background came from a community background and what we learned over the eight months that he was leading the charge is that having someone that understands marketing, facilitating those micro communities Is actually really, really important. So we're making those groups better going into 2022, not that, you know, I'm saying we're going to get acquired by the end of the year, but I think you're gonna see a community get acquired by the end of the year. I like that prediction and the value in the back and forth I think is something a lot of people are realizing because in the one to many there's a lot of information given, which is great but you can get that from so many different streams commodity. Right? Exactly. Well yeah, in some sense it's becoming a commodity where people are then going okay, where are we taking these conversations smaller where there's just a few people and there's a lot of back and forth so we can really dive into our specific situations and the solutions we're looking for the things we were thinking about and it gets hyper specific which is Value added to the people in the groups and then obviously as a company huge value added that you're the one facilitating. So I love that one. James Rex anything you want to add to that before you give us your first prediction. Yeah, I want to double click on something in there that was kind of behind what James is talking about that. Maybe some marketers haven't thought about in some marketing leaders the kind of hidden value of a community, it's not just that now you have people who are on the frontlines like they're your ideal customer, you're meeting with them, they're hearing about your brand. Like that's great. You're on the tip of their tongue when they think about the problem that you solve. Right? Fantastic. There is a hidden benefit to content marketing. Think about the average content marketing approaches. We pick topics, we think people care about that relate to our product and then we write content. The secret benefit that James and I've just been kind of uncovering from what communities are gonna be for us is that we are in micro communities where they're controlling the conversation. Our people who show up from our team are just listening. They're just they're facilitating conversation but they're not picking the topics, they're not sharing all the advice, They're not acting as experts, they are simply facilitating. So what we get out of that as a side benefit that I think is really smart for software companies who are going to acquire these communities in the future is going to be that you have a very short feedback loop on what's really, you know, top of mind for your buyers like what do they actually care about today? Not what did your head of content marketing think they cared about? There's a gap there and it's powerful and and we're all talking about this lately. How much the market is changing. How rapidly because of Covid because of other like, you know, we're digitizing everything, we're making everything online and so it's changing so quickly. What's our feedback loop like with our audience. Well, it's try and build an audience while simultaneously trying to serve that audience, And then the feedback you're getting is weeks, months years later, like, you're getting that so late, where we could put that on the front of the feedback loop, is them telling us what to write and then we share it with those communities, they feel served and heard, and then they're...

...telling us, Yeah, that makes sense, or no, I disagree with you and we continue to learn much, much faster. So the community way behind that, not just that there, Oh, hey, when I think of podcast, I think of Sweet Fish, oh, hey, when I think of Marc and I think of Dave Gerhard, like that's not the entire thing. Now, Dave Gerhart knows how to write a million pieces of content if he's using those communities in that way. Yeah, and I would imagine that's why he's putting out as much content as he is, and that's why Chris says that he's able to put out as much content as he is, because he's literally got these weekly demanding lives that he's doing, where he's hearing people's feedback live and then turning it into content, what what I think is something that we're going to be doing this next year, that I'm really excited about is, you know, as you and I were x, we're talking in our one on one the other day, it's like, how can we make sure that Diana who's gonna be running these groups is getting those insights back into the business. And one of the ideas we had was we need to start recording B two B growth episodes with her once a week, you know me, you dan Diana like just jamming once a week on a topic that she chooses based on the conversations that are happening in those squads. Because those are real time things that we as you know, as a service business, we don't necessarily, you know, we don't have firsthand experience of what sas companies are dealing with or what other verticals are dealing with. But by Diana being leading those groups and facilitating those conversations, she's gonna have her finger on the pulse of what really matters, going back to your point earlier. So that's one way to do it. Like take those insights and then inject it back into your content when we do long form pillar content through B two B growth. Around these topics that Diana is gonna be facilitating for us on BBB growth. Like that now becomes micro content that we share on linkedin. It's gonna fuel the three things newsletter that I write every day. We're gonna try to share that as much as we can with our existing team so that we understand our buyers better than any other service provider in the game and that's ultimately what's going to lead us to the results that we think we can achieve. Yeah, it all feeds back into each other, which is wonderful from a content perspective, because if you want to get rid of commodity content, like we do, you got to know exactly what people are thinking about right now, the community to do that? Yeah, I feel like it's almost trite to say you have to understand your audience, everybody like that's commodity, everybody's saying that, but the game is trying to figure out how do you understand your audience? And I think we're tapping into something that's a really effective way to do that, yep, let's go to rex what is a prediction you have as you look At this next 12 months, I feel like this is cheating because anything you see on linkedin these days, right? Anything from maybe the hot marketers that you're seeing out there is something that's going to be a leading indicator of what's to come in the future years, especially depending on the industry. So what I could say is, oh, content marketing is going to be a thing, and you're like, oh, that's that's been around for decades, right? Yes, but I have good friends who work in industries where all this stuff like it still doesn't happen, they still not even do they get their content, they don't even have content to gate, they only have a lead for them, like they have a contact us page that's as good as it gets, there's no call to action, I mean, so when we start talking about predictions, I'm thinking along the lines of, okay, what's gonna be popular over the next year versus like what are people actually going to be doing like across the broad spectrum of the market? Because it's just, it's impossible to say one thing. But I think what we're going to see is a surge of creative one off B two B marketing campaigns as opposed to the stale ongoing promotional vehicles, like your typical newsletter webinar series, like the stuff that gets so old and we consider tried and true in some ways, but like it's start to kind of, it's starting to taper off in its popularity. But the reason I think that it's going to be more popular to have these creative one off campaigns is because they're getting enough attention on linkedin that the executives at the top level...

...who have the budget are gonna say, hey, why aren't we on Tiktok, Hey, why aren't we doing something like this? And dropping a link to a video they really like, that's the kind of stuff we're gonna see more and more. And so we're actually gonna be incentivized as B two B marketing leaders to go and do that, which is the thing we probably wanted to do since we first saw the first clever video from one of our favorite influencers on linkedin, right? But we've been begging for it and nobody's really hearing our cries, I think we're gonna start to get it from the top down now, instead of us having to come from the bottom up the way I heard it put yesterday in a conversation I was having is that in B two B, we've been looking at our cousin over in B two C and feeling really jealous and now is the move where it's like, no, this is our time and I totally agree. I think we're gonna see that sort of evolution and B to B where people realize the power in that sort of marketing where it's just this powerful, like you said, maybe it's a one off campaign, but something that moves us away from the stale, this is what tried and true everyone's doing to something new and fresh rex being over marketing. What excites you the most about that move? I mean, my favorite part about it is that it requires that people determine whether they want quick attention or they want affinity. I learned that that phrasing from J Kenzo because the difference is if you want eyeballs right now, it's the same thing. Like no matter how clever your pitches you're still producing content that is leading to something that like it's a mismatch of expectations, You watch this really funny video, you read a really great, you know meme that somebody puts out from their corporate page and then you go to their website and it's boring crap, right? But if you want affinity you have to think about who your brand is. And then the creativity is applying not just what's hot, but what's hot and what relates and is relevant to our audience and what relates and is relevant to our brand in a way that only we can say we talked about commodity content before and I think this is the key, it's exciting to me because we want to stand out and everybody says they want to stand out, but we really think that there's going to only be a few companies that are willing to combine all that effort together and make those campaigns a real success. They're gonna get a lot of companies are going to find that they do these really cool campaigns and they spend a lot of time and money and effort. They get a lot of eyeballs and it's a flash in the pan and nobody sticks, nobody stays around and they come to your website and still the same amount of people are converting Right, still that 3-10% of her in the buying window, that's it. Nothing special about it. So instead they're putting out those boring promotional vehicles, you know, they've got those newsletters, they've got those kind of stand by things that people can opt into, fewer people are opting into those, we've got more control from Apple and google and everybody filtering out all that content anyway, so I think that's that's where we're headed and it's just gonna make the brands that are willing to do the hard work of combining what's popular with what actually resonates with their audience from their brand, that's going to make them stand out much more clearly. I was thinking this exact same thing, I was like, Brexit feels kind of like a cheat code whenever you think about predictions because there are brands doing this. I mean the way metadata executed that virtual event was super smart. I mean they promoted that thing for like three or four months and really creative ways leading up to that event and they got a lot of people show up to it and a lot of people talking about them that otherwise never would have. You're seeing folks like Todd Klaus sort of find labs, do these hilarious sketches on Tiktok videos that are performing like crazy on linkedin. Dave your heart's been doing this stuff for a while marketing millennials, Daniel Murray has been doing this stuff for a year, year and a half now. And so it's exactly like what you said, these senior level executives can't get on linkedin without seeing this stuff and they're not stupid. So they're going to be talking to the marketing team's about why the heck are we not trying to do this, the game will be, can you sustain it? And so what I love so much about what we're doing, we've created a role for the creator inside of our marketing team and Emily Emily brady, formerly cabrito is playing that role...

...for us. So not only is she leading our evangelist program and helping coach and facilitate content creation across 15 or 20 different people on our team on linkedin, she's also going to be overseeing these creative campaigns that we're trying to do every month. I'm super excited about the one, I'm actually filming a gift for one of them later today and it's gonna be a blast. But but this is a lot of thought that's going into these. I mean, we're we're thinking about these campaigns weeks and weeks in advance and we're trying to execute them consistently at least once a month knowing that if we can make a big splash once a month on linkedin, in addition to the other content that we're creating across our team, it's going to increase our visibility in front of the people that we want to know who we are. I have an episode coming up where I'm going to talk to Emily about some of what she's learning and her world. She's doing some Tiktok stuff for us as well and we're gonna talk all about that and her findings so far and the questions she's asking, which again, we're to talk a lot about this on B two B growth, but we want to learn the mindset that we need, right? So it's not just, here's the solutions Emily's found she's asking a lot of really intriguing questions right now because she's iterating and that's the perfect time to catch somebody and start asking them questions because they are just going internally and you can tell Emily's in that space and I love it. So rex, that's a great one. It is a cheat code, but that's okay. It's still counts. It is definitely a good prediction James. Let's go back to you man, what's your second prediction moving forward into the next 11 months? I think that you're gonna start seeing progressive brands. So the metadata of the world, the refined labs already seeing it to a certain extent. But I think you're gonna be seeing progressive brands, start developing unique premises or hooks, like the Gerhard calls them for each of their content channels. So the hook for someone's newsletter, The reason you're going to subscribe to that newsletter is going to be different than the reason you're going to follow them on linkedin or the reason you're going to follow them on Tiktok. So you're starting to see like panda doc and chili piper, They're using Tiktok very much as a recruiting tool. So when you are watching their stuff, it's like, it's fun. It's silly. It's Goofy, but it's a lot of, it's, it's showing off their culture. They clearly are using a channel for a different purpose than what they're using. There are other channels for now. I don't think that they fully, really fleshed out and refined a premise or a hook there. But I think you're going to start seeing that one thing that, that we're thinking about doing at the media company that I started last year, Young married christian is thinking about our email newsletter as a completely separate hook. So the hook for our emails being created date nights. If you want to create a date night emailed to your inbox once a week, sign up for our newsletter. But the reason you're going to follow us on instagram is completely different. We're asking really intriguing chris questions about what it means to be a young married christian in our instagram stories and then we're sharing the answers of the instagram DM replies that we're getting with the rest of our followers in that story. So it's a reason the reason that you're consuming our stuff on instagram is different than the reason that you would be signing up for our email list and I think we have to do the work of developing those hooks and premises at a content channel level as opposed to just thinking about it as one thing. So the reason you subscribe to my podcast very different than the reason you're going to get on my email list. It can't just be, hey, get on my email list so that we can send you updates about the podcast and doesn't work anymore. Sorry, I can just subscribe to your podcast wherever I listen to podcasts and that's how I'm going to find out your podcast dropped. I think we've gotten lazy and we lack creativity in terms of premise development with our content channels and I think you're gonna start to see that change. Hey everybody Olivia here as a member of the Sweet fish sales team, I wanted...

...to take a second and share something that makes us insanely more efficient. Our team uses lead I. Q. So for those of you who are in sales or sales ops, let me give you some context. You know how long gathering contact data can take so long and with lead I. Q. What once took us four hours to do now. It takes us just one that is 75% more efficient. We are so much quicker with outbound prospecting and organizing our campaigns is so much easier than before. I suggest you guys check it out as well, You can find them at least I Q dot com. That's L E A D I Q dot com already. Well we got sold right? We got sold on this idea that if I create one piece of content, it becomes 20 pieces of content, there is some good there. But the reality is that really stale because people consumed the content over here, they don't need it 20 other times over here. So yeah, rex what are your thoughts? Yeah, I want to speak to that point that you just read a benji about like content splitting off into other forms of content and a lot of times the reason that I think about the value of that content is not necessarily like it, it depends on where you want to go with it. You can split off content. So let's say we take a podcast episode and create a micro video. If I craft that for linkedin and I have a compelling question in it or I'm, I'm pointing out something that's going to be powerful enough that I expect comments and there's gonna be a great conversation. That's okay. Like that fits whatever my hook is on linkedin. If my hook is like, hey, we're gonna ask really compelling questions about what it is to be a B two B marketer, right? And like if I'm pulling that from the podcast episode, Fantastic, That'll be fit otherwise. I can also use that channel and say, hey, this is a micro video from my episode. Like check out the full length if this seems appealing. But that is, is decreasing in popularity I would say is decreasing in how many conversions you're gonna get from finding it on another channel to going back to that original channel and consuming that content. It'll work. Yeah, there's, there's still friction there. It'll work in quotations. Yeah, I don't think many people do that in the sense that maybe someone will go look it up or maybe someone will recognize that when they're scrolling through marketing podcast, but like most likely they're finding the things they want either directly from the brands that they want because they've been following them for years and like anything they produce, I'll go follow or they're searching and whatever is optimized in their feed, they're going to go find it on that channel specifically. So like there's, there's a fine line and there's like certain purposes that you can have for repurposing content. But yeah, I think the value of that is decreasing over time into James's point. I want to know what to expect from a brand in every channel. I engage with them. Like I want to know what's coming. So I can say yes, every time this hits my inbox, every time I see that update on linkedin, like I want to stop my scroll, I want to open that email and I need to know what's coming because I've got decision fatigue. I'm constantly evaluating a million things and it's gotten harder with, I'll say covid the C word, but it's been terrible because we also have to decide how to deal with like the updates coming from the school's about whether our kids are gonna be safe still and like all the updates come from the CDC and the news coming out. Like we, there's so much decision fatigue and information, fatigue. I just want to know what to expect and I'm going to opt into that I'm gonna stay opted, I'm not gonna opt out because I know what to expect and I'm okay with that. I will, I want the value of the thing that they're promising me and I don't want that value to change over time. I'm good with it. I want to, I want to stay engaged there. So I think James is absolutely right. We're gonna see more and more of those brands creating those hooks, making it really compelling and consistent. I think that second thing consistent is so important there. Mm hmm. It feels like when you have four runners right there testing things, they're trying things. People that are really like these progressive brands are doing things right now and they're they're tweaking their models and they're trying to get it all situated, they'll start to become very excellent at what they do and then there will be the early adopters that are right behind who, there will be some good in...

...there. But there will also start to be some like they don't fully get it right. Like there's some mishaps and some missteps. I wonder what you guys predict will be like the pitfalls of this model. I I'm not too scared about the pitfalls of trying to do this. I don't think anybody young gang was not great at this. I'm sure if you go back and read some of the first articles from the gangs lab stuff that they do on linkedin. I'm sure they weren't nearly as great as the articles that they're putting out today and that's no shade on chris or lob, he's freaking, he's a freaking genius and helped set up devin read to do what they're doing at gang today. That's just the game. Like we're way better at podcasting today than we were six years ago. And so I think when it comes to flexing these, these creative muscles and really trying to get good at premises development, really trying to get good at at building out creative campaigns and building concepts and ideas. You're not going to be good at it at 1st. And, and so fortunately the way the algorithms work on social, if something sucks, very few people see it at least organically. And you would hope that people would have the sense to go, let's see if this pops organically before we start throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars behind it and paid media think chris walker would probably argue that most people don't have that kind of common sense, but I would hope that the folks listening to this would think, hey, let's test this organically. If this doesn't fly organically, we're certainly not going to dump a lot of money and paid media to amplify it. But that's, that's the beauty of social platforms as they allow us to see what's gonna fly like IDa post earlier this week that I thought was gonna hit and it just didn't and so the beautiful part of that is very few people saw it. So it's, it's not, Yeah, I'm not, it's gonna get buried in the feed. It'll get buried in my activity. Nobody will ever see it. And I'm moving on to the next one today. So that's my take. I think the risk here speaking to someone who has reported to a higher up in marketing cause I think James you have very ownership mentality, which I love as someone who has had to report the risk I would run is that I put all my eggs in the basket and I picked the wrong basket in terms of the, the hook for a channel, right? The risk I run is that I say, hey, we're going all in on this newsletter about this thing and we spend a bunch of time and resources front end. We don't test like James is talking about and we're like crap. I need to go defend this to my boss and then I say, okay boss. Like this is why it's not performing yet. You've just gotta have faith and then hopefully I've got a new job by the time she realizes that it didn't work right? Like that's, that's the risk I run is that I pick the wrong horse to back and I defend it too closely. I don't admit failure. I don't say, you know what? This just didn't seem like the hook. We're not just gonna let this one slide and try a new one. We're not going to go back to our audience and try and get some feedback as to why this didn't resonate with them and continue to like kind of stick and move right. It's okay to say that we missed on our first premise or second premise or third premise on the channel, Like you can do that, that's okay. But defending that to the higher ups, it really depends on the culture you have in your company. If you have a culture of like no failure is acceptable or failure is learning keep growing, which I imagine is, you know, the kind of culture you have at a company like gong where you see them continue to improve on their hooks and their channels. I mean there's just, there's risk for the marketer in the middle, I'll say that's my thought to is I guess another distraction was the word that came to my mind because you think about people that aren't doing great on a lot of channels, they're just doing okay work and then you throw in, hey, now think of a different premise and a different hook for all these channels and I'm like, yeah, you're gonna see a lot of maybe commodity content now, we have all these different streams of it and the hooks aren't fully developed and it adds extra pressure to a marketing team. So like I totally agree. We if we iterate and we continue to like lock in and we test and then, you know, you get your, you get it to an optimal space. That's one thing. But I, I see...

...potential for distraction where I think they're just has to be like James is saying if, if you actually test it and you and you optimize it over time, this is the way forward. But there are some potential pitfalls from a marketing standpoint where I'm like, it'll be interesting to see not the gongs of the world, but like those that are following in their footsteps again. I I was really careful whenever I was writing this down, we're going back and forth on this and slack was really careful to say that you're going to see progressive brands do. Exactly. This is not, I mean speaking to what rex was speaking to you earlier, most companies are not going to be doing this. They can't nail one premise for one channel to save their freaking life and they're just putting out a bunch of crap, but the folks that get it the metadata of the world, the chili pipers of the world, the panda docks of the world, like the refined labs of the world. They get it, they're progressive, they're on it, they're forward thinking and they can see that like holy crap gangs newsletter because they're using data from their own product and then putting out these really, really helpful data backed articles based on the call recordings from their own platform. That's a really smart hook, what could we do with data from our product that would produce content like that and then realizing that it's going to be a different play on Tiktok or a different play on twitter. But anyway, who knows? We're going to see if it plays out that way. But I'm excited to see it because I think we're progressively seeing more and more creative seep into B two B marketing land and I'm here for it because this, this boring crap needs to go and progressive brands doing, it's so fun to watch because they're going to do it super well. So I don't see a lot of what, what, what rex and I are talking about isn't gonna happen at the brands you just mentioned, they're just going to be fun to watch and they're going to do it really well. And that's super exciting and there's a lot we can learn from it. So, and I think being a bootstrapped, I mean for those listening, they're like, oh, but we don't have gone dollars. God neither do we. I mean, we're at the last year we did 2.5 million in revenue this year, we're trying to do 10 million in revenue, but we were doing a lot of this stuff, we're doing the micro community stuff. We were doing the create like we had a dedicated person for a linkedin evangelism program last year as a $2.5 million bootstrapped service business. So to think that you need a lot of cash to be able to execute on this, I think it is, it's just faulty thinking. I mean you can, you can do this stuff in a lean way, in a way, in a way that still packs a punch. I mean there are arguably tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people that know that sweet fish produces podcasts for B two B brands because of our activity on linkedin and that is one full time hire, helping 15 people across our team be really active on linkedin on a consistent basis. And that's not crazy for a lot of companies. Even if you're not this unicorn gong or sales loft or any, you know, terminus these types of companies, you don't, you don't need to be at that level of funding to be able to execute a lot of that stuff. Yeah. Innovation thrives with the budget. That's, I mean, if you have limitless dollars then you can just buy people's eyeballs. Like if you have a budget, you've got to think strategically and that's what I love about sweet fish. So alright, rex, let's uh let's take it home here, give us your last prediction. We've been talking a lot about creativity and I think this, this falls in line with where we need to go from a talent perspective. I think we're going to see more digital creators hired into more companies directly. So one, like actually hiring full time content creators and as contractors or through sponsorships. So I'll break that down. I think the digital creators are the people who get it without needing to be told to go get it to learn how to do it like they want to and they see it and they're catching the trends and they're paying attention and they're trying stuff constantly and they're building something interesting. Even if they have to tweak it all along the way. Like they do that as a part of who they are. A lot of them are going to be the digital natives, right? People who were born using the screen from a very young age, like being very familiar with technology. Some of them are not, There are creators out there who were not,...

...you know, born Post 1990 Right? There's, there's people who are creating amazing content. A lot of them are gonna be those, those digital natives though. And I think we need to tap into that because trying to imitate that with corporate marketing work is impossible. It's not difficult. I think it is straight up impossible. Yeah. I think you have to get the people who have the passion for it and can execute it without someone holding their hand and telling them what to do and then you can be successful with it versus getting someone who is very trained up in another skill set and having to guide them along the way as a leader and coach them and like where are you coaching from what you're not standing on the shore saying, hey come in like I'm here. You're saying, hey over there. I think it's an island, like you should swim there and your coaching them on how to get like that's crazy. So I think it's impossible to lead non digital creators to become digital creator. I think you've got to find them. So that could be hiring full time, it could be contracting them and bringing them in as part of your process, which I think is a brilliant way to tap into that as an initial, like you're not quite ready to do full time higher and you're still learning what channels to play with and then sponsorships I think are going to start to become a bigger thing. James talked about some of those micro communities and like just tapping into the readiness to listen to that person or that brand or that, you know, page on linkedin for example, there's the people being creative there and then how do you approach them and like slip into that audience in a really natural way and it relies on them helping guide that discussion. Not you saying, hey, I want to put my logo on that the next meme, just put sweet fish on there. Like it doesn't work that way and the digital creators will know where it's going to fit the vibe of their audience and you can't really tell them that. So I think it's more digital creators owning the control of what happens, and then you're just tapping into that as a marketing leader. I'm super bullish on this prediction. I mean, so much so that we're investing $2.5 million in building a creator studio in Orlando, because I think if we can build a hub that will attract creators to sweet fish, we're going to build a moat around our business, that's unlike any other mode, we can potentially build where the access to that kind of talent companies just don't have access to, so they have to hire a sweet fish to be able to get that level of creator talent, I think is super exciting. Now, that's not to say that companies can't go and find their own creators, I just think in reality they're not going to put in the work to actually do it, Which is crazy to me because creators should be some of the easiest people to find on the internet. They have massive audiences already and already I think you already follow them and see what you guys do that. So, that's an issue because we're talking about digital natives, and that is one of the breakdowns in the B two B space is those that aren't are don't know who to follow, but they are out there, yep, you're exactly, you're spot on with that benji, but I think in my experience with creators, one, they have two skills that I'm just gonna keep on harping on. I'm sure I've probably talked about it on the show before, but the two skills that a creator has one, they understand intuitively human psychology, they understand what is going to actually make somebody want to engage with this piece of content and they adjust the content according to that understanding of human psychology. The second thing they understand is platform nuances. When you talk to somebody who's blowing up on linkedin, they are not blowing up on linkedin by accident. They're looking at a bunch of other creators in the space that are in their wheelhouse and they're dissecting posts and they're figuring out that when you open up, when you open with this kind of hook, but go to this line next, It works. They understand that whenever you don't put a link in the status itself, you put the link in the first comment And you hope that the post is good enough to keep people engaged on it. Like there there's platform nuances, like we we hired a young man Christian, we hired somebody that already has 200,000 followers on Tiktok It was extremely affordable. And because of...

...that, within two or three weeks of hiring this person, we have, we've already had tiktok videos that have over 35,000 views on them because we hired somebody that's already cracked the code on Tiktok, I don't need to go and learn Tiktok, I need to hire somebody that's already figured out. And the upside for companies is that a lot of these creators are not making a lot of money being a creator, companies know how to monetize. They have software, they have services, they have all of these things that allow them to monetize. Creators aren't as strong on the monetization front. They're great at the audience building stuff. Companies suck at audience building and they're fantastic at monetization. There's, there's a two way benefit and whether that's hiring them as contractors, whether it's working with agencies like Sweet fish to get access to that talent, whether it's bringing them on full time in house, there's a mutual benefit and companies hiring creators that, I just think so many companies are sleeping on right now and hopefully it gives us a competitive advantage in the marketplace because we're going to gobble up a lot of this talent. Yeah. Nobody listened to what he just said because we want to keep all that a secret, keep it hush hush guys, if you haven't read who not how go read that book because touching on the principles right there and that's extremely important. I think it does bring be to be kind of back to it, a space of what we were talking about before, right with interesting marketing campaigns and the moved of looking at B to see a little bit and like how do we get more creative and all of that part of our conversation, this flows right in there where I feel like B. Two C. Has easily cracked this code because they're like, we sell this thing that all the creators already want. B two B. Is looking over there, like how do we get these creative people to understand what we do and use their talent and so that is the next evolution, that is my my hot take on that benji here it is. I don't actually think that a creator needs to understand all of the nuances of, I mean we've we've had this conversation internally, like as we bring creators into our model and we're looking at hiring them as contractors to look at content that we produce for our customers and figure out how can we slice and dice this content in a lot of different ways. How can a creator help us shape what that creative brief looks like, We've gone back and forth. Do we need to hire for our shows in healthcare? Do we need to hire somebody in health care or do we need to just hire a creator that's already built an audience of 50,000 people or more? Because if they've built an audience of 50,000 or more, they understand platform nuances. They understand human psychology and they've proven that in the audience, they've already built my experience with creators is that they are incredibly sharp and so you do not need to spend a year telling them about your product or your industry, you you maybe spend a week or two exposing them to what you do, who you serve your understanding of your audience and let them go to town because they are incredibly smart idiots don't have that kind of understanding of human psychology, idiots don't understand the nuances of these social platforms and the depth and understanding that they have and how these platforms work and how they can capitalize on them to get more reach for their content. Like when you start hearing them talk, I mean it was only because we interviewed these influencers on young married christian that I've had the proximity to them that I've had in the last six months. They're freaking brilliant. And so I don't care if they understand B2B podcasting, I just want to bring them in and say let's spend a week teaching them what we do and then let them go to town because what they're going to come up with is going to be far better than what most marketing teams would come up with on their own, having all the knowledge in the world about the industry and what you do. I also think another thing Benji, I think a lot of marketers have to get out of their own way because I think a lot of marketers...

...pride themselves on actually being good at human psychology and being good to understand platform nuances and they just don't, like I thought I understood linkedin until I talked to somebody that's got a million followers on the platform. And I'm like, nope, I don't understand this platform at all. Like the things that I'm understanding, like don't put a link in the, in the like that was like three years ago in sight. Like the stuff that people are like the people that are really in it and really studying this stuff, they know way more than the average marketer inside a company. But I hope that marketers can get out of their own way. Kind of let their ego to the side and admit that there are better people. There are there are people that understand human psychology better than me. There are people that understand these platform nuances better than me. And if we don't go and hire them, our brand is going to pay the price. Mm hmm. Makes you look like a brilliant marketer if you go get them. So if you need to, if you need that little pat on the back or that little ego, there's just Countless. There's count. They're everywhere y'all like from the person that's built 400,000 followers with a knitting channel on Youtube. Like they are everywhere. Like obviously if you can find somebody in your niche that's done it and has the industry background and understanding awesome. That's great. But don't feel limited that if you're like, oh man, I'm wearing this super niche. Like maritime logistics. There's nobody doing this. Okay. Get somebody that doesn't know anything about maritime logistics, I guarantee you in a month, they'll know all they need to know to make a splash in your industry like you never thought was possible. Final words on this one. I did not. That was very much pun unintended with the maritime logistics. It was a sweet fish and maritime logistics. No, that's it man, I'm seconding all that good. Good. This is such a fun conversation guys, I'll sum it up here. Rex had two predictions that we're going to see a surge of creative one off B2B marketing campaigns as opposed to kind of stale ongoing promotional vehicles. Love that second prediction from rex was like, subsequently we're gonna see creative talent. So digital creators hired into more companies, we just talked about that James had to, we're going to see niche media properties and communities get acquired, we'll be watching out for that and then his second one was progressive brands are going to start developing unique premises or hooks for each of their content channels. We would love to hear what you guys are thinking about your predictions. If you tag B two B growth on linkedin and make a post about it would be, I'll be sure to, to interact with you over there. You can tag me to Benji Block on linkedin and we can get the conversation going. Love your guys predictions, James and rex, Thanks for being on the show today. If you're not subscribed yet, make sure you subscribe so you don't miss an episode. Keep doing work. That matters. And we'll be back with another episode real soon. Thanks guys for being on the show. Is your buyer A B two B marketer. If so, you should think about sponsoring this podcast. BTB Growth gets downloaded over 130,000 times each month. And our listeners are marketing decision makers. If it sounds interesting, send Logan and email Logan at Sweet Fish Media dot com. Mm hmm.

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