578: How You Can Own the 1:1 Conversation in Your Industry w/ Jack Kosakowski

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Jack Kosakowski, CEO of Creation Agency (US Division).

Are you struggling to come up with original content weekend and week out? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most and never run out of content ideas again. Learn more at sweetfish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the BETB growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the B tob growth show. We are here today with Jack Kazakowski, is the CEO of the US division of Creation Agency. Jack, How you doing it? A man, Oh man, couldn't be happier. Awesome Day. It's a one day before thanksgivings us. I'm super stoked about that. And Jack, I've been seeing you all over the place, particularly on Linkedin. You've been incredibly active there and I've stoked to dive into and of how Creation Agency, your company, is really owning the one to one conversation in the industry. I'm seeing you all over the place. Clearly the business is growing, from what I can tell as an outsider, and the same methodology that you and your business partner are using your helping your clients use as well. So I'm stoked to dive into that. But before we do, I'll take a step back and just briefly explain. What is creation agency? What are what are you guys all about over there? Yeah, so we're a full scale multi Channel Marketing Automation Agency. So we kind of incorporate you. We do different things for different clients, but really, you know, it comes down to how do we get our clients in front of the right people? That drives action and a lot of times that's you kind of a digital, multi channel digital strategy. So, but typically we've run everything through marketing automation software. So if you're using you up spot act on Marquetto Har Dot you,...

...we're running those platforms and we're running all the little different pieces of the platform to make it tike so that it actually drives revenue. Got It. I love it all right, Jack. So you came on board with creation agency about almost two years ago and I'd love for you to kind of walk us through and if you were, you were tasked with okay, you know, Jack, come on and build our business in the US, which which can be I don't know. I would imagine it is a relatively daunting task, but you've you've crushed it from what I can see. I would love for you to just kind of share, share the story about you coming on board and kind of what what you did to get the business to the place where it is today. Yeah, so what I started this? I actually came over from act on software. So I'm a I'm a longtime salesperson and actually, when I started acton about five years ago, I was a regional sales bag. Was My first SASS job and it was the first time I've ever sold anything in marketing. I had no clue what marketing was. Didn't you believe in marketing. Thought it was so fluffy, you know, jargon that sales people drove, you know, all of the revenue and you know, started to sell the CBOS of directors of marketing, selling them some pretty robust technology and really didn't know what I was talking about. How to CEMO. Tell me one day, Jack, if you're going to sell me this thing. You know you're one hell of the sales gap, but you don't know marketing, and so it was really weird. But from that day forward, I said, you know what, I'm gonna Learn Marketing and I was gonna learn it because I, you know, obviously wasn't going to run marketing at the company, but I said I'll just, you know, run my own marketing for myself, and I didn't even know at the time that's what they call a personal brand, because I was actually leveraging trying to figure out ways to leverage social to get into sales conversations without having to do it the traditional way, which is cooled calling, which I absolutely hate cool calling, and I don't hate it because I'm not good at it, because I can cool call day. I hate it because I hate what I'm cooled called. So if I'm selling the way that I'd ever buy, it just doesn't feel good.

So I'm like there's got to be a better way to do this. So started to leverage social ad act on, you know, was to with a top reps, I eighty what to President's club really had a lot of success and I was just using linkedin twitter and I was just, you you, finding new innovative ways to just get connected with people, get into conversations and then get offline. Well, at act on. You know, I kind of grew my personal brand pretty well. You've had a lot of engagement with the revenue. was kind of following that and then I was talking to one of my customers and I said, you know, I kind of want to do something bigger and better. I don't know what that is that. He said, well, we've got a successful agency the UK. We really want to open up the US division because they have huge clients in the UK by business partner, they have IBM, Samsung, Yadda Yah. Yeah, so he's like, I'd like to be able to figure out how we can do this in the US. So I started in the US. I was one employee, had never run a marketing agency and, you know, I had a lot of mentorship from him, but it really figured it out. Now we have a six employees in the US, we have fifteen customers and, you know, just loving every minute of it. And I'm doing this. We're doing this all through a whole different ideology of marketing, which is we're really leveraging our personal brands to, you know, kind of own the conversation around marketing, innovation and marketing and sales and so so practically, Jack, what does that look like, you know, from a from a day to day what are the activities that you and and the six folks on the US team are doing to drive those kind of results in a matter of a couple years, bringing on fifteen customers that have trusted you with their brand? Any insights you could share around kind of the tactical, day to day things you're doing, I think would be really helpful. Yeah, so just think of you a really quick overview. So kind of one of our principles of the agency is that we preached our clients, but we preach internally is you get to get visible, valuable and connected to people, the right people,...

...six months before they're before they know they're ready to buy, and I think that that's really tough because most sales people want to get connected to you when they need you to buy. So we wanted to go you. We kind of go with the whole different theory is, you know, we need to be proactive about this. So we've got a team in the UK, team in the US. We've got about five people that actually do selling, my business partner Jason, my other business partner Pete in the UK. They do the UK sales, I do the US and then we've got two other guys to support us. And the goal is, you know, how can we be so visible, so valuable and so connected that people want to have a sales conversation with us? And, you know, the tactical stuff. There's so many different ways that we do this, but you know, it's really a multi channel approach and that is what kind of content you right now I'm doing a podcast. So this is exactly what I love to use to get visible value. What connected is how could I get people, educate people, inspire people, you know, motivate them to want to learn more and to want to be better in their sales and marketing channels. And then when they figure out that they have that pain is how do I drive that conversation to me versus everybody else? HMM, got it. And so some of the stuff that I've noticed, particularly in in the stuff you're doing on Linkedin. You're putting out great content on Linkedin, but I think the thing that stands out to me about you in particular is the way you engage with other people's content on Linkedin. And so I think you know, I don't I don't have hard data to back this up, but I'm fairly certain you show up more in my feed because it says, you know, Jack Kazakowski commented on whatever gave Viamazar's status, or you know, your you, you, you know, commented on something from Tim Sanders. I'm just seeing a lot of stuff pop up in my feed because I'm connected to both you and Tim, and so a lot of the stuff that I'm seeing is based on your engagement. But I can see how a lot of people listening to this you say...

...well, sitting around on Linkedin and commenting on other people's stuff all day. You know, surely that can't be a productive use of my time. Talk to us about do you kind of block time for engagement and the way you're engaging on Linkedin? Does it just kind of happen naturally because you enjoy doing that stuff and so you're just naturally in the apple out throughout the day. Like, talk us through kind of your mindset and how you think about engagement on that platform. So you know, there's two different ways. You know what is a strategic approach, which is, you know, the kind of be abium approach. If you're in sales or marketing is, hey, I need to engage with these people, right, I need to show up and get visible and valuable these people, because at some point I need to make a phone call. And you know I have that strategy, which it's a lot less now because, you know, quote unquote, you get a little bit of influence and people start to like pay attention, but you know the average person doesn't get that. So you got to be strategic. I say that you have to love to be social. You know, social in the sales process. If you don't like being on Linkedin, then you know you need to do what you do like to do. I mean whatever feels natural to you. But I think you know cold calling, if you look at the statistics, you know you cold call for two hours to get one person on the phone. Right. So you know, if you think engaging with people that could buy from you and engaging we a one too many verse one to one is a waste of time. Well, you probably want to rethink. You know, how many touches can you do? Like, if we think about sales or marketing, it's touches. How many times can we get in front of people and do it in a way that's value verse asked and I really, I really focus on that because I would rather spend two hours of my day helping amplify somebody else's message or helping somebody else create conversation, because that's what people care about, rather than, you know, just calling and begging people for business all day. Yeah, no, I completely agree. I feel like as I've these last four or five months, as I've been getting more active on Linkedin, seems like e every sales call I am...

...on now it's somehow, you know, the person always mentions how much they've been seeing me on Linkedin. I'm not even necessarily aware, because they're not, you know, this will be somebody that I haven't seen necessary like comment on my stuff or even like it, but they're seeing it in their news feed over and over and over again. I'm top of mine. So when I do reach out and I engage a sales conversation, because we've had them on our podcast in the past or I've whatever, we've engaged, we've built a relationship, are reach out to engage a sales conversation, it always ends up coming up that like, man, I'm seeing you all over the place, and so I'm totally bought in on that idea. Are there certain ways that you think about as you're training other people? These other you said there's five other there's five folks on your team that do the selling. If they don't have quite as strong of a personal brands as you have. You alluded earlier to, you know, maybe needing to be more specific, more targeted. How Are you coaching the folks on your team to do something that gets results on social without necessarily having the brand that you yourself have? You know, it comes down to efficiency. So and that, you know, plays into the tools, right. So using sales navigator and, you know, building twitter lists and understanding. Okay, you know, here's the people that I need to talk to and here's where they live. So a lot of you know, a lot of decision makers don't live on social. So you know, there's a whole different strategy that we come you know, use the tool sport, which is okay, let's get into conversation with the influencers, to that decisionmaker, right. So if they're see, you know that we want to talk to and he's not really social, well, there's nothing we can do about that, right. But at the same point, what if there's a millennial that you know works for them, that actually makes the decisions on some of this stuff that we do. So you know, there's there's multiple ways to do it. I think there's three components to this. You know. The number one is that most people don't understand content. So they don't understand that you don't have to share your own content to drive conversation.

If you look at a lot of my strategy, like today I shared a mark Cuban video. Right yesterday I shared a Gary v. You know, don't be like Gary v Video. That's gone. It's got twentyzero views on it. Yeah, and if you understand that you don't always have to talk about yourself and you don't always have to talk about what you do or even your industry at times, that you can create conversation through inspiration, motivation, education, humor. And you've got to have a well balanced strategy to do that, because it's really hard to get anybody to engage with all the noise if you don't have a strategy that's fully designed around content that you know the drives conversation and you've really got to go and you've got engage with those people and it's not a quick win right. I think everybody thinks social is like, Oh, I'm going to start on social and everybody's going to start like myself then start commenting. No, it's like it's got to be like consistent. You got to make a commitment to it and it takes some time, but you know, you can get little winds just by going and sharing other people's content. I mean, I know it sounds so simple, but it is. Yeah, yeah, and I think the thing that that stands out you know, obviously your commending on a lot of other people's stuff and you're not just curating your own content and then commenting on other people's content. But when people comment on your stuff, you're actively engaging in that conversation. And I heard Alan Gannett from track maven talk about this the other day about how so much of social is we think of it as above the fold and we think of it as and we've got to create this content or we've got to go find great content to curate, but really the action is is below the fold and then the conversation happening underneath that content. And I think if you're intentional about putting out content that you know is going to drive some conversation and then actively engaging in that conversation. From from my perspective, that seems to be where it seems like you're crushing it and it drives this point of, you know, owning that one to one conversation, you know, replying to...

...every comment and extending the conversation beyond the piece of content into the comment thread. And so I don't know you, it just hats off to you in executing that. It comes down to. For once in sales and marketing, we can scale conversation at a rapid pace. So, you know, it used to be that you had to pick up the phone and you know you're to call one person, talk to one person, call one person, talk to one person. And now what social allows us to do, especially at sales, is it allows us to scale conversation and and a lotless time. So if you know, if I post something and I have ten comments on it, I've created ten conversations. Now, are they all going to be targeted and want to be able to buy from me? No, but you know, you got to start looking at the referral aspect. Right. I can't tell everybody times I get a message on Linkedin or twitter, instagram, lately where they say, you know, some so and so's told me to follow you. I mean you know, following some of your work and I'd love to talk to you about how you could help us do X, Y and Z right. And I think that's where a lot of people get lost is they think, well, you know, the immediate direct conversation that's happening right now isn't somebody that could buy for me. It's a waste of time, and I think that's absolutely absurd, because I could show you you three or four of my clients right now that are pretty good playing clients that were referrals from somebody who had followed me on social and referred me over and they reached out and I had no idea who they were. Yeah, I totally agree. We're in the midst of closing two deals right now that are directly correlated to my activity on social in the last few months. They're going to be huge for our business because because I've bought into the same mindset that that you and your team have bought into and just consistently executed against it. This has been fantastic, Jack, I really appreciate you sharing this with us. I've been closing the interviews out with with one question the last couple weeks, and so I'd love to ask you this. This question, Jack. What...

...do you want your legacy to be? You know, my legacy would be that people could get wisdom from me in a way that would make them better personally and professionally, you know, from business to my faith and all that. I mean. Yeah, I just think that there's so many good people out there with potential and one of the things I'm trying to do is challenge the norm enough to let people know that they don't have to do things the way that they that feels uncomfortable when it comes to business in life. I love it that, Jack, if there's somebody listening to this, they want to stay connected with you, they want to learn more about creation agency. What's the best way for them to go about doing it? Yeah, so check out skills lab dot I. Oh, that's a subset of creation agency where we give away tons of Frecourses, tons of free, good actionable content, because that's what we believe in. And then, you know, on the agency side, you can just go to creation AGENCYCOM and make sure to follow Jack on Linkedin and twitter as well. Jack what's your twitter handle? It's just my name, Jack Kazakowski. Awesome, Jack with thank you so much for your time to day man, this has been fantastic, so I real appreciate it well. Thank you. If you're a BETB marketer, we want to feature you on sites like the Huffington post social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send that a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to feel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish Mediacom questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening. Until next done.

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