605: Before You Ask for Something, Do This First w/ Adam Vazquez

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Adam Vazquez, Co-Founder at Strafire Media.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamvazquez/

A relationship with the right referral partnercould be a game changer for any Bob Company. So what if you couldreverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referralpartners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster thanever? Learn more at sweetish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the be tob growthshow, 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 tothe right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get intothe show. Welcome back to the BEDB growth show. We are here todaywith Adam Vasquez. He's the CO founder at straffire media. He's also thehost of the startup show. Adam, how you doing today? What's up, guys? Thanks for having me excited to be here with you guys.Thank you, Adam. So we're going to be talking about the power ofask today, as K for those the listening that that that I discussed.But before we get into that, Adam, I'd love for you to tell usa little bit about Straf fire media and and your podcast. To startupshow. Yeah, that K makes all the difference. But yeah, sostre fire media, we are a BB marketing company. We work primarily withbe to be organizations in creating digital content with that's video, websites, reallywhatever, whatever it is for that particular client. We don't do podcast,so I'll leave that to you, James. But we work with a number ofcompanies across manufacturing, distribution, tech, etcetera, and just try to figureout how to get them further get their customers further up the funnel andand create new business for them. And then the startup show is kind ofa marketing device and a tool, borrowing from from you guys, has playbookthat we've developed over the past six state...

...months or so and it's a weekly, you know, podcast in which we sit down with starters, entrepreneurs,politicians, really anyone who has started and grown something to some scale, andjust ask them questions about their journey and doing so. I love it.I love it so so, Adam, we're going to be focusing on thepower of ask today. But, like you, you had mentioned offline.You said that it's a little bit misleading, because the first thing that you wantedto talk about was the importance of actually giving first before you ask foranything. This is something I'm super passionate about, but can you expand onthat idea for us? Yeah, I think. I think when we initiallytalked the power of ask with something that just popped it into my head.But as I was thinking through, you know, some talking points for today, it just sort of dawned on me that every time I have made anask or have have, of you know, gone and conquered the fear and madea big request, it's come subsequent to giving a good amount. AndI'll just use the example of how we got connected, James, and that'shad Gary Vander Chuck on the Startup Show, and Gary is a I used towork for him. He's a good guy, good mentor to me,but obviously very, very busy and you know, not easy to nail downfor a podcast, you know, as you know, Yep, and sowhen it came time to ask him, Hey, you know, I'd loveto have you on the show, rather than just send him an email andsaying I've got the show and it would be great if you could come onas a guest. He you know, that was right around when he waslaunching his shoe with with K Swiss. Yeah, and so I had takenthe time, you know, six months prior, to build an audience onthe startup show, to get a lot of people who are entrepreneurially in mindedand interested in that sort of thing listening to the show, and so Iwas able to say hey, you know, would love to have you on theshow specifically because I know you're you're trying to sell out your shoes andforty eight hours and I can help you make a small dent in selling thoseshoes over that forty eight hour window by...

...giving you access to my small butvery loyal podcast audience. Yeah, and so just giving that very specific valuepoint, you know what I mean, and creating that as opposed to justasking. Yeah, I think I'm giving is a key part of the ask. I see it all the time and I think I've got two or threeconnection or best sitting and linkedin right now because I wrote an article earlier thisyear about twenty seven marketing conferences that you should be attending and I published itin my having and post column and you know, Multiple Times a week Iget people emailing me or asking me on Linkedin. Hey, you know,would love for you to feature our conference in that article, and it justto me. It's so baffling to me that you would be so audacious tonot know me at all but ask me to like add your conference to thislist. And if you read the post at all, you'd know that Ididn't come up with those conferences. It was based on a Linkedin Post thatI wrote that where I curated those answers from my network to say, Hey, what are the best marketing conferences you've been to? I'm going to putthis into an article. And so you coming to me and saying hey,can I put this in there? It doesn't even make sense for the contextof the article because it wouldn't be true to it because you, somebody elsedidn't recommend the conference on your behalf in in that post. And so no, I'm not going to put it in there. But to me it seemslike a slam dunk for them to come to me that. It would bemuch more effective if they said hey, James, we're trying to fill speakersfor next year's event. We'd love for you to speak and engage me inthat way because that's actually beneficial to me. And then, Oh, you know, we would love for you to. Now I have a reason to wantto put that conference in the article because I'm going to be speaking atit, and so that that to me just seems like such lowhanging fruit.But it also validates that it is a mindset that is just lost on alot of people. They don't have a they have zero shame and asking withoutgiving anything up front and it really just gets you ignored. I have yetshould had, I have yet to add...

...anyone to to that, to thatlist because of it. And and so I don't know, I totally agree. It's on. You know, I think we're very like minded in thatway. Yeah, and it's a symptom. Sorry, just it's just a symptomthat you see even in more broad marketing, like I was talking yesterdaywith with Jason Zooke, came on the podcast, and something that he pointedout is that, you know, five to seven years ago, the thingsthat we're doing in social media and content and podcasting, the reason they werevaluables because they were different and transparent and and, frankly, just value giving. That weren't there was no expectation and now a lot of the ways thatcompanies look at that type of thing. Even outreached, like because I respectthe move of inboxing direct messaging someone and say hey, I have something thatI think, you know, you would find value, and like that persondid to you on Linkedin. Yeah, the the mistake is forgetting the humanelement, which is like the whole point anyway. So, yeah, totallytotally understand where you come yeah, I respect the move in that you're tryingto accomplish a goal and your and you're you're reaching out and you're asking right, but the only person that gets value out of me putting you in thatarticle is you. Like it's making me do more work because I have togo back and edit the article and I get nothing out of it. SoI was totally transactional. Yeah, it just it just makes no sense tocome to the table with a pure ask that has no benefit to me whatsoever. It just doesn't make any logical sense. And so hopefully, through this showand like the stuff that I'm putting out on Linkedin, it will startto recalibrate the way that people think about this. And obviously, Gary,being a huge proponent, you being a proponent for this mindset. Hopefully,the more people that are out there talking about that kind of a value firstmentality will start to see the tides turning, because it it's it definitely needs tochange. You mentioned something earlier, Adam, that was interesting to me. You talked about kind of overcoming the fear, which is actually the nextthing I wanted to talk to you about. You said, you know, andbe to see. There seems to...

...be no fear in asking, butwith be to be there there is this fear of aside from the folks thatwe were just talking about, to have no shame and in boxing me,asking me to put their conference in my list. But talk to us aboutovercoming that fear. Why do you think that fear is there? Yeah,I think it's interesting. Even in that example, the time that that persondidn't had have fear was when they saw you as a person that could offerthem value, and so they're like, okay, I'm just going to pounceon this and and yeah, I mean there's a there's a billion things wrongwith that. But I think on the the question of overcoming fear and beto be marketing, I just think sometimes we lose sight of the fact thatwe're just still dealing with people. I can be to see it's so obvious. Okay, I'm selling this to a mother who is needs diapers, andso, you know, I can tell her, hey, our diapers arethe best and give us a try and and try this coupon or whatever.Yeah, the big piece might be. And in B Toc, a lotof times, in talking with clients, folks are, you know, viewthe the sea in BTC as like this faceless conglomerate that is just looking toeat you and and destroy your business because they only care about numbers. Andthat's definitely true, but I think more often times than not it's still justpeople sitting at their computer or swiping through facebook who are making these be TOCdecisions. A lot of times, yea, and more so now than ever,like the the old school manufacturing businesses, a lot of which are my clients, have found that their environment has completely changed and they can't just relyon old relationships or whatever. They have to deal with twenty nine year oldprocrament managers. Yeah, and so I guess just keeping that in mind asyou're creating content and as you're going about essentially asking for the opportunity to sellis that the content that you make. Going back to value, should offersome value up front. But don't be afraid that to do something creative ordifferent or to reach out in a DM or whatever as a different tactic,even though it's not a direct transactional sale,...

...because they're still somebody else at theother end of that mess such a lot of times. What do youthink the balance is? You know, I've heard Gary talk about how hewishes that he would have added a few more jabs into the title of Hisbook, Jab Jab Jab Right, because he just he just believes that givingmore than you take is, yeah, fundamental to his own success. Isthere a cadence that you've found? Where do you think people constrike that balanceof giving but then also asking? Hmm, I mean for me, and Iprobably are on the like. The fact that I even brought up fearas a talking point for this podcast is I probably are on being too afraidto ask Yali ever, and so I'll often do things, for instance tostart up show. You know, we created that and as a value pointand is something to give our community and to build a community around, withoutreally totally understanding how it was ever going to come back to us. Andyou know, we had some ideas of who are audiences, and I knowwe'll talk about that in a second, but ultimately it was just like wefelt like this was something we needed to do and to create and, youknow, hopefully it will. There will be an opportunity for us to benefitas well over time. And I think something you know, I totally getpeople who work for big companies or for you can't just be altruistic and belike, yeah, I'm going to do this great thing and don't worry,boss, it's going to come back to us. Yeah, but I dothink that, you know, even in the way that we sell and inthe way that we service our customers, just just setting that number aside,and I don't have a cadence for you per se, but just really focusingon that human element. I I've said the word human too many times hispodcast right. I feel like it's just a something that's lost and something that, you know, as marketers and is as leaders on the digital forefront,we are the ones to bring that back because we are the ones pushing digitalas well. Got It. So this last thing we're going to talk about, Adam, is this idea of reverse...

...engineering what you want. I wasjust talking to young guy today at lunch and he's like, yeah, I'veheard Gary talk about reverse engineering, but what does that actually mean from yourperspective, Adam? What does it look like to reverse engineer the results thatyou want? Yeah, I think, you know, reverse engineers like afun way to say it. I think it's really just thinking about the outcomeor the the business benefit prior to doing things. So there's just such anemphasis today on go, do, go, execute, go, try, gofail, and I agree a thousand percent with all of that. ButI think in our effort to grow social followings and to, you know,carve out a space of the internet or whatever for ourselves in order to createa business, we forget the business. Yeah, so, you know,for us, reverse engineering the startup show for our actual business, looks likehaving conversations, creating content that listen. Startup show is kind of a misnomerbecause our content, although it's relevant for startups, it's not actually mostly consumedby people who are who are executing in a startup environment. Most of themare working for businesses, working as marketers, working in on growth teams and areinterested in the content or the culture or the ideas that come out ofstartups, and so listening to our podcast is helpful for them because they getto hear from entrepreneurs. We have built businesses and things like that. Butultimately the audience is our customer, you know, at the end of theday. And so yeah, I guess not just creating for the sake ofcreating. I mean you can, and that's that's art and that's a hobbyfor a lot of us. But if it's if it's in this idea ofhow can we grow, how can we use asking and giving in order togrow our businesses? Just make sure you know what you're actually asking for.Yeah, prior I think that's you know, I think that's a mistake that somany people make. A friend of mine and my business partner and anotherbusiness Stephen Mackie, I was actually interviewing him this morning and he said youdon't have to be popular to be profitable.

And he was done six figures andrevenue in the first six months of his business and will be on ison track to do a quarter million in the first year, which is crazyto me, but he was. He reverse engineered exactly what he wanted tohappen. He knew that he was selling a video based character development curriculum tohigh school coaches and athletic directors, and so he reversed. Engineer heard andsaid, okay, I'm going to start a podcast called coach three hundred andsixty, where I'm going to interview coaches and athletic directors on my show andbuild one to one relationships. Then I'm going to put out content on twitterevery single day that's relevant to coaches and athletic directors. Then I'm going toengage in twitter chats that they're where they're involved. And so he does.He doesn't need a hundred thousand followers. He's built a six figure business onthe on the back of being very targeted and extremely focused on exactly who heknows can pay him money. And so the same in your case, knowing, Hey, we're doing things that we know are going to put us infront of the exact type of people that can buy our thing, and andthat's what matters. Like the follower counts and stuff are great, but youknow, I just love that saying you don't need to be popular to beprofitable. So that's been resonating with me ever, ever since this morning,and I think what you're saying is completely in congruns with that. Adam.I want to close the interview with with one last question to allow our listenersto get to know you on a little bit deeper level. What would yousay is the legacy that you want to leave? Yeah, it's really scaredwhen I saw this one comes through. It's about I'm not going to overthinkit. Yeah, I mean, if I have any legacy at all thatpeople remember like that is that's great and I'll be super honored by it.I think that what I'm going through right now. I'm very new to this. I'm, you know, like we talked about earlier, nine months in. Yeah, and so I think legacy is something to look at down theroad, but I just would love to be somebody who can offer some guidepoststo the next person who who's looking to pursue the dream, whatever that is. And you know, I think the...

...show is doing that a lot ofcases and the business is doing that for some, for some older companies thatare trying to expand in the way that they think and it's pretty cool tosee people begin to achieve things that they didn't think we're possible and that's that'sa fun thing to be a part of. I love it. Adam. Ifsomebody listening to this wants to stay connected with you, they want tolearn more about straffire media or the startup show, what's the best way forthem to go bout doing that? Yeah, they can follow me on twitter atAdam Bestque as Vazquez, or always happy to just email with people.I like to email Adam at Straf fire, Stra a firecom. Love it awesome, Adam, what thank you so much for your time today. Man, this has been awesome. Thanks, Jane's. Really appreciate it. Ifyou're a be tob marketer, we want to feature you on sites like HuffingtonPost, social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send out a questionrelated to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questionsto fuel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over tosweet fish MEDIACOM backslash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much forlistening. Until next time,.

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