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 partner could be a game changer for any Bob Company. So what if you could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster than ever? Learn more at sweetish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the be tob 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 BEDB growth show. We are here today with Adam Vasquez. He's the CO founder at straffire media. He's also the host 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 of ask 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 us a little bit about Straf fire media and and your podcast. To startup show. Yeah, that K makes all the difference. But yeah, so stre fire media, we are a BB marketing company. We work primarily with be to be organizations in creating digital content with that's video, websites, really whatever, 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 of companies across manufacturing, distribution, tech, etcetera, and just try to figure out how to get them further get their customers further up the funnel and and create new business for them. And then the startup show is kind of a marketing device and a tool, borrowing from from you guys, has playbook that 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, and just 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 the power 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 wanted to talk about was the importance of actually giving first before you ask for anything. This is something I'm super passionate about, but can you expand on that idea for us? Yeah, I think. I think when we initially talked 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 an ask or have have, of you know, gone and conquered the fear and made a big request, it's come subsequent to giving a good amount. And I'll just use the example of how we got connected, James, and that's had Gary Vander Chuck on the Startup Show, and Gary is a I used to work for him. He's a good guy, good mentor to me, but obviously very, very busy and you know, not easy to nail down for a podcast, you know, as you know, Yep, and so when it came time to ask him, Hey, you know, I'd love to have you on the show, rather than just send him an email and saying I've got the show and it would be great if you could come on as a guest. He you know, that was right around when he was launching his shoe with with K Swiss. Yeah, and so I had taken the time, you know, six months prior, to build an audience on the startup show, to get a lot of people who are entrepreneurially in minded and interested in that sort of thing listening to the show, and so I was able to say hey, you know, would love to have you on the show specifically because I know you're you're trying to sell out your shoes and forty eight hours and I can help you make a small dent in selling those shoes over that forty eight hour window by...

...giving you access to my small but very loyal podcast audience. Yeah, and so just giving that very specific value point, you know what I mean, and creating that as opposed to just asking. 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 three connection or best sitting and linkedin right now because I wrote an article earlier this year about twenty seven marketing conferences that you should be attending and I published it in my having and post column and you know, Multiple Times a week I get people emailing me or asking me on Linkedin. Hey, you know, would love for you to feature our conference in that article, and it just to me. It's so baffling to me that you would be so audacious to not know me at all but ask me to like add your conference to this list. And if you read the post at all, you'd know that I didn't come up with those conferences. It was based on a Linkedin Post that I 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 put this 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 context of the article because it wouldn't be true to it because you, somebody else didn'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 seems like a slam dunk for them to come to me that. It would be much more effective if they said hey, James, we're trying to fill speakers for next year's event. We'd love for you to speak and engage me in that 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 want to put that conference in the article because I'm going to be speaking at it, 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 a lot of people. They don't have a they have zero shame and asking without giving anything up front and it really just gets you ignored. I have yet should had, I have yet to add...

...anyone to to that, to that list 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 that way. Yeah, and it's a symptom. Sorry, just it's just a symptom that you see even in more broad marketing, like I was talking yesterday with with Jason Zooke, came on the podcast, and something that he pointed out is that, you know, five to seven years ago, the things that we're doing in social media and content and podcasting, the reason they were valuables 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 that companies look at that type of thing. Even outreached, like because I respect the move of inboxing direct messaging someone and say hey, I have something that I think, you know, you would find value, and like that person did to you on Linkedin. Yeah, the the mistake is forgetting the human element, which is like the whole point anyway. So, yeah, totally totally understand where you come yeah, I respect the move in that you're trying to 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 that article is you. Like it's making me do more work because I have to go back and edit the article and I get nothing out of it. So I was totally transactional. Yeah, it just it just makes no sense to come 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 show and like the stuff that I'm putting out on Linkedin, it will start to 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 first mentality will start to see the tides turning, because it it's it definitely needs to change. You mentioned something earlier, Adam, that was interesting to me. You talked about kind of overcoming the fear, which is actually the next thing I wanted to talk to you about. You said, you know, and be to see. There seems to...

...be no fear in asking, but with be to be there there is this fear of aside from the folks that we 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 about overcoming that fear. Why do you think that fear is there? Yeah, I think it's interesting. Even in that example, the time that that person didn't had have fear was when they saw you as a person that could offer them value, and so they're like, okay, I'm just going to pounce on this and and yeah, I mean there's a there's a billion things wrong with that. But I think on the the question of overcoming fear and be to be marketing, I just think sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we'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, and so, you know, I can tell her, hey, our diapers are the best and give us a try and and try this coupon or whatever. Yeah, the big piece might be. And in B Toc, a lot of times, in talking with clients, folks are, you know, view the the sea in BTC as like this faceless conglomerate that is just looking to eat you and and destroy your business because they only care about numbers. And that's definitely true, but I think more often times than not it's still just people sitting at their computer or swiping through facebook who are making these be TOC decisions. 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 rely on old relationships or whatever. They have to deal with twenty nine year old procrament managers. Yeah, and so I guess just keeping that in mind as you're creating content and as you're going about essentially asking for the opportunity to sell is that the content that you make. Going back to value, should offer some value up front. But don't be afraid that to do something creative or different 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 the other end of that mess such a lot of times. What do you think the balance is? You know, I've heard Gary talk about how he wishes that he would have added a few more jabs into the title of His book, Jab Jab Jab Right, because he just he just believes that giving more than you take is, yeah, fundamental to his own success. Is there a cadence that you've found? Where do you think people constrike that balance of giving but then also asking? Hmm, I mean for me, and I probably are on the like. The fact that I even brought up fear as a talking point for this podcast is I probably are on being too afraid to ask Yali ever, and so I'll often do things, for instance to start up show. You know, we created that and as a value point and is something to give our community and to build a community around, without really totally understanding how it was ever going to come back to us. And you know, we had some ideas of who are audiences, and I know we'll talk about that in a second, but ultimately it was just like we felt like this was something we needed to do and to create and, you know, hopefully it will. There will be an opportunity for us to benefit as well over time. And I think something you know, I totally get people who work for big companies or for you can't just be altruistic and be like, 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 do think that, you know, even in the way that we sell and in the 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 focusing on that human element. I I've said the word human too many times his podcast 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 digital as well. Got It. So this last thing we're going to talk about, Adam, is this idea of reverse...

...engineering what you want. I was just talking to young guy today at lunch and he's like, yeah, I've heard Gary talk about reverse engineering, but what does that actually mean from your perspective, Adam? What does it look like to reverse engineer the results that you want? Yeah, I think, you know, reverse engineers like a fun way to say it. I think it's really just thinking about the outcome or the the business benefit prior to doing things. So there's just such an emphasis today on go, do, go, execute, go, try, go fail, and I agree a thousand percent with all of that. But I 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 create a business, we forget the business. Yeah, so, you know, for us, reverse engineering the startup show for our actual business, looks like having conversations, creating content that listen. Startup show is kind of a misnomer because our content, although it's relevant for startups, it's not actually mostly consumed by people who are who are executing in a startup environment. Most of them are working for businesses, working as marketers, working in on growth teams and are interested in the content or the culture or the ideas that come out of startups, and so listening to our podcast is helpful for them because they get to hear from entrepreneurs. We have built businesses and things like that. But ultimately the audience is our customer, you know, at the end of the day. And so yeah, I guess not just creating for the sake of creating. I mean you can, and that's that's art and that's a hobby for a lot of us. But if it's if it's in this idea of how can we grow, how can we use asking and giving in order to grow 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 so many people make. A friend of mine and my business partner and another business Stephen Mackie, I was actually interviewing him this morning and he said you don't have to be popular to be profitable.

And he was done six figures and revenue in the first six months of his business and will be on is on track to do a quarter million in the first year, which is crazy to me, but he was. He reverse engineered exactly what he wanted to happen. He knew that he was selling a video based character development curriculum to high school coaches and athletic directors, and so he reversed. Engineer heard and said, okay, I'm going to start a podcast called coach three hundred and sixty, where I'm going to interview coaches and athletic directors on my show and build one to one relationships. Then I'm going to put out content on twitter every single day that's relevant to coaches and athletic directors. Then I'm going to engage 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 on the on the back of being very targeted and extremely focused on exactly who he knows 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 in front of the exact type of people that can buy our thing, and and that's what matters. Like the follower counts and stuff are great, but you know, I just love that saying you don't need to be popular to be profitable. 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 listeners to get to know you on a little bit deeper level. What would you say is the legacy that you want to leave? Yeah, it's really scared when I saw this one comes through. It's about I'm not going to overthink it. Yeah, I mean, if I have any legacy at all that people 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 the road, but I just would love to be somebody who can offer some guideposts to 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 of cases and the business is doing that for some, for some older companies that are trying to expand in the way that they think and it's pretty cool to see people begin to achieve things that they didn't think we're possible and that's that's a fun thing to be a part of. I love it. Adam. If somebody listening to this wants to stay connected with you, they want to learn more about straffire media or the startup show, what's the best way for them to go bout doing that? Yeah, they can follow me on twitter at Adam 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. If you're a be tob marketer, we want to feature you on sites like Huffington Post, social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send out a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish MEDIACOM backslash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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