BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: We're Building a Category (and Why You Should Too)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, James and Logan explain the thought process behind creating the Content-Based Networking category.

Are you trying to establish your brand as a thought leader? Start a PODCAST, invite industry experts to be guests on your show and watch your brand become the prime resource for decision makers in your industry. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary vanner truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics. They're building the fastest growing BETB companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweet fish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the cohosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business. Will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to another behind the curtains episode of BTB growth. My name is James Carberry. I am here with Logan Lyles. Logan, how you doing it? I'm doing awesome today, James. How are you, man? I am a really, really good so if you haven't listened to any of these episodes before, I like doing just a brief explanation of what the behind the curtains series is. So most of our content is, you know, is interviews with sales and marketing leaders at fast growing be to be companies. But a few times, either once or twice a week, usually logan and I try to jump back and talk about our own business, talk about sweet fish, how we're learning, how we're growing, and this episode we are going to be talking about the fact that sweet fish is creating a category. This is something that I have...

...been thinking about a lot lately. Logan, I know you have been thinking about this idea a lot lately, but it's really been influenced by a few pieces of content that I have consumed lately. One is an episode of a new show called be to be creatives that Anthony Canada over at gainsite is is putting together and he interviewed Keith Croc, who's the Docu signed chairman. Keith has actually created four different categories at four different companies and it's just a fascinating conversation. It's on Youtube itunes. If you just look up be to be creatives, you'll find that piece of content. So you and I both, you know, Logan, listen. Listen to that piece of content. I've also been reading some books about category creation lately. Both books, but written by a guy named Christopher Lockhead, who we've actually had on BB growth in the past, but he wrote a book called play bigger. He also wrote a book called Niche down. It really just talks about this, the concept that when you create a category, you more often than not the lion share of the resources go to the company that creates the category. Loogan, what's your take on category creation as as we've been digging into it the last couple months? Yeah, I really liked some of the things that Keith CROC from Docu sign shared as Anthony was interviewing him on that first episode of be to be creatives, and one of the things I really key to in on that he mentioned was, you know, creating a category doesn't default you as the category king, but it is a heck of a lot easier to be a king of a category when you create it. And if that's the case and you become king of that category, most of the resources, I think he mentioned something like eighty percent, tend to go to the category King. So just setting yourself up for success in the future, and obviously he's done it...

...multiple times. So taking some advice to heart that I thought was pretty telling from that interview. You know, a book that I've read in the past that I think a lot of entrepreneurs have gained some benefit from is called blue ocean strategy and basically it talks about this idea of, you know, not swimming among the rocks where competitors are fighting tooth and nail and everyone's getting bloodied up, but taking the time to swim out to calm our waters where there's not as much competition. It takes work to get there, but the again, setting yourself up for success in an area where there isn't as much competition or there's a better way to be able to stand out from the competition. You know, it takes some time to swim out there, but that idea, you know, has really been resonating with you and I as we're thinking about the stage that we are at in sweetfish and how do we take it to the next level, how do we reach that next level of scale? So some of those things have just been, you know, percolating for a bit. Yeah, and speaking of of that Logan, we've actually been trying to swim in a couple of existing categories and it's just I can speak firsthand to how difficult it is, I mean with with our service, you know, US being a podcast agency. You know we we've tried swimming in the in the content marketing category, but there are a lot of, you know, content marketing agencies out there. There's a lot of content marketing technology out there. It's a very crowded and developed category. So about a year or so ago we started trying to swim in the ABM category. Again, both of those categories not categories that we started, that we are the king of. We were just trying to swim in somebody else's category. The ABM Ang will be being, you know, using the podcasts as a means of connecting with your ideal clients, with potential customers, by asking them to be a guest on on your podcast, and so I thought that made a lot of...

...sense from an alignment perspective. But again, those are not categories that we own. So we're just, you know, kind of these little fishies swimming in this massively competitive ocean that is tough to stand out in. And so you and I talking through really it was. It was while we were at flip my funnel a couple weeks ago. I knew that we wanted to build a category, but we really fleshed out of what what it was going to look like. And before I announce kind of what the the name of our category is and the definition of the category that that we're going to be creating, I want to give a little bit of background, is to to really the problem that I see that exists that led us to creating this category. There's so many people out there that will really I don't know if I can find anybody that will disagree with that, saying it's not what you know, but who you know. It's something that I've heard since I was young, that it relationships or what matter, and I want to tell just a little story about probably the most instrumental relationship really in my life. Back in two thousand and eight my roommates brother in law want to sweepstakes. I and some of you listening to this may have already heard the story, but my roommates brother in law won the sweepstakes through all tell, the old phone company, and it was one of those you know things you see on TV that's like, you know, text five five all tell to, you know, win all expense trip to a professional football game of your choice. It's one of those things that you see in you like and nobody actually wins those. Well, my roommates brotherinlaw actually won that giveaway and got to take nine friends with him to New York City to go watch a giants cowboys game. And so I get the phone call from my buddy been, who was the you know, his brother inlaw. One a his brother in law didn't have a lot of friends in the area, he was new to the area and and so he asked his brother in law like Hey, get some of your buddies together,...

...we're going to go see this football game. And so I get the call in Myky you know, they've been asked me, do you want to take a private jet to New York City? To watch a giant's gatways game and I'm just flipping out like this, this can't be real, like this is a joke and ends up being a very real thing. We get off the jet in New York City and it was a day trip. So we get there that morning. We get off the jet, Barry Sanders is there to greet us, which was just unreal. is most prolific running back to ever play in the NFL. And we turn around and there's a LIMO bus ready to pick us up to take us on a tour of New York City behind a police escort. And and so we go to Time Square and Carnegie Delhi and a lunch and, did you know, went and saw the sites in New York City and this limo bus with a police escort and and all throughout the day there was this guy named Jeff and Jeff was with us to making sure we got from point a to point B to point see, and it was just most seamless transportation I'd ever experienced ever, especially in such a congested area, and I just hit it off with Jeff. I just assumed jeff worked for all tell I would wasn't really thinking anything of it. So I hit it off. We talked about faith, family, business life and again just thought Jeff was a great guy. Didn't really think anything of it. WE END UP JEFF goes to the game with us that night and we're in a sweet, you know, watching giants. The giants play the cowboys. At the sweet next to us is actually Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was in the suite right next to us. It was so it's just phenomenal experience. I end up talking to jeff the entire night basically, and at the end of the night we swapped contact information and I didn't really think anything was going to happen. But as it turns out, Jeff Wasn't just an employee of all tell. Actually wasn't employed at all. He owns a global logistics company that all tell hired and Jeff happened to be in New York City at the time of our trip, so he decided to kind of be the on site person, you managing the logistics for our trip,...

...and so I was like, oh my gosh, when I saw his business card, I was like this guy owns like a legit, like glow noble company, and so so I was a little bit taken aback and and I'm honestly glad that I found out at the end of the night because I was super nervous, like, oh my gosh, this guy's kind of a big deal. And so we ended up staying in contact. About a year later he asked me to go and work an event for him out in Las Vegas. About three months after that he asked me to move to Orlando to run the helicopter division of his company, to help run the helicopter division of his logistics company. So ended up doing helicopter logistics for Nascar, because NASCAR was one of his biggest clients at the time, and it changed the trajectory of my entire life. It moved me from Oklahoma to Orlando. Orlando is where I then met my wife. Working for Jeff is what ultimately gave me the idea of pursuing entrepreneurship, as you really as a career and as a way to make a living. Had I not work for Jeff, I would never even thought that owning my own business was a possibility. So that single relationship with Jeff change the trajectory of my entire life and as I think about that, you know, it's not what you know, it's who you know. You know, I didn't get a degree in logistics or in, you know, helicopters. I got that helicopter logistics role because of who I knew. But as I kind of as I think about that more and more, the way I met Jeff was based on serendipity and, you know, I how would also say God's sovereignty. But I think there are lots of other ways to reverse engineer the right types of relationships that you're looking to build, and I think the category that we're building basically outlines one way that you can do that. And so, you know, Drum Roll, here, here, Logan, I want to announce that we are we are starting the category...

...and the name of this category is content based networking, and the definition of the category is using content collaboration as a way to build business relationships. And so it's what we've been doing for years. Yeah, growth, by asking our ideal clients but to greferral partners, other thought leaders in the space that we want to have relationships with, by asking them to be a guest on B tob growth. We've been able to create hundreds of relationships in the very short amount of time. But what I want people to understand here is that this category is much bigger than just how we're using podcasts. I think they're enormous number of examples of how you can do this right. You've even done it in other ways other than podcasting and I think you kind of had, you know, a short list you wanted to share to ry James. Yeah, so podcast obviously being one way that you can create these relationships by collaborating with people, but virtual summits, I mean that's how, ultimately, you found us, through a virtual summit that we did, and so it was a different spin. It wasn't necessarily a podcast, but it was similar kind of audio based content. Webinars, I think, are a great way to collaborate with with people, to create relationships with them. Blog posts, so written content, if you if you go out and invite someone to interview them so that you can write a blog post about the content that you worked with them on. I just this just happened to me a couple weeks ago. Somebody reached out and they wanted to interview me for for a blog post that they were writing publication features. This is something I did a lot back when I was writing for the Huffington Post, I reached out to a lot of CMOS, marketing executives at larger companies that weren't necessarily interested in being a guest on our podcast, but they were very interested in being featured in my hufband and post column, and so by reaching out to them and saying hey,...

I want to I want to write an article about you in the Huffington Post, it allowed me to create a relationship with them that I would then able, you know, they have been able to nurture into now you know. Now I have friends that are, if fairies, you know, senior level marketers at large companies. Because of that up post series that I did, think video series. I think with with the rise of video and people trying to figure out, you know, what the right use cases for video and how to do it, I think a brilliant use case is what, you know, really what Anthony Canada is doing with the BDB creative series. They're doing this very high end, almost like Netflix, quality video series called be Tob creatives. They're repurposing it and a podcast content and and other types of content as well. But if you look at the videos, it's not just these talking head videos. There's lots of angles and it's a really well produced video series and I don't know if Anthony is necessarily using it to try to connect with this target accounts or not, but he absolutely could be. I would imagine that, you know, him interviewing Keith CROC from Docu sign, somebody from gainsight having a relationship with Docu sign is probably a pretty fruitful relationship for gain site, I would imagine. And then documentaries, I think, are another type of content that we can create with our ideal clients. Now these to make a documentary similar to what envision did or what cyber reason did while Mike Volpi was there. I think it obviously you know, I would imagine that investment would be north of a hundred thousand dollars, if I'm guessing on what it would take to pull off like a quality documentary. But if you can partner with, you know, industry leaders, potential clients to create that documentary, that collaboration process of creating content with someone, it can be a lengthy process and in the midst of creating a documentary, I would imagine that there are there's lots of communication that has to happen back and forth to create a piece of content like that, you have, through the course of...

...that communication and all the back and forth, you wind up, you know, looking up and having a legitimate relationship with those people that you collaborated with. So there are lots of different ways to do content base networking, podcasting being, in my opinion, that the easiest way, the the the most frictionless way to do that, because it's just having a conversation using a tool like uber conference or something like that. But I think there are lots of different ways to do it. But Man, I'm so excited to finally named the category and, yeah, defined the category, because I think it's going to be a game changer for our business. Yeah, and it was so fun, you know, sitting together in Boston kind of playing with different ideas and ways to really communicate this. But I mean it was so top of mind that, you know, you and I, we went to the conference being put on by Terminus to flip my funnel conference in Boston, instead of just kind of wandering around and hoping that we connected with some of the right people. Before we went to that conference, we set up lunches, dinners and interviews to make sure that we had a chance to connect with the people that we most wanted to connect with. And as we were, you know, figuring out where's the media room and where we going to do this interview and Oh, they needed to move it. You know, I walked around with marketing leaders as we tried to find the room. We texted back and forth and I'm a big believer in the old saying that you know, shared experiences deep in relationships and not. This just lines up with that so much that, you know, as we started talking about it more and more, it just made a whole lot of sense. You know, I'm obviously thankful that your relationship with Jeff happened out of serendipity and and your entrepreneurial drive that came out of that, or the direction that came out of that, you know, led you to create this company that now I'm a part of. I know your wife is thankful for that, that you ended up in Orlando. But, like you said, not not just relying on on chance but seeing where you want to go. And, like you said, there are...

...a number of different ways, from very inexpensive to, you know, very long thought out and more of an investment but depending on where you are and where you want to go, there's a lot within this category that you can take a hold of. Yeah, I'm so excited about this. Man, to give people just a few other examples of categories, and you know, I know a lot of a lot of people listening to this or in the BDB tech space. So when you think about category creation, and really these are the folks that that you and I, Logan, are are looking at in terms of almost like the the folk showing us the way, kind of mentoring us in how to design and build a category, I think of companies like terminus and the you know them creating, really establishing the ABM category and seeing how quickly they've grown as a result of creating that category. And I look at Gainsite, you know Anthony Kidd, I mentioned him before doing the BB creatives series, but they really created, they designed and built the customer success category and their technology is explosively growing. I believe it's because they are the category king. They created that success category. And then I look at drift and drift really recently, you know, defining the category that they're building of conversational marketing. And while you and I were at the flip my phone conference a few weeks ago, you know, heard people talking from stage about the category. They didn't mention drift, if I'm remembering right, but they talked about conversational marketing and I can almost guarantee that every single person in that room, as soon as they said conversational marketing, thought of drift, right because drift created that category. And so those are just just three examples in our little ecosystem here of you know, bbtech. A lot of folks listening to this thinking about you know, okay, what you know? If these guys are building a category called content, base networking, what can be the category that you create if you're swimming in hyper competitive waters? Would challenge you...

...to think through creating your own category and standing out in that way by defining, designing and building your own category. It is something we have chosen to do. We're really excited about and I think our business is going to experience enormous growth as a result. So, as always, Logan and I would love to connect with you, Logan Lyles, James carberry on Linkedin. Logan at Sweetish Mediacom, James A sweetish Mediacom. We love connecting with our listeners. Thank you so much for tuning in, Logan, thank you for your time. Stoke to do this again next week and you've been and this is exciting to share with our audience and I really enjoyed the conversation as always. Man, there are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the bed growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, we'll talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a B tob growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time, I.

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