S’Mores, By FIRESIDE

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July 29, 2020  

Dave Karraker, President at Raptor Communications

“This is not your black employees’ problem to fix for you.” Dive in as Dave Karraker, President at Raptor Communications reveals guidelines businesses can use to decide if and when to insert their brand’s narrative into today’s crises. With deep roots in Communications, including 12 years under his belt at Campari, Dave discusses the death of traditional PR and the birth of brand storytelling designed to exist in different communication environments. 

 

Booze, video games, and retail weave their way into Dave's background as he summarizes his work as the Head of PR or Communications with various brands such as Sega, Skyy Vodka, and Martha Stewart. Dave walks you through uncovering all the nuggets needed to build a story that no one else is telling and how to manage crises. Today, Dave is engrossed in helping companies navigate through the current climate and yet he still finds time to enjoy managing his Oops I’m Gay t-shirt store on Etsy

 

In this episode, Dave identifies his core beliefs about the difference between traditional PR and brand storytelling. While identifying best practices businesses can implement to stand out from their competitors, Dave explains how to become your own Nancy Drew or Sherlock Holmes to determine if your business can be inserted into today’s biggest stories such as #BlackLivesMatter. 

 

Do you know what your consumers are expecting of you? Listen in as Dave tackles ways to identify when is the right time to speak and if you have the right resources. Dave provides insight on how to evaluate if your consumers and employees expect you to insert your brand into the narrative and if your values are strong enough to direct your actions during a crisis. Dave shows why this is important as he speaks about the “Millennial Cohort” and how they rank companies by their purpose and values. 

 

Dave’s foresight into the reassurances employees need from those though who are taking the lead strengthens the importance of strong company values. Looking at a brand through the lens of a human being, Dave identifies ways to imagine how your company should feel, react, and speak. Dave also outlines ways to assess risk and find proof points of your company’s values.

 

Later, Dave addresses brand authenticity, how he’s managed his company through the COVID-19 pandemic, and good and bad examples of brands who have spoken out during different crises. Tune in as Dave provides use cases of companies who clapped back at angry people on the internet while others were silent as the internet took a stand for them. 

 

In this Episode:

  • Oops I’m Gay Store - Ironic T-shirts For Our Times (1:07)
  • Dave’s background in communications  (3:33)
  • What's the real role of communications and PR? (7:13)
  • Raptors, diving into the story of what the brand is telling (8:28)
  • What your consumers are expecting of you (15:00)
  • How should small businesses handle the #BLM movement?  (18:26)
  • Purpose and the millennial audience (22:54)
  • True leaders who absorb and fix problems personally (28:20)
  • The Evolution of a Diversity Officer (29:43)
  • Jim Beam’s narrative during #BlackLivesMatter (37:30)
  • Small business owners assessing risk (44:06)

 

Quotes: 

  • “Ironic gay-themed t-shirts, that’s where I’m going to make all my money.”
  • “We’re gonna find that one story no one is telling.”
  • “That’s not a value, that’s fake.”
  • “We are them and they are us.”
  • “The majority of the internet is the vocal minority.”
  • “The angriest people on the internet aren’t your customers.”

 

Links Mentioned: 

July 15, 2020  

Zahi, Tour Guide Business Owner in Fes, Morocco

Like many of us, Zahi is an accomplished entrepreneur and small business owner with a background in a completely different field. Zahi began working in healthcare, but his insight and vision led him to be the first guide on Airbnb Experiences in Morocco

Born and raised in Fez, Zahi is excited to meet new people from other countries. His career as a tour guide provides a platform for him to engage in an interchange of cultures and traditions with people from all over the world. Zahi walks visitors through a path of time to discover the hidden secrets of Fez and its inspiring culture, food, locals, lifestyle, artisanal handicrafts, and beyond.

In this episode, Zahi prepares you for your future visit as you walk over 60km (37mi) in his shoes. Fall into the city of Fez, Morocco, a city more than 1200 years old with over 9000 small streets crafted into a historical maze. See the artisans and children weave in and out of their compassionate city while the aroma of argan oil fills the air. 

Additionally, Zahi provides a history of how he was an integral part of Airbnb Experience beginning in Fez. Zahi also addresses the challenges of becoming an official tour guide and finding customers. Further, he expands and compares the compensation of tour guides to other occupations in Fez. Seeing the Moroccan economy through Zahi’s eyes paints a comprehensive picture of why the struggle to find customers is worth every effort. 

Later, catch the inside story of how COVID-19 has affected the Moroccan economy, the tourism industry, and Zahi’s business. Zahi explains the Moroccon Government’s response and how the tourism industry has been affected. Learn how Zahi’s flexibility in using his education rooted in technology is opening up new opportunities for him to explore dropshipping and exporting Moroccon treasures. Yet, Zahi also tells the heart-rending story of how many of his colleagues are struggling to replace their income. 

Each story that Zahi tells breathes to life into the resilience and kindness of the people of Fez. Listen in as Zahi describes Fez as the quintessential destination of exploration and historical secrets. As Zahi speaks, imagine the maze of the Medina and the generous spirit of the people. 

Stay tuned as Zahi describes the Moroccan philosophy and how it molds their spirit to motivate them as they come to the aid of anyone without being asked. 

 

In this Episode:

  • Beginnings of Airbnb in Morocco (1:43)
  • Zahi’s walking tours schedule  (2:32)
  • Fez’s economy (4:00)
  • The Medina and the streets of Fes (5:05)
  • Zahi’s background and beginnings in becoming an official tour guide (6:23)
  • Zahi’s quest for customers (11:04)
  • Occupations and salaries in Fez (13:35)
  • Morocco’s approach to dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic (16:22)
  • How Zahi’s is overcoming business challenges during COVID-19 (23:27)
  • What to expect on holiday in Fez (28:33)
  • The people and the philosophy in Morocco (32:15)  

 

Quotes: 

  • “The oldest city in the world is presented with the most modern opportunity.”
  • “They are just tour guides, they don’t have this thinking to find another option to live.”
  • “We have a very old story.”
  • “Here in Morocco, you can find everything.”
  • “You don’t give tea to people, you offer happiness.”

 

Links Mentioned: 

Zahi’s Airbnb Experience - Fès 

See how Moroccon Oil has affected the beauty industry in Episode #0008 

Zahi talks COVID-19 in Morocco - also hear Jeremy Jacobs in episode #0009 talk COVID-19 and business in the UK

Dax is a Partner @ FIRESIDE. Learn more about our marketing services for small business owners.

Find Dax on LinkedIn

Book a free call with FIRESIDE to talk about your marketing needs

Find more S’Mores episodes

Podcast production provided by FIRESIDE

July 14, 2020  

Jeremy Jacobs, Owner of Raise Bakery

Jeremy Jacobs is the owner of Raise Bakery, a family-run business in Sussex creating mouthwatering cakes that take classic British influences and give them an American twist. He has a love for all things food, especially cake. Being taught how to make the perfect sponge cake at a very young age gave him the start in life he needed to run a bakery.

In this episode, Jeremy explains the drive behind his entrepreneurial spirit. Jeremy knew he wanted to run his own business when he realized that he could do everything better than his bosses. He doesn’t like being told what to do or being controlled by others. Jeremy’s bosses would probably say that he was a pain in the ass to work with. At sixteen, Jeremy built his first website – he has always had the drive to work on his own.

Then, Jeremy speaks about landing a deal with Virgin Airlines. Jeremy says that Virgin Airlines found Raise Bakery from an advertisement on Google. Plus, the Raise Bakery website tells you everything that you need to know without having to speak to anyone – they always get loads of compliments about it. 

Raise Bakery scored a daily 5,000 cupcake deal with the airline. When Jeremy landed the Virgin deal, they needed to spend $150,000 scaling the bakery. At the time, Jeremy didn’t have the confidence to reach out to people and ask for help. Now, Jeremy likes to help struggling business owners have enough courage to ask for help.

Plus, Jeremy reveals the details of his Cupcake Wars experience. Unfortunately, they did not win – but they did get second place! The judges said that it was their most prolonged deliberation ever. 

Later, Jeremy speaks about the effects of COVID-19 on Raise Bakery. Virtually, COVID-19 completely destroyed the business in one day. All of Jeremy’s customers have closed their doors – everything dried up for Raise Bakery. They are expecting their customers to come back, but it’s a matter of when and to what level. 

Jeremy keeps four months of income in the bank. Fortunately, that money bought Raise Bakery some time during COVID-19. Also, the government was able to prevent unemployment for businesses and pay eighty percent of furloughed workers’ salaries. Jeremy says it was straightforward to make a business claim and receive assistance.

Stay tuned as Jeremy speaks about his MBA program and how language can play a role in your business mindset.
 

In this Episode: 

  • About Jeremy Jacobs [ 1:40 ]
  • Getting a contract with Virgin Airlines [ 7:20 ]
  • About being on Cupcake Wars [ 15:30 ]
  • Why we all have a money ceiling [ 18:30 ]
  • How Jeremy had his head in the sand when scaling Raise Bakery [ 21:25 ]
  • How COVID-19 has affected Raise Bakery [ 25:00 ]
  • The support Raise Bakery received during COVID-19 [ 29:45 ]
  • About firing employees in the UK [ 35:25 ]
  • How Jeremy’s MBA has changed during COVID-19 [ 38:15 ]
  • How language can play a role in your business mindset [ 42:45 ]

 

Quotes: 

  • “If someone else can do it, then I can figure it out.”
  • “It’s okay to ask for help.”
  • “I learned to keep money in the bank.”
  • “Everything I know about business I learned from experience or Google.”
  • “We can’t continue to consume food the way we are – it’s unsustainable.”

 

Links Mentioned: 

Find Jeremy on Facebook 

Check out Raise Bakery

Infographic showing small business confusion for SBA PPP Loans

Cookie Jar Business Consulting

Dax is a Partner @ FIRESIDE. Learn more about our marketing services for small business owners.

Find Dax on LinkedIn

Book a free call with FIRESIDE to talk about your marketing needs

Find more S’Mores episodes

Podcast production by FIRESIDE

June 13, 2020  

Nine Morrison, Founder of WedLocks

Eighty percent of stylists don’t like the bridal industry and don’t do it. The traditional route for beauty experts after beauty school is to work in a salon or own a salon. For as long as Nine could remember, she always knew that she was going to start a business. However, Nine knew that she didn’t want to own a salon. After thinking about other companies she could create, Nine realized that there were not many options for bridal hair in Colorado.

In 2015, Nine Morrison decided to start WedLocks. The idea behind it was to provide stellar professional, on-location beauty services to couples in Colorado. Nine really just wanted to give couples a sense of comfort knowing their needs will be taken care of, and that they will feel like the most gorgeous, and true version of themselves.

At first, Nine didn’t have a passion for bridal. She worked hard at learning how to do wedding upstyles and wedding makeup. Now, Nine is a Moroccanoil and bridal hair expert! Plus, Nine educates beauty professionals on how to build a super successful business. There are loads of free resources to check out on the WedLocks website.

Nine explains why beauty professionals aren’t doing weddings – they aren’t educated in the hairstyles, and they don’t want to work with bridezillas. Last year, Nine worked with 433 brides, and they only had one bride that they fired. Nine realized that they were not going to be a fit and she found the bride a different company to work with. 

Nine dives deep into the WedLocks company structure. The company structure is always changing and improving for the better based on the client experience. Nine just switched everyone over from independent contractors to employees because they wanted to maintain control over the quality of service provided. Nine doesn’t know any other bridal hair companies that hire employees.

Stay tuned as Nine explains how she blew her original business goals out of the water – she seriously underestimated the need for what they were doing. Plus, Nine describes the importance of brand awareness and gives tips on how to work with your spouse.

 

In this Episode: 

  • About Nine Morrison [ 0:20 ]
  • Why Nine created WedLocks [ 6:20 ]
  • About Moroccanoil [ 9:00 ]
  • How Nine educates other beauty professionals [ 10:15 ]
  • Why the salon environment still thrives [ 15:25 ]
  • The reason beauty professionals aren’t doing weddings [ 18:00 ]
  • About Nine’s ideal client [ 22:30 ]
  • The WedLocks company structure [ 25:15 ]
  • How Nine has blown all of her goals out of the water [ 34:35 ]
  • The importance of brand awareness [ 38:35 ]
  • Tips for working with your spouse [ 42:30 ] 

 

Quotes: 

  • “COVID-19 is changing the culture of salon life.”
  • “We fired one bride seven weeks out from the wedding.”
  • “You need to know your ideal client.”
  • “We have members on our team who can make a full-time living in six months.”
  • “I have blown all of our goals out of the water.”

 

Links Mentioned: 

Check out WedLocks

Find WedLocks on Facebook

Learn more about Moroccanoil

Read more about FIRESIDE's marketing services

More episodes of S'Mores, By FIRESIDE

 

May 3, 2020  

Brandon Ford, Founder of TripHero

 

“Fear is the enemy; I try to face it head-on” says Brandon Ford, the founder of TripHero (gotriphero.com),who worked his way from humble beginning to an Ivy-League education and a law degree, with a spell in the Marines along the way. Moving to Vail, Colorado, after losing his job in 2008, Brandon began working as a ski valet and saw the problem people had when traveling with their luggage and gear.

Brandon explains the inspiration behind TripHero. Their mission is to make it as easy as humanly possible to travel the world with the equipment you need to pursue your passions and explore both on and off the beaten path.

Brandon started his first business at the age of five, going around campgrounds collecting recycling. Before the age of twelve, he was selling t-shirts and flowers.

Brandon dives deep into the steps it took for him to get TripHero off the ground. The first question Brandon would get from potential investors was how many have you sold, but that point the answer was always none. Brandon knew he would have to go out there and get sales somehow to overcome that hurdle. Doing this helped Brandon realize how eager people were eager to ship their stuff, and he learned how to sell the concept of TripHero. 

As an entrepreneur, Brandon learned that felt how willing people were to help, and how easy it was to find a meaningful mentor. There are loads of people out there who want to be mentors and see other entrepreneurs succeed. A mentor and mentee will both get a significant amount of value out of the relationship. Brandon says you should find a mentor who has been down a similar path that you are looking to go down. As an entrepreneur, you should not be afraid to ask for help. When you ask for help, the worst thing a person can say is no.

Then, Brandon speaks about his first hires, partnerships, and the relationships he built along the way to get TripHero off the ground, including purchasing a FedEx shipping franchise to ultimately gain a more significant partnership with the FedEx parent company.

Brandon realized that luggage and packages are a huge pain point for the hotels, too, because they are often ill-equipped to receive loads of packages. Part of the solution is to have TripHero employees on the properties.

Later, Brandon speaks about the lack of marketing dollars they have spent. He says you need to know where and when to spend the money and shouldn’t be spending it unless you know how it is going to benefit you.

Stay tuned as Brandon explains why you won’t find a work-life balance as an entrepreneur.

 

In this Episode: 

  • About Brandon Ford [ 0:20 ]
  • The steps Brandon took to get TripHero going [ 7:30 ]
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help [ 11:50 ]
  • About Brandon’s first hire [ 17:00 ]
  • Where to find TripHero [ 19:00 ]
  • Why TripHero does not pay for marketing [ 24:30 ]
  • About networking [ 26:55 ]
  • Why you won’t find a work-life balance as an entrepreneur [ 30:40 ]
  • Entrepreneurs can have smart luck [ 37:15 ]

 

Quotes: 

  • “It’s tough for a big company to partner with someone they don’t know will be around much longer.”
  • “You can spend an infinite amount of money on marketing.”
  • “You will have to have a lot of sacrifices as an entrepreneur.”
  • “There are very few lucky entrepreneurs.”
  • “Fear is the enemy; I try to face it head-on.”

 

Links Mentioned: 

Find Brandon on LinkedIn

Check out TripHero

Find Dax Hamman on LinkedIn

FIRESIDE for small business marketing

Find more episodes of S’Mores By Fireside

The Accelerator Network

April 28, 2020  

Pamela Maass, Owner of Maass Law & Estate Planning Attorney

If something happened to your loved ones, is there a plan in place? Pam says COVID-19 has been a time where people are thinking about their estate planning more than ever. In this episode, Pam Maass dives deep into her law background, the importance of self-care, and her passion for women's empowerment, with Dax Hamman (Partner @ FIRESIDE).

Pam has dedicated her career to advocating for and protecting children and families. As a former Felony Deputy District Attorney, Pam saw first-hand the challenges families face in the legal system. Pam founded Maass Law to empower families with a better approach. Pam also represents survivors of sexual assault and abuse with the challenges she saw first-hand for survivors when opposing powerful institutions and persons. Headquartered in Denver, Pam provides legal planning support to families and represents women throughout Colorado and is available to act as co-counsel for victims of sexual assault throughout the U.S. Regardless of where you live, Pam can help answer your questions or will listen if you need someone to talk to.

In this episode, Pam Maas speaks about the inspiration behind her law career. Actually, her family wasn't super pumped when she decided to study law. Pam started her career as a District Attorney. On the first day of the job, Pam was sent to a crime scene and saw a dead body. The DA office is passionate about observing everything as much as they can – that's why the DA is often sent to a crime scene. One of Pam's passions is helping survivors after violence and sexual assault. There is a massive weight to living in that narrative - self-care is essential when you live in that world. Self-care isn't about doing a gigantic thing; it's about building a bank up inside of you. For instance, listening to music and talking a walk. So, when something intense happens, those actions can take the edge off.

Mentally, it was challenging for Pam to take the entrepreneurial leap into private practice. It took a lot to get over her fear of personal and financial failure. However, Pam was able to muster up the courage and dive deep into her life's work. There is a lot of opportunity in law to find excitement in larger firms or on your own. In a lot of ways, the legal field is behind in the times on gender equity. Most women leave the legal profession within the first ten years. The women who don't leave will start their own law firms. A big motivator for Pam to start her firm was because she wanted a child. It didn't seem possible to stay at the big firm with a child. However, COVID-19 has allowed Pam to practice virtually – it has made being pregnant so much easier.

Then, Pam talks about communication in her practice - most of Pam's clients have been very comfortable using Zoom. There is more of an urgency for estate planning during COVID-19. If something happens to your loved ones, then what is your plan? People have been starting to consider this more often and need assistance with their estate planning. There is so much that we can't control, but estate planning is something that we can. Pam always does estate planning with a couple – they need to consent to work together. Her background is in women's empowerment, so she attracts a lot of women to her practice. Sometimes, there is a more dominant person in the conversation when it comes to estate planning. It's Pam's job to let both people feel comfortable enough to speak up. Stay tuned as Pam dives deep into her business, about hiring business coaches, and how Pam markets her practice. 

In this Episode: 

  • About Pam Maass [ 0:20 ]
  • What it’s like in the DA’s office [ 1:45 ]
  • How Pam practices self-care [ 4:50 ]
  • The transition to Pam’s private practice [ 7:00 ]
  • Finding excitement in law [ 12:00 ]
  • Pam’s typical customer [ 17:15 ]
  • Estate planning with women  [ 21:20 ]
  • About Pam’s business [ 26:15 ]
  • Why Pam hired a business coach  [ 31:10 ]
  • How often Pam engages with her coaches [ 36:30 ]
  • How Pam markets her business [ 38:15 ]

Quotes: 

  • “A silver lining of COVID-19 has been moving to virtual practice; it has gone really well, and my clients love it.”
  • “People are more motivated to get their estate plans in place during this time.”
  • “My process is aimed to bring people together.”
  • “I notice how much my mindset played a role in my achievements.”
  • “I need all the coaches!”
  • “Go all in and trust yourself.”

Links Mentioned: 

Maass Law

Find Pam

Follow Pam on Instagram

FIRESIDE for small business marketing

S’Mores, By FIRESIDE

Download Waking Up app

 

April 20, 2020  

Dr. Jason Miller, PostureWorks and NutraWorks

What does it mean to be healthy? Most people don’t even know what health is. Dr. Miller explains health, chiropractic care, and the importance of prevention when it comes to our overall wellbeing. Plus, Dr. Miller dives deep into what it takes to grow and run your own chiropractic practice.

This episode is hosted by Dax, partner at FIRESIDE, a marketing services company for small businesses.

Dr. Jason Miller is the co-founder of PostureWorks and is a recognized expert in wellness and lifestyle science. In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Miller serves as an instructor for Chiropractic BioPhysics Seminars, teaching lectures at four chiropractic colleges and two medical schools. Dr. Miller has been honored with many awards, including the LCCW Presidents Circle, the 2007 Chiropractic BioPhysics Outstanding Achievement Award, and was named Chiropractor of the Year at the 2013 Chiropractic BioPhysics International Convention. His most significant accomplishment, however, lay within the many lives he has touched and the blessing he feels to be able to help so many people not only add years to their lives but life to their years.

In this episode, Dr. Miller opens the show discussing the meaning of chiropractic work. It’s a drugless health profession. They focus on the physical and structural aspects of a person’s health. We all start breaking down over time. Like any machine, the body gets wear and tear. A chiropractor will try to slow the wear down. Plus, they focus on being proactive and prevention-oriented. Most of Dr. Miller’s patients are already in a crisis situation. However, chiropractors can better serve people by doing maintenance before a considerable problem occurs. Our habits are worsening our degenerative processes. Even elementary kids are experiencing degenerative processes. Both the pain levels and degenerative processes are popping up more often among younger generations.

A person who is in a crisis situation has a lot more work to do. They need to stop the crisis and build more strength into their body. It takes more work for both the patient and the chiropractor to accomplish those goals. Someone who hasn’t been through a crisis is a lot less work. Our society has completely lost track of what it takes to maintain one’s health. In fact, most people don’t even know what health is. What does it mean to be healthy? Most people think being healthy means that you do not have an active complaint. However, we should be living a lifestyle that our body needs. In general, we should be building in preventative work into our health routines. 

Dr. Miller knew he wanted to run his own practice. He spent a lot of time working on his business plan. However, it was printed the day the stock market crashed in 2008 – no bank would look at the plan. There were times when Dr. Miller and his partner were worried about finances. They were never worried about providing care, though. With no marketing budget, they did some gorilla marketing and found interesting tactics to spread their knowledge. The chiropractic profession has an attrition rate because there is no business training. It’s a huge problem that chiropractic doctors do not have a background in business. Part of Dr. Miller’s business model is training other people to be successful. Stay tuned, as Dr. Miller explains Chiropractic BioPhysics and how to manage business/personal relationships.

 

In this Episode: 

  • About Dr. Jason Miller [ 0:20 ]
  • What chiropractic means [ 0:55 ]
  • Our degenerative processes are getting worse [ 4:10 ]
  • Working with different types of patients [ 6:20 ]
  • Why socialized healthcare will not get to the root of the problem [ 14:50 ]
  • Collaboration between the medical profession and the chiropractic profession [ 17:00 ]
  • The options after chiropractic school [ 23:30 ]
  • About starting and growing your own practice [ 26:20 ]
  • Knowing business before starting your own practice [ 35:45 ]
  • About Chiropractic BioPhysics [ 38:00 ]
  • Managing business/personal relationships [ 44:00 ]

 

Quotes: 

  • “80% of the adult population is dealing with some kind of ongoing muscular-skeletal pain.”
  • “Each individual needs to understand what it takes to maintain their health.”
  • “Disease is a lack of health within the body.”
  • “It takes ten to fifteen years for the standard of care to be adopted throughout the hospital system.”
  • “Every new patient is a puzzle that I have to figure out.”

 

Links Mentioned: 

PostureWorks

FIRESIDE for small business marketing

S'Mores, By FIRESIDE

Headspace

Chiropractic BioPhysics

Follow PostureWorks

April 18, 2020  

Kelley Rider Goodwin, family law office, and founder of Untie The Knot

In law school, family law is not spoken about much; it could be said some in the establishment considers it to be akin to ambulance chasing. However, Kelley believes that when a relationship breaks down those individuals are entitled to a better future, and her office can help them achieve that. She found that family law allowed her to cross her passion for litigation with her passion for counseling her clients.

The first of our guests to be sat in front of an actual fire for our S’Mores conversation, Kelley is an attorney with her own family law firm (Rider Goodwin Law) and more recently launched a platform for divorce in Colorado for individuals who can’t afford full representation, Untie The Knot.

Untie The Knot came about during her time at Legal Aid when Kelley learned about the many individuals who can’t afford representation, leading to them making uninformed decisions based entirely on internet advice or from their friends and co-workers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the problem was amplified by more people wanting to get divorced, but also a large number of people losing their jobs at the same time.

COVID had broad impacts on the industry of divorce. Kelley’s firm all worked from home, but they had to find ways to recreate the confidential office bubble in the home environment. Further, the Courts were effectively closed in Colorado, meaning litigation could not happen, and more divorces actually ended up in settlements. If that were to become a trend, that could lift a lot of pressure from the Court system in the long term.

Fascinatingly, the judicial officers hate family law cases as Kelley explains they say they feel like they are the least informed person in the room making really important decisions about strangers. We need to spare a thought for the well-being of those officers too - the burnout rate from listening to domestic abuse cases every day must be crushing.

Kelley has interesting opinions about prenuptial agreements for soon to be married couples. For those that choose not to have one, Kelley wishes at least that couples would have a plan for what would happen to the children in case the worst happens.

Talking about the business of law, Kelley’s office is structured with a heavy number of attorneys, and one paralegal for every two attorneys. Some offices structure the opposite way. The attorneys don’t necessarily specialize in specific case types, but instead, do focus more on specific counties and their nuances.

At FIRESIDE we care a lot about the mental health of founders and business leaders. Kelley, of course, operates within an environment where she and her team are exposed to very hard topics. One coping mechanism that Kelley and her husband not to talk about the facts of a case at home but describes mental wellbeing as an ongoing process. Listen to Kelley talk about vicarious (or secondary) trauma similar to that experienced by first responders.

Kelley and Dax discussed a number of practical tips for creating some sort of boundary between work and home life, including using delayed delivery in Outlook for email, setting the right expectations with clients about when they’re reachable. Kelley quotes from a book (“The One Thing”) that states it can be 15-30 minutes to establish focus again after a distraction. 

Kelley had never run a business before she established RGL. This led her to a coaching program for lawyers first, and then to become a member of EO Accelerator program, and now a fully-fledged EO member.

Additionally, Kelley has worked with a professional coach for the last 4 years. Her coach takes a high-level view, helping her refine her behaviors and make good decisions. She can measure the impact in financial terms, but also feels it through mindset growth.

It was very interesting to hear how Kelley is so very in tune with herself and her own personality and what motivates her. Her old coaching program was about fear and that is a paralyzing emotion for her. It was very generous of her to share her learnings and personal development.

 

LINKS From Episode:

 

April 12, 2020  

Bonnie Bowles, attorney-cum-marketing machine

A whirlwind of practical advice on how to win and convert new business, from the self-taught, highly analytical marketing machine that is attorney, Bonnie Bowles! Bonnie drops nugget after nugget of ideas that you can immediately go implement.

A Texan by birth, A Colorado-based attorney with 4 kids today, Bonnie built a very successful Estate Planning legal office, before venturing out again to help other attorneys work out the technology and marketing stack for their own businesses. She’s not done there either, with her own attorney tech stack being available is the next 18 months.

While some people have a goal to retire with $x in the bank, my own goal is about geographical independence. As an attorney though, when you move state you have to take the local bar exam. Interesting aspect of the industry.

Bonnie’s first business, Trust and Wills, the focus was on trying to help people to move forward. Estate planning is not an emergency service with an inbuilt sense of speed and so that has to be created in the minds of the customers.

Bonnie starts her marketing assault with the name of practice itself. Attorney’s typically name their business based on their last name, Bonnie sets out with intent and names her’s Wills & Wellness. From there it becomes about marketing funnels and marketing automation.

  • Ads drive to a free download, free report, free wallet download
  • With the email address captured, have then focus on the next step - attend our webinar (which was live, but now on demand)
  • Make the webinar it engaging, and make it great value, try not to be stale in approach or content

With no formal marketing training it took a few years and investing in courses to learn how to write the webinar script to convey value and drive to next steps.

Many would have rested there, feeling happy they had a steady stream of new business walking in the door. Bonnie however realized that her potential customers would come for the free consultation but in reality were not ready to commit. By creating a post-signup funnel, Bonnie educated her prospects about what she offered and what was required for them to move forward. If she was going to give up 2 hours for a consultation, her customers were going to need to spend 2-3 hours themselves prepping for that meeting.

Now in the consultation, the questions became buying questions, such as “how best can we work together”.

A key point made in this conversation is to “Make progress rather than make it perfect”. Too many business owners focus on perfection.

Having entrepreneurial parents might be a big advantage. Her parents having been down that path first made it easier for her to take that path too. “You’re going to make it through it.”

Regarding her own wellness, Bonnie says she has to strive to find the work life balance, and has a tendency to drift more to work. As a fellow parent Bonnie’s tactic of visualizing what she expects of her kids in a current situation is great advice.

 

LINKS FROM EPISODE:

Bonnie Bowles

FIRESIDE, small business marketing

New Law Business Model

Wills and Wellness

FEED MEDIA

 

April 5, 2020  

Stefanie Jones of FEED MEDIA

Positively impacting the public with their PR work is what Stef Jones and her FEED MEDIA company aims to do with their Clients, and have been doing so consistently for 17 years.

As PR has evolved, FEED has evolved alongside it. They started with traditional media, but now do content creation, writing by-line articles, and have found the right way to work with influencers.

The arrival of the Internet has made the PR industry more interesting by opening up new opportunities to generate interest in their Client’s products and services.

Stories is the currency. Sometimes a Client knows what they want to say, and sometimes FEED will help the Client understand what will work best with the audience.  It’s not uncommon that the story they want to tell isn’t the story that’s going to work the best.

Once they have a story, Stef explains the importance of knowing the reporters at publications like the New York Times, what interests them, and what sorts of stores they like to write about them. Hear what’s involved in making that work over a year-long project!

“Influencers” is a commonly used word now, but the spectrum of what Influences are seems to be very wide. Stef talks about how they work with quality Influencers, and how that increased one of their Client’s followers by 150,000 and led to 80 enquiries from an Instagram “swipe-up”. Setting expectations with the Influencer upfront seems key.

Stef also provides practical tips for the smaller business owner considering working with an influencer to know how to find and assess them, and examples of what industries she has seen this work best in.

Is PR right for small businesses? Where should PR fit into a small business’ priority list? Stef explains the difference between owned media, paid media, and earned media. Whereas paid media is more 1:1, earned media (PR) is about 1 to many, and therefore presents unique value.

Stef gives practical examples of how the right story about a small business can increase the interest in your business from different types of publications. Learn how slices of pie is the way to think about your business!

There are different ways to staff a PR agency. FEED MEDIA’s team work across many different Clients, and Stef sees it as a publisist’s job to be able to serve the right slice of pie to the right writer.

FEED MEDIA’s COO happens to be Derek, Stef’s husband. Derek was (literally) a rocket scientist  before this, and Stef talks about lessons learnt in working together, including having roles that don’t overlap.

In terms of groups for motivation and learning, Stef actually doesn’t spend much time with industry-specific groups, but instead looks to innovators across all industries, (which is becoming a common theme from our S’Mores conversations).

Stef talks about how my wife (Sarah Lockwood of Love Monday) won the Denver Broncos website business way back in the day with astonishing persistence. Stef then turned that into a front cover story on the Denver Post, and how they positioned that.

As Stef’s final piece of advice, she discusses how there is incredible value in working ON her business, rather than working IN the business.

 

LINKS:

April 2, 2020  

Amy Radin (Amex, Citi, E*Trade)

Amy is on her second career as she describes it, being a fractional executive, and an investor / advisor for smaller businesses. Her first career was in the corporate world that included executive positions with American Express, Citi and E*Trade.

Hear Amy and Dax talk about the differences between large enterprises and small startups, and the surprising ways they are actually quite similar from an innovation point of view. Amy talks about how many small business owners are envious of the large enterprise budgets and worry they can’t compete, but that during her time at Citi she actually cut those budgets in favor of 1:1 interviews with customers.

Amy also gives advice and tips on understanding your customer, the importance of aligning your team / vendors / partners and even investors to your North Star goal. 

Hear about how innovation doesn’t start with ‘let’s go build it’ but instead the critical discovery phase where we have to listen and then iteratively build a product with the customer in mind. The danger of not following this process is a company can build a great solution that’s looking for a problem!

Engaging with the customer during the discovery phase:

  • Really dislike asking ‘what would you do’ because they don’t know what they would do, and they don’t want to hurt your feelings.
  • Ask them to tell you stories about a time when … BLANK.
  • Try asking them to imagine your product as a person and what they would be like. Amy shared her experience doing this launching new credit cards when she got the answer the card was like the janitor when they were aiming to be the host!

When having these conversations we have to be careful to shut down our confirmation bias.

We can use demographics when choosing people to sample, but of more value is to think of all the people who are trying to solve a problem. Demographics by themselves will give you a self selecting slice of the world.

Also think about probing after your initial question – 2 or 3 follow up questions make the person they’re feeling listened to, and will tell you much more than your scripted 10 questions may have. People like to help when they feel they’re being listened to.

Amy talked about going into people’s homes after the financial crisis to talk about retirement plans when she was EVP Chief Innovation Officer for E*TRADE.

Try asking how someone would describe your product or service in order to write your copy for you. Amy uses text-to-voice services as a way to evaluate her copy; it gives her a better view of how it really sounds.

For advice and guidance Amy maintains a group of trusted individuals, and builds peer groups she can leverage.

Amy shared the story of how she launched the first web pages for CÌTÌ group at the start of the internet, and what the attitude was amongst groups of her colleagues at the time.