How the Largest Creative Staffing Company Handles Culture & Digital Marketing


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It’s the question that has been on every CEO’s mind over the last 18 months: How do you maintain your workplace culture in a hybrid world?

This is one of the biggest challenges businesses are facing as a result of the pandemic.

According to Michael Weiss, VP of Creative Circle and my guest on today’s episode, the silver lining is that the pandemic has also given us a degree of empathy that we simply lacked before — and that empathy can and should inform how we approach this challenge moving forward.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Maintaining culture in a hybrid world
  • Engaging prospects with stories that differentiate
  • Using digital marketing tools to be where your clients are

Contact Michael at  

For more episodes like this one, find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website .

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Path to Profit in your favorite podcast player.

I think the silver lining is- and I wastalking to some people yesterday and what hit me was people woke up towhat's important to them. You're listening to pastor profit, a podcastlooking at business growth from every angle possible if you're looking tohear stories of success and failure, lessons learn from leaders that havegrown and scaled their businesses. You've come with the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to path to profits, I'myour host for today's episode, Stephen King, founder and CEO of growth forceand I'm joined today by Michael Weis, vice president at creative circle.Michael. How are you doing today? I'm doing pretty good Steve Nice to be here,it's great to have you on the show, Michael, and I got to talk about howthe largest creative staff and company in the United States it's handlingpandemic to point out and how they extended their culture in a Romo world.We're else going to talk about what digital marketing tools they're, usingto help their clients find new clients and a silver lining. We should all belooking for. So before we begin Michael Tell us what our listeners about whoyou are and about your background and what the team at creative circles up tothese days. Sure thanks. You Know My background is a strange one. I took awild path. I've been a teacher. I've been a professor, I've been a VPmarketing. I've ran an agency, and now I'm working at creative circle and I'llbe honest with you. Never thought I'd be in staffing and I came on to createcircles to VP, F marketing and really helping the company identify itsposition this messaging, and what we learned is that we were leaving a lotof business on the table because we were taking on Accountability ofdeliverables in ownership of teams and we spun up a division called creative.The A D sixty which I co lead with a counterpart in Chicago and what we'redoing, if we're building in house studios and in house agencies forbrands all across North America and what that allows us to do is not is togo beyond just staffing. Staffing is a wonderful thing and it's the core ofour business. You need a designer boom. We got a Unie, a copywriter boom. Yougot it, but now you're, asking for an enterprise website, build largecampaigns, a studio that you going to do a ton of work for the next six totwelve months, and they clients want us to manage that so we're building thoseteams, an we're managing those teams for a client. That's great, I mean oneof the things I love about. Path to profits is sharing with our audience.What successful business have gone through to get there and yoursubsidiary of a five billion dollar market COT company right you're, thelargest staff and company, the United States, and one of the key things as astaffing business is having a culture right. You're got to have people whoare happy where they are. They stay a long time, they're a high performingteam, and so you know I know: We've moved to a hybrid model where in theoffice a couple of days a week and we're remote and that's all new for us.How have you maintained your culture as you moved to that hybrid world? Youknow it's interesting. The pandemic, when it started, was this panic buttonand I've been working at home for years. So I have the discipline. I understandhow to do it. I think you had two things that were happening well, he hadmultiple things that were happening when everybody on I'll never forget it,because it was march thirteen, two thousand and twenty, which is my son'sbirthday. That was the day everybody got sent home from school and we werelike we're all staying in the office and again there was this moment of whatare we going to do because we were such a sales organization that we literallywe have. I don't know we had thirty plus offices across North America,where everybody would go in and we had these bull pens where all the salespeople would be an there's activity and there's energy, and when we had to takethat back and everybody had to go into their homes, Ay everybody had to figureout how to deal with their technology right. So that was a whole sort ofthing, and then it was this. You know zoom situation and it went from a thredworld to a tod world and it went from a touchy touchy, feely, emotionalconnection, world to somewhat of...

...disconnection and what we did is weworked really hard at training people how to use the technology, how to feelcomfortable in it, because you can't really start getting into culture stuffuntil you take care of the immediate needs which are, how am I going to domy job in our it department and our CIO and all those people they should winawards for the amount of the work that they've did setting these people up athome because again, everybody's on desktops, all of a sudden they're athome people are like. Am I going to work on this right? It's like no you'renot going to work on your phone, your phone, your iphone, yeah, yeah yeah. Imean there's all sorts of craziness for those of you who are not who are in thepodcast where he picked up his phone they're. Just so what we did was we embraced zoom,which everybody talks about, and everybody talks about, zoom fatigue andall this type of stuff, and it's real. I mean I don't know about you, Stephen,but I'm on more meetings now than I've ever been in my life and I think that'sa result of I'm alwayss accessible right because they know where I am I'msitting at my desk. where, like you sometimes I stand at my desk and youcan always sign up for a call and you get you get counter invites so, but weembraced zoom. We embraced, we put Microsoft teams in place, so we startedto create a way that there could be communication, but the thing that wedid and I it's an our coo- really nailed it every Friday. During thepandemic we had happy hours and I know they sound. It sounds like everybodywas doing it, but it really worked for a company and there were you know, acompany of three four hundred people when you have two hundred and fiftypeople signing into a zoom to watch a magician to watch a stand up, comic, tohear some music and sort of bring a little bit of levity and a little bitof a break, and then offices were having their own happy hours. And soyou know you have people with. You know up being honest with drinks at fiveo'clock and stuff, like that. That's really how we how we needed to approachit, because if you stayed in the panic and you fed into that, then that'sgoing to create an enormous amount of anxiety, additional anxiety. I mean theother things that we've done is we did a lot of. We had a lot of opportunitiesto talk to professionals. You know to deal with like a lot of people wereisolated, a lot of people were freaked out. We cut down on travel and we'vebeen very clear about our rules of going back into the office, and so it'sa hybrid some people are going in some people. Aren't I for one. I don't havean office, it's my house. I don't need to go into headquarters or anythinglike that, which is in Los Angeles, but we're very clear and we're verysupportive, and I think that's one of the things that's really interesting.I've seen some companies say it's mandated that you go back to the office.I think what we've discovered is that some people are actually performingbetter now that they're not in the office. I've seen some studies thatshow you know. Remote employees are sixty two percent more productivebecause they're not walking around in the halls, and you know getting allthose distractions, but the culture part. You know we have we've had anoffice forever and we brought people back and to be honest with you, we, youlost a lot of good people because they said I do want to go back and it tooktook us a minutis to make that hybrid mote, because I was worried about theculture I know when we were talking before we've talked to the past, yousaid: Goofy goes a long way right. All you're trying to do is create somechange in the day and when you're in the office, it's easy to get changedthe day by just going to the lunch room or just you know, cracking up with yourteam mates. You know, I love the fact that you're that's kind of the way youlooked at it right yeah and you had it's funny. I think I might have toldyou the story when I was sixteen. I had to go get my driver's license and mydad said I'll. Take you to the office I'm going to park you outside my officeand then I'll. Take you to get your license at like ten eleven o'clock. I'mlike Oh great. I get to see what it's like in an office and I always thoughteverybody would be sitting in their offices typing away. My Dad's walkingaround talking about sports, fooling around laughing and like let's go onhere, nobody's getting anything done, and it was this eye opener that that'snot what work is work is interpersonal...

...relationships. Work is havingconnection with your peers and not always talking about work, not alwaystalking about the job at hand, and so that's always stuck with me and thething that I've tried to bring is: Let's be goofy. Let's, if you look atthe four different types of personalities- and I do a lot ofspeaking on this- which is the driver, the amiable, the expressive and theanalytical I'm expressive. I like to talk, I tell stories and I make surethat, when we're on a zoom, we don't get right down to business. It's as ifwe're walking into the room into the conference room and we're Kibben andwe're talking and we're sharing stories and in taking interest in each other,because there's been a couple of times. I remember where you know what was thehigh the pandemic work with, we've always been busy, so we've done reallywell during this, because people always need staffing, but I being on his zoomand I'm like wow everybody's down, we're not talking about anything exceptwhat you did this weekend. Someone tell me a funny story, and so you just wantto keep it going and we had fun with backgrounds and we've done birthdaysand anniversaries and we're a creative agency. So we create backgrounds andgoofy backgrounds and stuff like that. So we've been we've done everything wecan to embrace what everybody has called the new normal, which I now isthe normal yeah. It's going it's here forever right, there's no going back. Idon't think so I don't think so. I don't think there's and I don't thinkthere's anything wrong with that and I think if we embrace it and we don't tryto combat it, then we accept it and I think the other thing is that there's asilver lining to all of this. For what is that silver lining? I think thesilver lining is- and I was talking to some people yesterday and what hit mewas people woke up to what's important to them. Obviously, when a pandemichits you nest, and you gather everything, that's important to you andyou make sure your kids and your family and whoever importing your life makesure they're okay, but after that sort of initial everybody, okay and you havethis switch in your life, we did a one and eighty in life people discoveredthat they like to go bike riding during the day they like to go for a walk, sothey to do yoga. They like to have coffee with their friends F. They liketo pick their kids up from school and the Silver Lining, I think, is bothbusiness and personal. From a personal side. People woke up to what'simportant to them and they were able to really embrace work, life balance andthat's. I truly believe it's created more productive and efficient work thanever before, and it's created more empathy, hey. I can't come to thismeeting because I got to take my kid to a doctor's appointment. Hey I'm goingto be latest meeting of the plumbers. Coming: Hey, Hey, sorry, my dog isparklike all this type of stuff and we've started to be more moreempathetic towards it. Right we're starting to really understand ourcoworkers and our people on a business side of things, the silver lining andit's feels weird to say, there's a silver lining to pandemic, but I'm anoptimist and I try to believe that there's a good out of everything, thesilver lining from a business standpoint. It's the same thing. Peopleare working from home and people are more effective, but from ourperspective, creative circles perspective. So often the placement ofcandidates was localized because everybody was in offices. I'm a NewYork company. I need a couple of designers, they have to come into theoffice. They have to be from New York in Manhattan in Manhattan, no lessright exactly and what it does that creates. It doesn't necessarily pigeonhole, but it doesn't create. It puts guard rails around the talent that wecan place because they have to be commutable. They have to be able to getthere. What happened with the pandemic was well, I don't care where they sitso now we can open up our database to a national level and we can find theright talent at the right time in the right place and a lot of candidates andclients. I should say in New York in San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas, whoyou on honestly expensive places to live. The rates were higher, so now wecan place people in Cincinnati Indianapolis for clients in New York,at Saint caliber of talent, but a lower hourly rate, thirty percent less rightfrom New York yeah, and so it's...

...definitely and it's created suchopportunity for our candidates, because they don't you know if they live inrural Georgia outside of Atlanta locally, they were had to deal withlocal companies, which there's great companies in Atlanta, but now they haveopportunity to work for companies all over the country, and that to me hasbeen a really interesting switch. Those two things together, I think, is why wehave the year of resignation. Right people have said you know what I'm notfulfilled, and I want to do something different and I once you get a taste ofgoing on a walk or a bike ride at lunch time or picking up your kids afterschool. It's hard to get rid of that, and I one of the other things you saidyou know when we've talked to the past is work. Follows The sun talk aboutthat, because I thought that was really interesting. Sounds scary, it's ominous, but I think what we'vebeen able to do with our clients is we're North America only so we havethose time zones right. It's got eastern all the way to Pacific. What'sgreat is if you're a client in the on the West Coast. If our company on theWest Coast and we place teams like creatives, potic management,copywriters, UX designers, UX, develop whatever it is on the east coast,they're working while you're sleeping, and so we can create teams that realliterally the work is following the sun, meaning people could be working indifferent time zones. So, instead of an eight hour day, you might be gettingtwelve to fourteen hours of work out of different candidates in different timezones, so the east coast does their work, and then you know you get acouple more hours in the mountain, a couple more hours in central, a coupleO ice first in a couple more hours in specific, and it's an interesting wayto look at it most of our clients and most of our listeners, I should say,are not five billion other companies they're small businesses right there.You know one to twenty million. How does that helped increase access totalent? Well, I mean, I think, the smaller companies again, staffing hasalways been and again just because we're big doesn't mean all of ourclients are big. We serve everybody, you know. Sometimes we could stabsomebody for four hours. I just need a designer for four hours to help me witha power point. I think the smaller companies, what just going back to whatyou said, which is these things have what's changed, is people's perceptionof how they want to live their lives and how they want to work. I think thegreat resignation is something interesting. I want to get back to thatbecause I'm fascinated by it, but because there's talent out there thatis working on their own working the way they want to work and we're able to vetthem and get them into our database and place them. That means we have moreaccess. The smaller clients have access to really good talent all over thecountry, and I think that's what's exciting and I think, from a freelancerstandpoint, having control of when you work and who you want to work for isamazing. I the Mo when I started at creative circle, told me and I'll neverforget when he said this. He says we're the only company that sells a productthat can refuse to o be sold, ha ha ha ha. That's so true, it's so true. Likeyou could say, I got this great project for you. It's you know. Forty hours aweek for this company- and you know the Canada could be like Nan. I don't wantto do that right. Where are you buy a Tshirt tshirt can't say don't buy me,but the person can literally think I don't want to do it, and so it's areally so there's it s it s, but because of the pandemic and the workingfrom home and taking control of their lives, they're, picking and choosingwhere they want to work and we're working with them to help the helprepresent them in the way in the places they want to be makes a lot of sensethat the year of resignation was good for you I mean there, you know thethere's all these people who said I want to try something different. So whynot go on a tempt basis on no tempter Perm, I mean that makes a lot of senseyeah. So what about zoom fatigue right? Youmentioned that I've got to tell you. I agree with you. You know it feels likeI'm on back to back to back to back zooms and it was so much better whenyou were sitting in a conference room even if it was a window list conferencefrom at least she had five or ten...

...minutes to walk down the halls and geta coffee and get a break. But it doesn't seem that how do you deal withthat? So it's an amazing time because I'll start in the morning and then I'llgo downstairs around two in the afternoon. My wife is like Oh nice tosee you. I E I, like literally, haven't left my office and I've gone from zoomto zoom, Tezoo and and if you're like me, you're a minute late to each ofthem right, you're a minutely to everything because because and thenyou're trying to and you're trying to get on, and then it's not even justwe're using zoom like we use the word bandaid or xerox right, it's zoom, itsteams, it's Chime! It's Google me it's all of them, Webeck yeah, all of themand so sometimes oh shoot. I got a reinstall and all this type of stuff,but I think, what's important in my counterpart she's really good at this.She, if she's, invited to an internal meeting versus an external meeting,she'll go tentative to it. If she doesn't necessarily need to be thereand I think, taking control of your calendar and taking control of yourtime, it's critical and so one of the things that I've tried to do and I'mnot I'm not successful at it. Yet is time blocking and just putting blockson my calendar that say I'm out of the office, I'm not out of the office. I'mworking, I'm getting stuff done focus time and I think you know. The otherthing is one of the things. That's really been interesting because whathappened was you didn't have as many meetings, because you were successivenationally, I'm accessible nationally, so I'm having meetings in St Louis inSt Louis in DC in Florida and all this type of stuff. So people are justbooking time on my calendar and there's Times where I M. I don't know about yousteven, but like I'll look at my calendar, it looks like a game ofTetris and it's like all these different colors and all thesedifferent blocks, not that much fun. No, it all ceps crashing down. It fills upto the top and I lose, but I'm getting double and triple booked, and so I'mreally trying my best to communicate to people doesn't have to be as zoom. Can it be aphone call and what I've started to do is if I know, there's not going to be ascreen share, and I know I don't need to be on camera I'll put my headphoneson and I'll take the call out of want rule. That's a good idea. Yep just takethe call on a walk if you're just talking and listening, then do it on awalk or doing on a bike ride or go sit in your back yard or you know, sit in adifferent part of the house, just mix it up yeah and the other thing that theother thing that I'm doing, which is critical and a lot of people, are doingit too. As I'm being really honest, I'm, like you, know what I don't need to beon camera, I'm not going to be on camera today. You know, and- and peopleare like- Oh my God thank you and everybody goes off camera and thatchanges it yeah, because I guess you know of the studies have shown that youknow there's some stress of looking at yourself, we're not used to seeing youknow. Well, I'm really losing that hair up on the top wow. I just. Why do why?Don't have to be reminded of that? No, it's! So true. The two things cameto mind during all of this one. Is I'm not supposed to look? I'm not supposedto me see myself as much as I'm seeing myself, and the second thing was,although I loved having my kids at home and everybody at home, we're notsupposed to be together this much right, you're supposed to be at school, we'resupposed to have breaks, we're supposed to not be with each other and theheight of it. I mean you know. The band with of the house was in the toilet. Ihad to go out and buy a mesh system just to get our wifi up and runningagain but like there was, you know, my son, who's in middle school is in jazzband and concert band and he's a drummer, so in his office is his roomis next to my office, so I be on calls I'm like I apologize, but you'regetting her drums for the next half hour. Empathy right, you got more, asyou said earlier on Michael and I love you know the dogs and the kids, and youjust it becomes. You know, like you, said, a deeper connection than justabout work. You know this is really interesting. What would I I'd like tomake sure we cover is digital marketing in this new remote world, becausethat's what you guys specialize in here right, you know it's hard to breakthrough when you're, not we don't have the networking events. I we don't have.The trade shows we're not face to face...

...with prospects. You know, which is areal blessing to not have to eat up all those time on the highway. But how doyou reach prospects? How do you get customers? What are the tools? Well,you know what's happened. It's interesting. I was thinking about thisthe other day and I sent an email to a good friend of mine because I wantedhis he's a leading content strategist in the country, and I want to get histape on it, we're a very distracted nation more sothan ever, and I'm holding up my phone again we're on these all the time. Ithink we're on these more than we've ever been before, and one of the thingsas a content marketer or a digital marketer. If you want to always riseabove the noise, but the noise is really loud. Now, right, the noise, theamount of content and the amount of deria silly and somewhat mundane and attimes stupid content is over running our lives. I mean all these memes andall this type of stuff and my kids are sending me stuff and look I for one. Ilove watching that stuff, but you find yourself looking at it all the time andone of the things is a marketer is when you're creating content strategy andcontent marketing additional marketing. You want to be where your clients are,where your customers are right. Your customers are on their phones, they'reon different websites. You don't necessarily want to advertise on yourown site and build your own sign up. I mean that's important, but you want tobe where they are. The problem is they're everywhere and how do youdifferentiate and rise above the noise? And so one of the questions I have- andI don't have an answer to it yet and I'm starting to ponder this- is do asmarketers as brand. Do we need to be a part of the distraction? Does ourcontent have to be the distraction, meaning when they're watching a bunchof memes and the watch all the type of stuff? Does our content have to bethere? I don't know the answer to that, but and I'm starting to try to figurethat out, but we really want to start. We want always whether pre pandemic Poeduring pandemic or post pandemic. You always want to create content todifferentiate yourself that engages your audience. I've heard a lot aboutthis, but why is that important right? You know thought leadership is the buzzword of the last three years. Why does that matter so much? I think, because,well again, what's the statistic? Seventy percent of customers alreadyknow. I've already have never talked to a hales person before they contact thesales person. I'm not saying that correctly, but people are doing theirown research and going through the sales funnel without ever talking to ahuman being, and once they get to the consideration or the conversion side,then they may might talk to somebody. I think you want to create content thatyou know. You know the whole step back. The other buzz word whether it'sthought leadership, the other buds. Were it a storytelling right, it'salways about storytelling. How do you tell a story and stories do reallyinteresting things to the brain. When you talk about data and you talk aboutstats, you talk about numbers. You engage two parts of the brain,Bernice's and brokers like these two parts of the brain light up, so thatyou can comprehend it as soon as you enter a story mode. Seven parts of thebrain come up light up, and so- and I talk about this and some of mypresentations, and so when you are telling a story and you're talkingabout sites and sounds and characters and and C, literally colors, and allthese sorts of things the brain is on fire and can't help but be engaged. Sowhen you're thinking about what your marketing is going to be, you want tofocus on storytelling because you want to engage them, and you said why isthat important? Because you want to differentiate your brand and youroffering or your solution, your surface different, you using the word, thedefinition, but you want to to differentiate that from yourcompetitors, because everything is at the finger tips of the of the customer.They learn everything about you before you even have a chance to tell themanything about you, so you want to make sure your website is up to date. Yourreviews are up to date, so you deal with a lot of small businesses, my wifelives and dies by yelp reviews. That's...

...the most important thing to her,whether it's a plumber, whether it's a restaurant, whether it's a car washyelp she's. Like I look at the stars- and I read the reviews- that is themost important thing for her, and so, if you're, a customer, if you're aclient or a company that relies on reviews, then that's your content andthat's where you want to create really good content and have your customersengaged there. That making sense makes a lot of sense when we were talking a dbefore this, and you talked about how important it was- and you mentionedagain today that all that be on the phone right just talk about. You knowwhy what Google is doing. I noticed for US I've growth force. You know thissummer, all of a sudden, we weren't at the first page of all these key wordsthat we wanted. You know outsource to counting and financial management andquick books. You know all of a sudden we were dropping to the page two andthree and turned out they were looking at how the phone o the pages wereoptimized for the phone and like tell us the story of how to get back on pageone. Oh my gosh. That's a sixty four thousand dollar question. You know alot of it. A Google's number one ranking right now is content based, andso it's really about the important thing is is that you are consistentacross your platforms in your in your channels. So I will never pretend tounderstand the algorithm of how Google works I'll. Never pretend to understandthat it makes sense that it's right or wrong, but I do know that consistencyacross your platforms in terms of your content is key because they want tolook at. Are you telling the same story? Are you consistent across yourdifferent platforms from your web? Your blogs, I'm assuming they read youremails. Now your social content and even like, when you're putting upvideos and white papers and Info graphics, they're able to dig into allthat type of stuff and if you're consistent across all of them, thenthey say: Okay they've got it together, let's bring them to the top and socontent. You know, we've always said content is king, but really, if youjust think about it, you go back to before. There were computers beforethere were these phones. In my hand, we told stories and we told stories toengage people. You went to a car dealership, the salesman, he toldstories right. You went to buy a Washer and dryer. They told the story. Youwant to go, buy an easy chair, they told a story and so the most successfulsales people were. Dare I say we go full circle, empathetic and storytellers and somebody that you really wanted to engage with, and so we'velost the maybe the physical connection with human beings, but we've createdconnection with technology and it's up to us and it's our responsibility tocreate content. That is engaging that tell stories that differentiates youfrom your competitors, because your competitors are doing it too. Whatabout the tools or any any secrets, best practices? You know everything. Iam always fascinated by looking at big data as a small business owner right.How do you get access to the same stuff? You big guys have got. You know the AI.What a you! What are you seeing to help with like audience segmentation? So Ithink look the bottom line is the data is out there. The question is: Do youknow how to gather it? I think for small businesses e every small businessshould make an investment with somebody who can set up their google analyticsset up their KPI set up their goals. Maybe it cost you a couple grand, maybea costume, more I'm not quoting it. I don't know what it would cost, butthere's people out there who can do it so that you have access to your data,but that enables you to understand how your content, how you're, how thebehavior of your customer, how they're behaving with your digital platforms,because again you can't necessarily measure what's on a billboard, but mostsmall businesses aren't buying billboards. What most ball businessesare doing is they're building websites, they're doing email campaigns, they'rebuilding landing pages and they're, probably doing minimal, buys you knowbanner Ad Byes, but whatever you're doing you have to have a centralrepository that gathers all that data.

So you can make sense of it and dare Iuse the word pivot to change because you might put a piece of content up theyou're like it's, not that big a deal and it might resonate- and you want tounderstand why it's resonating and why wow that blog led to four conversionsand again. What's a conversion might not be a sale, it might be a call, itmight be filling out of form. You have to define all of that, but I do believethat if you have hold of your data first and start understanding howpeople are interacting with your sites now in your content, now you set yourbench marks, set your Kpis and prove and measure measure, measure, mentor,measure matter and the beauty of things like Google, analytic is. It'sliterally is a dashboard. You Click it. You look at it and then there's othertools that help you measure like you know. There's facebook analyticstwitter as analytics instagram has analytics and if you take the time tospend a little bit more money a little bit more time, you can feed all of thatinto a dashboard and you will lose hours of your day. Just you knowclicking and learning. But what are your saying here? You know and I'm adata junkie. So this is my love language, but not usually on themarketing side. You know what what I've heard you say is you know you got to beable to react in real time because you're spending money on stuff and ifyou don't doing that, your kind of I think you call your disrespect in theaudience. What does that mean? Like you know, react when you get, you now tiethe analytics. I know about Google and Olitic, but what are we looking at andwhat do we do with it? Why is that is so valuable? Well, because I think youowe it again if your audience is taking the time to interact with you andyou're not reacting to it, then you're not you're doing them a disservice andit is disrespectful. Personally, I do a lot of talks on presentation skills, soI teach people about presentations kills about respecting your audience,knowing that, if you're going to give a pitch at one PM, chances are they'reall tired from lunch. You got to be aware of that. You got to be respectfulof that. If you're going to put out a piece of content and people resonatewith it and they comment about it or they rate about it, and you don't doanything about it, you don't do any you don't like. We have a big client can'tsay who they are, but they have an enormous presence on twitter andInstagrami and they had a corporate mandate that they don't answer any ofthe tweets because they would be overwhelmed, and I said Yeah but you'remissing out on an enormous opportunity to build community and to engage yes,the one there's going to be out of all the tweets and all the responses youget you're going to have canned responses. Click. You know copy payscopy, pays copy paste, but there's going to be that one person just goingto start a conversation and you're going to want to be in thatconversation, because so many people are watching it. So many people areengaging. It seems like a lot of rabbit holes right I mean I were weird postedstuff. You know my birthday was yes say I got three hundred and seventy fivehalf day birthday messages. You can't keep up with the you know the number ofemails from sales people trying to say you know. I really like you know nowthat we've connected I'd really like to get five minutes. You're trying to talkabout Blah like is that really where a shells person should spend their time?Well, no, and I made it for two thousand and twenty one. I stoppedaccepting connections on linked in from people. I didn't know because you'reright, you connect and the next thing you know thirty seconds later you get,I've got a great way to drive leads like then you then you're like, but if you're telling a client to dothe same thing, and to be that you know great big pain in the ass right. Ithink there's ways to again. I think you said something that was interesting.What you mentioned audience segmentation if you spray and prayyou're going to annoy people right, if you just send out millions of emailsand hope that it's going to hit- and you can say spray and pray, throwspaghetti the wall see what sticks. I think, if you take the time to identifyyour audiences from an someone said something really interesting thataudience segmentation is from I'm about going to get hopely, hopefully get thisright. Audit segmentation is from the company outwards, how the companysegments the audience personas is from the audience into the company, and so Ithink, there's two differences there. You can segment by business. You cansegment by region by location, but then, when you start looking at the personaswho they are, what engages them, how...

...they react with content where they sitin your pipe line. However, you want to look at it. That's to me when youunderstand that, then you can start creating your content strategy in yourplan to be more focused so that when you do get your responses back theresponses that you wanted, you want to spend your time doing again. If youjust spray and pray like you know those emails, you were one of four hundredthat they sent that day, hoping that you would connect with them, so salesneeds to get educated here. I because this is a new way. I mean you, you know:Are you teaching now? Is The marketing department got to go to the salespeople and teach them to listen for key words or well? They've been silent for years,right, marketing and sales, and every corporation deals with the marketings.Like we figured out here's the one sheet you should go. You go use this inthe sales port of like no I'll, create my own power point, my own logo, my owncolors, I'm done with you people, I think, there's an opportunity for us tojoin forces and even the CIOS are getting involved now right. The Crossconnection between the Mo the CIO and the CRO, the chief revenue officer, areall coming together because of this digital platforms, the ability to worktogether, whether it's keywords, whether or what it is. But you know forUS- We send out emails. Our sales team sends out emails all the time we usedto leave it to the sales people to write it now. Marketing is helping themcraft. That message based on data that we're pulling back hey. We're actuallyhave a point of view going back to what you said, we're having a perspectiveand we're setting ourselves up as thought leaders hey instead of gettingemail. What are you looking for? Do you need a designer? It's like? Have youlooked at the market lately? This is what's happening and that's all beingfed from our C Mo and our and our marketing department so we're helpingto educate ourselves, people yeah, I mean and growth for us. You know wedon't we don't have a CMU and we don't have a CIO, and you know we have amarketing team and a sales team and never before have that never have theyworked so closely together, because the data tells us, you know, hey the numberone thing people care about is cash flow. So start you know talking topeople about how is your cash flow and that wasn't something we ever didbefore, because it was about. We used to be focused on increasingprofitability, but the day that tells us is, you know it's kind of likeyou're talking before in the pandemic, you know Maslow, Hir, keys of needs, asurvival and safety is of the bottom right, so you stepped back from yourlife. To say: am I happy the same thing in the business is what do they need?What are their lower level needs before you can get to their higher level needs,and I think the data really help you with that yeah and I m just the onething I just want to say real, quick before I start any pitch before I startany presentation and I can see a client on the zoom and I can see in their eyes-and I say book before we start talking about any solution or any service whenyou're lying awaking night and you're still staring at the ceiling. What'skeeping you up and I guarantee you if you ask that question a lot of yourclient based on what you just said, a lot of clients would say it's cash flowand you went in thinking, profitability and then you, then you turn on thatlever that empathy lever and, like I hear you, let me tell you what we knowabout casuallet me tell you and then next thing you know you got thembecause you're going to tell stories, you're going to engage them and you'regoing to hit the points that they want to be hit with. I love that I love thatMichael. This has been really great. I got a couple of big takeaways. I love.Let's first was to me was the culture in the remote world, because every oneof us is dealing with this right now right, the hybrid is if it's not remote,all the time. It's. How do you keep the culture when you were in an office andnow you've moved there and- and I love the whole idea of being goofy getting abreak in the day right, just giving a an opportunity got, you guys hadComedians, you got music just happy hours and not starting the zoom callwith work. You know we follow Traction Eos and they have five minutes of aSegue, and you know I'm a Di Right, I'm a data guy I like to well. Okay, we gotan hour what a Yo Goin to use this time, but I have I really enjoyed the five orten minutes of you know. What's going on, how's your dog and you know where'smom, and did you get a good? You know all that stuff is really critical. Ithink the silver lining is a lesson...

...that we all need to take advantage ofright. Where you know there there it's an opportunity for our employees tolive a better life. You know to be engaged. We I just had a conversationwith Amanda one of our county managers. She just said you know what I love is.I get to be the MOM. I always wanted to be that mom that they told me that Icouldn't be that mom and have a career, and now you get to do that and be therefor your kids or do yoga or bike a lot lunch and pick the kids up at schooland figure out what's important and it relates that increases productivity. Soand the empathy around you know the dogs and the drummer and the kids. Youknow it's awesome. Moving into the digital marketing side, there's a lotof great lessons you shared here, you know being consistent across platforms.If that's what Google is thinking about that thought leadership, seventypercent of the buyers are not taught, are not talking to a sales person untilthey're ready to buy. I never knew that. I never thought about that, and and ifyou're, if Google is getting you on the front page because where are thecustomers they're on their phone, you picked up your phone five times in thisone podcast. We know we've got to tell stories based because when you tell thestory, seven parts of the brain open up and instead of me as a numbers Guy, I'malways talking about Roi, that's only two parts of the brain. Well, that's adata point right there right. I want seven parts of the brain and that helpsyou differentiate from your competition and just finally, you know just makingsure that the you're dealing with all the stuff that people look at on theway the yell reviews, the Google reviews, the things that make themdecide do they want to do business with you or not. That's really great. Thankyou for sharing all those digital marketing tools. Is there anything elsethat we missed anything you'd like to leave us with before we wrap? No, Ithink I think you just wrapped it up perfectly and I think the mostimportant thing is and I'll just hit it at home. Again, I think what thepandemic has brought is a level of empathy, and I think it's broughtempathy as humans and as business people and I think, the more empathy wecan have with our personal lives and in our business lives. I think the happierwe're going to be and the more we're going to engage people better yeah. Icouldn't say it better, Michael Wife, it's been great. I appreciate hearingabout how creative circles have building a culture and pandemic twopoint o and the digital marketing tools that you're helping your plants used tofind you class and getting that positive energy around the silverlining that we're getting more productivity because we have happierclass because we're keeping the culture in the digital world. If anybody'slistening wants to follow up with you has questions or just wants to connect,what's the best way for them to find you? Well, you can find me on Linkedin.That's one way we can connect there. If I know who you are, and you don't sellme something, but you can eat, I don't mind giving out my email, which is my acreative circle com. I'm totally open to talking to people M W E. I S S Acreative circle that come Michael Wise thanks for taking the time to join uson path to profits and to the rest of you, we'll see you next time visitgrowth, FORCO podcast for more helpful resources to help you find your ownpath to profits. Growth Corse is the smart back officesolution that CEOS need for better financial management, but theirbusiness, delivering a level of reliability, consistency and expertisethat is typically reserved for mid market companies from advancedbookkeeping management, accounting, Controller and advisory services.Growth Force provides dedicated teams and cloud based technology that becomesa scalable solution for your business. We meet you where you are to learn morevisit. Growth, Forco you've been listening to Patterole, to ensure thatyou never miss an episode subscribe to the show in your favorite podcastplayer. If you're listening an apple, podcast, we'd love for you to give aquick grating show just have the number of stars. You think the podcastdeserves. Thank you so much for listen until next time. I.

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