Growth Marketing Camp
Growth Marketing Camp

Episode 68 · 2 months ago

Uncovering The Origin Story Of Beam Content with Brooklin Nash

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome to a very special and first of many more to come episode of Growth Marketing Camp. We’re kicking off Growth Marketing Camp’s Founder Stories series, where we interview our favorite founders, pick their brains, and ask them to reveal all of their secrets to our audience.

And who better to start off this special series with than Brooklin Nash, Co-Founder & CEO at Beam Content. Brooklin is here to share his story, offer advice, and tell us what it took to start his business. You’ll learn his motivation that compelled him to jump into the Founding waters and the specific steps he took to bring Beam Content to the light of day.

In this episode, Brooklin shares some of the greatest challenges they are facing (as a new company), where lies the opportunity for SAAS brands, and the importance of getting very specific about what you do and what you don't do. You’ll learn how to uncover unique brand stories worth telling your customers, what kind of content to create and how to best answer the questions your customers are asking. Tune in and enjoy the ride!

Welcome to growth marketing camp, podcast powered by open sense, where we sit down with leaders and founders from diverse backgrounds in marketing, tech and beyond to explore what it takes to build a leading brand that's shaving the world of B Two B let's get into it. Hey everyone, this is John's binning, Co host of growth marketing camp. Welcome to another episode where I'm super excited to welcome content marketing leader and Linkedin influencer. You guys have probably seen him on your feed. I've seen him all of her mind and I'm absolutely love with content he's producing, Brooklyn Nash, Co founder and CEO at being content. Brooklyn, it's great to have you on the show. Welcome, thanks, Jess. Is Very generous intro. Yeah, it's a generous but very honest intro, I gotta say. We'll see. We'll see work in progress. Well, Um, I know that we've got a lot to cover but um, I absolutely a chance to go through your our company website, beam and I just want to say a couple of things. Hey, I love the design, I love the copy and the content that you guys are sharing. One thing that particularly caught my attention was that you guys have a blog section that you're calling the dark room. So kind of curious. Why Dark Room? Um, does it mean anything, and what did you guys start off your website? Yeah, we launched end of June, which has been about two months since full launch. Props to Sam Hembry, our creative lead and the favorite design the agency we worked with to get this web flow website off the ground. But yeah, I really love how it came together. Dark Room, I wish I had a great story for it. We just kind of how we landed on beam as a name too. It's not, to be honest, a great story. We were just going around thinking of ideas that that would fit and reflect what we're going for with beam and we landed on dark room because it was kind of the inverse of beam, like shining a light the idea of being. That's our workspace, that's where we're creating ideas, like work in progress type of stuff. We're trying to do kind of a building public type of approach. So my wife and business partner Becca wrote one on operations, just kind of sharing our process and what goes into the work we do before it sees the light of day. Basically, that's awesome. I actually didn't know that. And sometimes, Um, even like the story that you share. Doesn't have to be a crazy, shiny story. Right. It's like it's a practical story and it makes sense and it actually makes it. It makes it stick. That was more. I love the name beam. I also noticed you guys have a little alley cat and one of your pages I noticed well, also, it's been while since I've been young. Ye, right, right, yeah, just a fun Avatar for the anonymous. H Yeah, I love that. Cuestimonials, we got. No, totally. Um, it's it's interesting. You mentioned you and your wife have come into this and you guys created beam together. So I was just curious why. You know, why did you create beam and what were you doing prior to starting your own business? Yeah, the couple of years leading up to starting beam I was working full time at a couple of different startups, the latest outreach, where I actually worked with Sam Henry and one of our co founders, and we were my wife and I were keeping some of our freelance clients at the same time. So those two years during covid where we were all stuck inside and probably overworking ourselves, were like sixty seventy hour weeks where I was had my full time job in content marketing, but then also kept working with our freelance clients to just keep that motion going. Like we enjoyed the work, we enjoyed our clients. It brought some creativity to to what we were doing and the opportunity to actually dig in and right things right. Um. And then when I stepped out of outreach, my wife and I kind of took a couple of months to decide if we wanted to keep going the freelancer route and probably reduce our hours, like figure out how to go to, you know, a twenty hour work week with the current client load we had, or turn around and tried to build something that wasn't just her and I doing all of the client work. And that's where we landed on, mostly because we got excited about the idea of building a team, putting processes and systems in place and kind of building something that was beyond just ourselves. Wow, so the idea basically came about as a result of covid but you guys, basically launched it. I'm guessing probably like twenty one it probably took you like what a few a few couple of years of just ideating and it actually building up the process. Has it been like it's been happening over the last year? A little bit like that. So we the reason we have on there. That's when we officially registered as a business. At the time we are Nash Content Consulting. Since changed our DB A to to being content. So it was less a covid era decision and more a long term, what do we want in the next five to ten years kind of decision. So we spent a few months October through January kind of making that decision and then it's really been just January this year through...

...today building it into what beam is Um. So Sam joined in March. She left outreach as well. We spent a few months getting the launch and website ready, building the team on the back end a little more quietly and then officially launched a couple of months ago. And so for those who don't know what is being what is it that you guys offer? What do you do and real we're a B two B content marketing agency for SAS companies. But we focus, our goal is to focus on content that starts with either conversations, so interviews with founders, with VPS, with internal Sames, with partners, with customers or with data, so working with survey data or product data that you're collecting on users, just to make the content that we're creating more in depth, more conversational, more specific, more actionable. So we've moved away from SEO content, for example, which tends to to be a little more general because you have to kind of produce it on a high cadence, and then away from email marketing, copyrighting and things like that, just because that's not our area of expertise. We really wanted to focus in on what we really enjoy doing and have fun making and be what we can do really, really well for our clients. Yeah, and what does your team look like right now? So we have four full time members, my wife and I. Sam was a CO founder and our chief creative officer, and then Marissa joined a couple of months ago. She's our head of content. And then our contractor team, we have nine writers, a couple creative and social contractors as well, and the and an editor. So all together we're fifteen, sixteen people. Alright, cool. And then, Um, you mentioned that you mostly go after SAS brands. I'm guessing you probably have some SAS customers in the past. Have you just kind of brought them into, you know, under the being umbrella and you're focusing on them, or you guys actively searching for kind of new clients and customers as well? Both? And so we transition with our freelancer freelancing business about four years ago to Sass specifically, just because we found it really interesting. We started working with some SAS clients almost by accident and then slowly morphed into solely working with SAS, and so a good amount of our clients have stayed with us in the transition. So we're working with, yes, seven seven clients that we were working with previously and then have brought on a few more in the last few months. And what would you say is like the biggest challenge you guys are facing right now? Probably on the on the systems in so we can execute really well. I mean we have a great team. It's really fun to dig into the interviews and figure out what to pull out. Um, I think we're turning around great work for our clients, but what we're trying to do simultaneously is put the systems in place. For example, what happens when we bring on a new freelancer? How do we get them up to speed? What happens when we bring on a new client, like, how do we walk them through those steps so it's not just an end this email chain and an unstruck your zoom call to kick things off. So that's what we're spending a lot of our time on. We're working with a business coach. Um, we just started with an agency that literally their sole focus is helping agencies get set up fully, and click up, which is our project management and kind of a single source of truth tool. So we're kind of investing a lot of time and resources there now through probably the end of the year. Yeah, I got it. So you mentioned you guys are using click up, you're using zoom. What are some of the other tools that you're using to kind of build up this process, for being a lot of the typical. I mean we have slack for the team, click up for our CRM and project management, Zoom for interviews. We have de script for pulling out the transcripts and video clips, things like that. Yeah, we've got a Gusto for payroll for contractors and full time team, which we've loved it's been awesome. Yeah, I got it. And one of the other things that you mentioned is you guys are now focusing solely on B two b like thought leadership content. You're interviewing experts within these SAS brands. What do you think, UM, based off of the work that you've done in Sass with different SASS companies, what is the trend for thought leadership content? How has it changed over time? Stuff that you're seeing on Linkedin or the stuff that now you're realizing that it's kind of trends shifting less towards creating a ton of volume content yet, as he was so imborn, but a lot of the challenges that SAS brands have. We are a SASS brand, for example, and we also have that big challenges. We've got a lot of subject matter experts. We're not writers right and Um, we've got free Lancers and Um, we work um well. I've spent a lot of time trying to filter and find content agencies that can tell the story that we know so well in such a Um in a way that just makes sense to our different customer based but it has been an ongoing challenge for us. We see the value in it now especially as a smaller team, and understanding that we don't have the bandwidth to be able to produce tons of contents, so let's try to put out...

...the best kind of content that we have that speaks to our truth. Is that something that you're noticing with some of the customers that you're also onboarding right now for being yeah, absolutely. Hopefully this isn't too biased, but we've seen a lot of validation since launch as we've shifted our sales conversations to this focus, of the VPS or content marketing managers or founders that we're talking to being like yes, this is what we're missing. So we're glad we can fill that gap because I think more and more people are realizing content marketing often, at least in the past, has fallen into either very top of funnel general type of content to bring in as many visitors and, ideally, leads as possible, or it has to be very product focused and it's it's essentially product marketing with a content marketing rapper, and it's often falls into one of the two of those camps Um and I think more and more people are realizing, like, that's not what buyers want, as they're going through their journey. It's not this linear thing anymore, like we've all seen that Gartner graphic where it's here's what the buyer journey looks like now and it's this whole whole cyclical, complicated process. So let's figure out the content that we can create that answers the questions they're asking rather than the questions that we want them to be asking or wish they were asking. Right. It's it's interesting you mentioned that because when we first started out trying to build out like our content funnel and signing out our content, typically, when you're doing research, you think it's going to be a linear right I think. I don't know which blog it was that I read, but they described it as like a jungle gym, like a playground. People are popping in out of this playground in different areas. There's they're climbing up, you know, the ladder are they're climbing up the slide sometimes, and to be able to create content for the different buyers, especially most of the SAS companies, especially, again, I speak from experience, based off of our brand Um. We've got multiple personas, we've got multiple products and that means tons of content opportunities. So being able to figure out, Hey, what what? What are the pillar piece of the content we want to create and how are we going to tell our story in the best way possible? Again, Um, you know, you mentioned that you guys are going after SAS brands. Are you going after brands that are, like is a particular size, because I imagine, you know, you mentioned you were working at outreach before. I imagine, bigger budgets. These guys probably have, you know, an engine that's already running. Are you going after your like startups and things like that? Yeah, in general we're working with more established SAS brands, like series B plus, where they have the foundational stuff in place and now they're figuring out how to be that category educator and build awareness in a way that isn't as sales e, but that's not a deal breaker. So we're also working with earlier stage companies who want to come out the gates with this this clear point of view, something that's unique in the space. Um. So it just really depends on less the company stage and more on what the mindset is of who our point of contact is there. And what would you say is the mindset that you guys are looking for somebody who knows that they have to. I mean this is how we have it in the deck like that. Often are in the role of keeping on the on the hamster wheel, of keeping the demand Gen engine running. And you need that top of funnel content and you need presence here and you need some gated assets and you need email marketing. But they're also in the back of their mind thinking like how can we really come out with a piece of content that somebody would be likely to email to a colleague or post on social completely organically or share in a slack community? So we're looking to work with people who know that that will help differentiate them in whatever their spaces. And then how do you guys like, what is your process for uncovering those insights? Right? Something that is interesting enough when you're interviewing with the subject matter export at x company, do you have, Um, just pretty rock conversations? Is it pretty scripted? Is it like do you get a ton of different people in the same room? How are you discovering something where it's like Hey, this is a story where it's telling? Yeah, it really depends on the client, but we do take three or four weeks in for the kickoff stage where we take time to interview honestly as many people on the team as possible. Ideally we get a couple of people from sales, a couple of people from customer success, a couple of people on the product in Um sales engineers or our product managers, just to bring as many perspectives together as possible. And that's been super helpful because a project we kicked off a couple of months ago, on those calls the sales team said something completely different than the marketing team's head and we came back and said, okay, maybe this topic won't work based off of what the sales team is telling us. And they talked to prospects every day. So if that's not landing...

...in a sales call, how's it going to land in content? So maybe we tweak that a little bit. So we spend those first few weeks digging in and then coming back and saying, you know, here's some of the topics that we can go deeper on, here's the right type of format that fits those topics and let's build out the editorial plan from there. I mean in terms of like formatting, are you guys mostly doing written content or realizing. I know it's been. It's been all over our feeds and just socially for a long time, everyone saying, you know, video content. I still don't think a lot of brands are utilizing video podcast obviously, right we're sinking tons of PODCASTS. Now. Is that something that you guys are solely focusing on, like the written word, or you're offering other services to so we also bring in the social assets. So we'll do video clips from the interviews, image images that either support the long form content or image quotes from the interview linkedin posts that are designed to like you can read the post, engage there and there's you would ever have to know there was a long form asset attached to it. Like you're getting everything you need in that post itself rather than it being, you know, a three sentence snippet from the article or preview and then a link to the article, either as in the post itself with the blog image preview, or in comments or whatever it is. Like we want to create the type of assets that people can engage with directly on social yeah, without having to like hop off and go to the company blog or anything like that. Yeah, exactly. So, now that you guys have been doing this. You've been doing it for definitely a few years. You've been doing it well beyond, you know, before you even started being kind of all on your own. Where do you think is the biggest opportunity for SAS brands as it relates to content, specifically thought leadership content? I think there's a really big opportunity to like, people talk about content and then they talk about community. That community has been really big the last couple of years, like all these micro communities on slack and brands acquiring community or trying to build them from scratch, but very rarely do you see those two meet. Um So, Sam and I spent a long time on community content with outreach with sales hacker, which is kind of fed into US starting what we started with them. I think there's a really big opportunity to make it this kind of cyclical relationship between community and content, where you're leaning on your community to get insights for that content, like round up posts or going deeper with interviews, asking one off questions on social and then pulling in comments into the content so and then obviously bringing that back to the community when it's ready to publish, and then you have that distribution built in because people are excited too to have participated and they'll share. It's just like this. It makes it more personal, it makes it more specific. If you're getting insights from, I don't know if your audiences sales managers, like you're talking to sales managers and then using their quotes and their insights right and then putting it back to sales managers. It's just this kind of like virtuous cycle for content and I don't see a whole lot of brands doing that because it does take a lot of effort and planning and it's it's has a longer lead time than, you know, an SCO article where you're pullaying a few articles together, but I think it's worth it and based off of like some of the things you mentioned about, you know, engaging with your community, and I can still see lots of brands who are trying to build a community. They see that challenge. I've exampled them. A part of tons of different slack groups and, Um, I mean I will go on a researching spree and then I'll find slack channels and then I'll join them and then I realized, Hey, there's not a lot of Um, there's not a lot of noise or it's not a lot of fresh content. Sometimes the you know, the administrator will try to keep them, keep some conversations flowing, but I've actually noticed on slack especially, some communities are bumping, some are just like solving slap fagine the SME is happening on social right. If you're trying to build a community and trying to get your users to u engage with their content, where do you think is like the differentiator between the ones who are doing the job? Is it just they've done a better job at building process, or they're being very active? You know, they're actively including them, even like reaching help to them proactively. Right, Um, I've always wondered what the biggest difference between like the flat communities and the ones that are that are doing an awesome job. Yeah, yeah, doing it well, like in slack, for example, is super hard. I think that is c t o or some somebody high up in slack was went on the record basically saying like slack was not built for a community, it's not a great platform for community, and yet we're still building these communities, right, but then trying to get community members to adopt a whole separate platform has its own set of challenges. So what where we've landed and the reason we're we tied social assets to the long form content that we're producing is I think I don't it's worth like drawing an...

...arbitrary line in the sand of this is community and this is audience on social. I think if you are intentional with your content on social, I think you can build that community on Linkedin or on twitter without having to start a slack community, for example, like you can get those consistent, engaged audience members and as long as you're taking the effort, making the effort to follow up and get into the D M S and have conversations and see where they would want to participate or like engaging with their content, I think that is building community and B Two b these days, like you can see it with, I think the two examples that come to mind for earlier stage companies are lavender in the sales space and gated with Andy and Melissa. I think what they're doing goes beyond like awareness or brand building on social. I think they have a really engaged community of fans that aren't even always necessarily customers, who continually engage in those conversations and you see the same people popping up. I think that's what can count as community. These days, it's like, Um, yeah, definitely nogated. Do you think it's especially I will even use, Um, you right, Brooklyn and being, as an example, but you were specifically sharing your own personal experiences using linkedin. Some people are using twitter a little bit more right, and that's how you've been able to build your own following, which I'm sure is where you've gotten a lot of exposure for being. Same with getting it right with Melissa and M D G MG. Right. You think about the classics too, built a huge community on Linkedin, brought that community right to his own Um, like build his own website, facebook, a private facebook channel. So that has been very interesting to see, especially as someone who I will never go on facebook ever again, unless on part of these marketing communities than time or SAS brands. Um, where is the opportunity for social right? Is it mostly like twitter and linkedin still, or is there something I know there was. Do you remember that shiny new like that everyone's forgot. I totally forgot about. Everyone was downloading that APP, the voice APP. That's bad that it's what like a year later, I mean forget what it's called. clubhouse. Yeah, com else is like an example of I think you know, you would think to build the community, go download cubhouse. The fact that we can't even remember it. It was just because all I'm creaking about was clubhouse like a year ago. But Um, twitter linkedin. Are Those the two channels that you think people could be optimizing and building their own personal brand to kick start building an actual community? For the corporate brands? I think for me, two B yeah, I think those are it. I mean you can get a lot of paid out of facebook and B Two b still, but I think for organic building a community, you think twitter and Linke Dinner, where it's at, rather than, like you said, trying to capture the value of a shiny new toy that may or may not be there. Like, I hesitate to say this, but when clubhouse came out, that's what I was thinking. Now hindsight, so now I'm going to sound like the tools saying it now, but I was like, I don't think this is going to stick around. Like getting somebody to adopt something new long term that has such a specific function. I don't think it's gonna work, and then twitter came out with spaces and then, you know, it's off to the races, right. Yeah, yeah, because it has been pretty interesting to just see that too. And I think the biggest, the biggest issue that I had with clubhouse when it first started was the fact that anybody could be a thought leader and anyone could just share whenever they felt and you would almost you almost take the spoken word more, you know, as for face value compared to you like the written word. You're a little bit more critical when you're when you're reading something. When that it's like, man, anyone can just tell themselves as an expert and just put out noise. It's irrelevant, that doesn't make any sense and it's about who's will willing to speak the loudest. And then it felt very much like I'm just trying to promote myself, Um, compared to the work that you actually see a lot of people on linkedin putting it to their content, researching backing it up. That, I think, was the biggest difference for me, which is why I levitate towards the leadership content on Linkedin, for example, or opting into certain people's newsletters or sub stacks where I'm like, this person knows what they're talking about, they are triangulating their linking to different resources, and I see the value in that versus me just coming on and, you know, just sharing whatever I'm feeling and all of a sudden everybody else is forced to listen to me and take whatever I'm saying is truth. M Hmm. Yeah, and there's no reason to separate those things out from your B two B brand. Like you can figure out how to lean on your team and encourage your team to do that. I mean you mentioned and D G MG. I think Gong is a great...

...example of Devin read, and now he's going all in on the reader and has the brand partnerships and all of that. I think by taking lessons from things that aren't necessarily be to be brand marketing, like you think of morning brew, down to a much smaller like substact, like you mentioned, like, those are the types of things that I think B two b bands would be served learning lessons from. Yeah, so what has been your strategy for being besides the fact that you've obviously built to quite a following on the dupring self, and I'm sure most of them are learning about being rough there. Besides that, or maybe that is your main striategy, right, how are you connecting and engaging with your customers and the people that you want to be part of the beams community? Yeah, that's it, it's it's so so uh. You know, I sent out a cold email campaign in a very blundering way a couple of years ago, but since then it's all been inbound or referrals by way of social and often, I mean the more promised sales conversations are the referrals where it's somebody who have never worked with but the question comes to them like who can we work with on content, and then they send them our way. Right, Um, that's yeah, that's that's our entire strategy so far and probably will be for quite a while. Like we're not going outbound and doing cold email campaigns and things like that anytime soon. What we do want to do is figure out how to get more intentional with like bringing right now it's been social, but we want to bring in more of a social selling approach where it's for continually seeing the same type same people engage in our content, like being more thoughtful about following up with them and being proactive in those conversations versus it all being inbound or shirls. You mentioned you did like a cold email of few years back. That's how you kind of try to share that hey, we're starting being is that was that your like? Was it something that you had thought about for a while or it was just like, Hey, let's just try this out, let's just put the put the word out. That for starting. To me it was so it wasn't even tied to beam at that point. That was still when it was Becca and I'd freelancing, Um, but it was yeah, I had just started working in the sales space a full time role and I was writing about cold email campaigns and interviewing people about it and all that. I was like, I've never put one of these together. Let me, let me try it. So I did it, like sent out to I think thirty something prospects that I pulled from sales navs. Um. We landed one client from it, but we're still working with them, so it's it's a it's a win from that perspective. Yeah, UM, yeah, we're still seeing a lot of people doing that now. But shifting books a little bit on you. What did you passionate about specifically. Good question. Is it bad if I don't say b? Two B content, if you don't say content? It's interesting and it's it's fun and I'm very grateful for it, but passionate is probably not a word I would ascribed to it. What I am passionate about is helping, uh, not even from a career perspective because I'm still so early in my career, but helping freelancers just realize how much more they can get out of freelancing. Like I spent weights have been freelancing. was freelancing for about eight and a half years by the time we launched beam and I just spent way too long undervaluing what I was doing, kind of flying by the seat of my pants. You just don't get a whole lot of perspective in the freelancing space or insight into what other people are doing. Like very little transparency around pricing, so you'll have like five cents a word writers and two dollar a word writers. Um. So I'm passionate about kind of helping freelancers up their game a little bit, just based off of, you know, lessons I've learned the hard way, mistakes I've made Um. So that's pretty tangential to to what we're building with theme. But that's why I still post a lot on freelancing and what went into that. Um Part of a few freelancing communities, because it's a lot of fun to have those conversations. Yeah, it's funny. Um, I used to be a freelancer too, at the company that I'm working out right now. I was freelancing for them. When I was freelancing for a bunch of other brands, I was working at a pretty toxic company in the past in Cryptos. That's why it's so toxic. But that's when I decided, Hey, I'm never gonna work for anyone ever again. Met We'll started had great experiences that had really negative experiences like and also experienced a lot of the things that you shared. Underselling myself, not feeling like every single time I would get a new client, feeling a little insecure about, hey, I don't know if I should help my rates, but that I would be working on Geek dog and not have lice. And I didn't understand the difference between all. Right, now that I'm a saying no and pushing back and firing bad plants, and it took a very long time for me to get to a point where I was like, you know what, my mental health is important. I need to...

...start to walk away from some of these clients and focus on something else. Um. Fortunately I did find a great company that made me feel like, Hey, there's good companies out there and I don't have to be scarred from my past experiences. But I shared some stuff on Linkedin to which I'm like, man, I wish I read this a few years ago because it would have been great to be able to have that kind of transparency, whether it's about prices. You share like some of the emails that you've sent Um. You know, when you're negotiating a raid, you're very transparent about the price to you are like, man, I just wish that I had this's like what Moore a few years ago, because I'm not the only one right. There's so many felancers out there and it's still so hard to find because what you mentioned right, it's like it's all with everything. It's like a race to the bottom. And but you can see it in saying with the agencies, because I've reached out to Um and I've tested out for open sense multiple content agencies and the quality is just it is all over the place. And and on the pricing, you can spend a fraction and you will end up having I will spend majority of my time having to edit it and just try to find some sort of a way to spend that into something positive, right, so you don't have to just trash it. Um. I spent more on certain like high quality pieces and it's been like man, this is why people should be paying more, because they have done the research. Jimmy from Super Path actually I was working with him on a piece and uh, testing something out, and I'm like, man, this is the difference. They time they interview you, they understand your pains, when you share a brand on it, when you share kind of your voice and told doc, people are actually absorbing it, their understanding it and they're using it, versus it just being something that no one ever ends up opening. But the stuff that you share, that you're passionate about, I think it's awesome that you're passionate about something. On me to be content. That's why you guys are creating good content right, because it's like your head's not in sad. Asked me to be MM HMM. Yeah, that's a few years ago. That was kind of the transition. was like, instead of bowing to lower rates and all of that, just being like yeah, I get that, if budgets an issue totally starts somewhere else, I can even send some like some referrals that that might make sense. But often you run into that quality issue. Right. The difference between a ten cent a word writer and a dollar word writer, if you're talking about individual freelancers, is, yes, often the writing itself is higher quality, but it's that they're taking those extra steps that you're talking about Um and I think that's the biggest difference right. There was a just one more on that because I loved it so much. There was a tiktok video. I wish I could remember his name so I could shout him out, but I don't think it can. But he it was this conversation between a beginner freelancer and uh, an expert freelancer, and the beginner freelancers like I don't think I can take on any more clients and expert says, well, raise your rates. He goes, well, what if I lose clients? And the experts like that's the point? If you double your raids and lose half your clients, you're making the same amount of money and doing half the work, which gives you more time to focus on doing better work for them and building your own business. So, like that's part of the process, is raising your raids, losing some clients that are no longer a great state and then find clients that are a better fit for you on term. Yeah, I I really like that perspective and it's like it's simple enough for you to get it, but it's still kind of complicated enough for you to not think about it like that. Yeah, it's always scary, like like that's the scariest thing to lose clients are like I can't say no because what if I lose them, or what if I don't get this contract? Yeah, when you think about it too, that some of your best clients, they're not just going to flat out like they're willing to if they're good, if they're a good client, they are willing to work with you, to try to meet you in the middle somewhere. They're not just gonna flat out say all right, peace out, I'm out for you. You know, you mentioned like obviously you're passionate about freelancing. You were a freelancer at one point. Now you are an entrepreneuriur have your own business. What was the training point in your career where it's like hey, I want to to kind of scale myself. Ever, I want to take this into a different step. I'm I want to do something a little bit more bold and pretty scary. Didn't that Um it was as something that's always kind of been inside of you, or did come as a result of your experiences or either as a milestone moment or anything like that? MM HMM. Yeah, I think it was over the course of the year of my last startup where it was I mean it was a great experience, like the team was great and all of that, but I was spending more and more time on the internal machinations of a growing company, like the paperwork and the documentation and the planning, and less on the like doing the work. So I think over the course of that year, for really the two years where I had a full time job, I think that was the confirmation I needed that I wanted to...

...go back to doing my own thing, because I started as a freelancer that three years ago. Over the course of those two years, that's the only full time. Those two are the only two full time jobs I've had and I learned the time. But it was also an opportunity to realize that I do want to build my own thing. Yeah, what is one of the greatest lessons that you've had that took you the longest to all learn? Maybe you're still trying to on learn it. Yeah, probably no surprise to like saying being able to say no. Then still on learning it. where, over the last few months, like gotten clear with our contracts for new clients and existing clients about timeline expectations and clear deliverables. Um, so we don't run into scope creep and all these things. Right, but I still because I spent so long as a freelancer, I think any freelancer can relate to like if I say no, than either I'm not going to ly in this project or they're gonna drop me as a like there won't be my client anymore, and it's like the scary ongoing back into your mind thing. Um, I think that just takes a really long time to unlearn. Yeah, I know. These are my time blocks for calls. You know, these are the timelines for turnaround. No, this is what the scope was like, let's go back to the contract, things like that. Yeah, I would say the same thing for me when I transition summer freelancer and then that was like a full time employee again. It was I remember the first year was like yes, yes, of course, yeah, you need that. Yes, personal time, yeah, of course, over time. Yeah, I don't want to have a family, I don't turn around, no problem. Yeah, no problem, I don't have to sleep. And it came to the point where I'm like, okay, year two, I'm feeling a little burns out. Um, you're you know you're too. I'm neglecting my body. Yeah, I'm not. I'm not getting up anymore. The glinting my Omerationships, and then it's like I'm also kind of losing it. A little bit of respect, right, people respect people who to draw boundaries, and then you kind of teaching people to Hey, I can ask for something last minute, I'm gonna get it, versus educating them and be like Hey, no, this is my process. Now it's different. I mean, you're inking full time. There's value in saying no, because you're having prioritize the work that you do. Everything is non high priority. So that is still something that I'm much better at, but as a freelancer. Right, and it takes like freelancers to understand that. It is so difficult to to shift. But you realize, whether it's over time or it's, like I feel like most of the people that I've spoken to, some of my friends who are freelancers, it's always been hey, I need to do this for myself. And then once you get that, get to that point, you end up not only scaling right, but the quality is so much better. You focus more on the big rocks versus just doing a bunch of things and then feelings for burnt out. But that's definitely been a challenge. But yeah, I'm glad that you're still learning to unlearn it. Um, it's a process. But yeah, what is one piece of advice that you would give yourself or another freelance? So starting off, for you can go back in time. Um, I think get specific. Besides the same no and setting your boundaries and all that, I think getting very specific about what you do and what you don't do. That was really the turning point. Spent the first four years freelancing kind of doing everything like I would do product descriptions and landing pages and email drip campaigns and SCO articles and social sometimes it was just like all over. But I think the more narrow you can get on what you do and then do that thing really well, I think the more valuable you become to your clients, because then you're the expert in email marketing or setting up hub spot automations or video editing or whatever it is. Right Um less about I think people talk about nicheing down a lot, but I think of it less in terms of an intory, because we work with healthcare tech, we work with Fintech, we work with sales. Like it's all over the map, but we've gotten pretty specific about the pieces of content marketing that we cover and the things that don't, and we're getting really good at that, so we're able to provide more value to our clients and therefore a charge more for what we're providing. Yeah, that's a great that's a great piece of advice for not only freelancers but also fast brands. It's the same thing, right, you do everything for everybody, you're nothing for nobody. M What is next for being good question. Once we like established these systems and processes, then talking about that's our focus. The next three or four months and we're bringing in some new clients, slowly but still keeping it kind of inbound and being pretty specific there. But I think once we have that foundation laid for I think it's starting to scale the team so we can do more for our clients and bring in some more of like the design elements and media editing...

...and guest posts and things like that, like the things are tied to what we do, but just growing the team so that we can kind of be that partner across the board for the type of content that we're producing. Yeah, yeah, right on. So you guys gotta you guys still have a lot of work to do, which is awesome and I'm sure it's going to be a fun journey for you. We'll shift this conversation a little bit to the rapid fire. I know I told you that most of the people when I share rapid fire, I'm like day. You guys have to do this very quickly, but feel free to think about it, because there's some questions that, Um, you know, not everybody knows at the top of their head because they're like kind of weak, the weird questions. So let's let's move and s rapid fire height. Let's think about it's in a from a content marketing perspective. What is the Best B Two b brand that you knew have encountered in terms of content and the B two C brand? Oh, bestly to be and B two C rapid fire A. Yeah, probably a cliche answer for me to be but I think it still holds true. Is Gong just because they've got the employee advocacy down. They they're using their data, their platform data, they're making it super visual. Um. I think Devon and the rest of the team that just did a great job building that out over the last few years. Um, and you see the results and the engagement and their growth social media followers. It's all there. B Two S. it's maybe a little unfair because it's not an actual SAS brand, but my wife and I were just obsessed with morning brew. I think what they've built is so cool and so unique and the way they've grown it's clearly valuated, because the way they've grown the team is crazy the last few years. So, yeah, we read it and almost every morning and have a separate folder and I just think it's Um, really unique what they've built. Yeah, I love Gong and I love morning groups, so I'm with you there. Um, what is one thing that makes you smile today? I hope he smiled very I did smile today. CARROT CAKE. After lunch. We got a surprise dessert after lunch that they brought us, so that was fun. I love carrot cake. It is so like. I really carrotake is actually very underrated. The carrotke at Costco is amazing. M I think for my like ninth or Tenth Birthday, requested carrot cake, like I've always loved carrot cake. Wow, I love carrot cake. Um. What? What is Um? Your Spirit Fruit? Why? I think an apple. I think it's that sounds so worrying, but it's very persatile. Yeah, versatile. Now I'm thinking through the why? I think because I don't know, like a great apple is just so satisfying when it's super crispy and then sometimes you get the mushy ones. So I don't know, just more of a reminder to be crispy, not mushy. That is very that is very that's hilarious. I have historically not white apples, but I love like Apple Pie of like I love Apple Incorporated into baked goods. Apple on its own makes me. I noticed when I eat an apple I feel so much hungrier and I don't know why. So about the well, to cut to you know, to like as a snack, I better have a meal prepared right after I finishing with that apple, because I'm starving after the apple. There you go. Yeah, that's maybe. Now I'm overthinking the why, because now I'm thinking, yeah, you can be all things to all people. Type of thing. Be Super Versatile with how you show up. Um, what is your spirit animal? We asked this on the team. What did they say? I think an otter. It's really fun and I like water. Like otters. I like otters and they float and they float. What is or a character to be a fictional characters somebody see on TV. Who would best represent you? MM HMM. If you ask me this or my wife this, would probably give different answers. But what would you say? What was your wife's saying? Mm Hmm, I really like the character Samuel from east of Eden, the farmer Father Guy, and maybe it's less who actually represents me and more who I want to be. Um, it's just super thoughtful and introspective and humble. So it's less I'm tweaking the question. It's less who actually represents me and who who would want to be right Um, and my wife. Well, I don't know, I'll ask her and get back to you. If you could pick one superpower, which one would you choose? I think being able to speak any language, right, every language. That is a good one. Do you like that? That's a...

...great one. I don't think minds. was being able to tos to animals. MM HMM. Yeah, Hey, can we wrap that into any language, including animal language? Were totally could. We called it good. So you got you definitely got got one on me, because I'm now jealous of the one that you have chosen. What is your pet peeve? Oh, listen, it makes me sound so petty, but we're talking to me to be and like confessionalism. The first thing that comes to mind is sending slack messages one line at a time. I just say like Hey, can I ask you a question, and then like forty five seconds later, the question comes and then there's follow up in another one like you get like there's not, I am, and then email like you can. You can put a little more thought into drafting your slack message before you seen it on over. I used to be so guilty of doing that. I was called out so many times by my dad and he would keep screenshotting in and sending that he would do the same thing. How does this feel? I was like a right, relax, relax, I don't do anymore. Um. So I would hear it. I wouldn't. Hopefully I wouldn't kiss you off. We're all the same slack chattle anyway. Yeah, what title would you give this chapter of Your Life? Learning by any means necessary, like we're learning a lot in this chapter. They like that. I realized these are kind of complicated rapid fire questions, so I should probably call it rapid fire, because are like like the personal essays attached to college applications. Yeah, those are stressful. I'm so glad I'm not anymore. That's way for you to wind down reading. Um Love what's loaded on my kindle. Um Love reading at the end of the day, beginning. Sometimes they read at the beginning of the day so it's less winding down. It's are like that buffer before jumping into work for minutes and then jump in. All right, do you do? You really read your books from my start to pen in. Sure you read like a couple of chapters in one book and then slop to another one. or I usually have like a one fiction and one nonfiction going, so I can switch back and forth depending on Um. What is one book you'd recommend to your audience, fiction and nonfiction, and why? I think so. I posted about a lot, but I like, I marked this book up like crazy. It was on writing by Stephen King. It just, yeah, I loved it. Um. It's like mostly for fiction writing, but I think there's tons in there that you can get for like B two B content marketing type of writing. Um, and I just loved Stephen King's fiction too. So cool. All right, that's the first time I've heard that one here. On writing. Okay, what's one thing you can't live without? Coffee in the morning. Um. What is your favorite kind of coffee? Super Dark, roast, black, just as strong as possible, basically. Yeah, yeah, I love that. I usually start my day with a very dark, straight black coffee and then I always end my day with like a Oh, there you go. I will say sometimes in the afternoons I'll do like the milk and sugar in the coffee or the smoke. It just feels different in the afternoon. And who is someone that you think we should invite onto the show? Someone that you think yeah, good question. It's easier for us because we're being hey. So and reached out to us to bite you on to the shop. What do you say? Yeah, but not the spot. Um, so I the reason I think of so I'd say Kyle Lacey, who was at lessonly, which got acquired by seismic and now he's on a sabbatical. So I think that's so. I'm actually talking to him in a couple of weeks to Um, like interview him about his career up to VPS, decision to take a sabbatical, work life balance, all of that. So I think probably a pretty unique perspective. Yeah, that's awesome. I love let some we I love what they the brand that they build a house. So much fun. Alright, cool, I think that is it. And it's four o'clock and it's five o'clock for you. Right, five o'clock. All right, what are you playing on doing now? After you know, I hang up and we were in this interview, I am heading home and I think we're making like Tomato Hummus toast for dinner. Yeah, I love that. Kids. That's awesome. I've actually been Um. This has been the year where I've appreciated toast and Sandwich recipes and test this has been the year before that I was kind of like, kind of scared of carbs because I'm like, Oh my God, carbs aren't good. Now I'm like carves are great. You get sour dough and you can load it up with tomato. Well, I will definitely try that. Well, thank you so much, Brooklyn, for joining us on both marketing camp. It's been an absolute preasure to have you and Um. I...

...hope you have a fantastic dinner with your family. Thanks. Thanks for listening to growth marketing camp. If you enjoyed this episode, we'd love it if you would give it a quick five star rating or share it with a friend or colleague looking to strengthen their skills with tips and inspiration. You want to learn more about the company behind the show, head to open sense dot com. That's O P E N s e. n s e Dot Com. We'll catch you on the next episode.

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