Search Interviews:

Jeremy Weisz 5:22

What are your favorite trade shows? In history? What was the one in Orlando?

Kara Brown 5:25

Oh, the one in Orlando was the transportation intermediary Association barnburner of a show. It’s great, actually, it’s actually a really good show. It’s, it’s all of the brokers and mostly ask them be to mid cap brokers, which is great. I’m actually favorite show in the space is new. It’s called manifest. And they do a really good job of finding the right tech players, the correct sort of service providers, and then also, they’ve got a ton of shippers that go to that show. So my clients are looking for the shippers at these trade shows. We’re not because we don’t we don’t actually work for shippers themselves, but a really good mix. And then the show is just done really well. It’s a really well done show.

Jeremy Weisz 6:04

You could have kept on the career. I mean, obviously you have an amazing track record. What made you start your own company?

Kara Brown 6:12

It’s a really good question. When I moved to Atlanta, I had actually started it once before. So in Chicago, I was one of those women that popped out kid got an MBA and started a company all at the same time. I don’t do anything easy.

Jeremy Weisz 6:26

Just why maybe leads me right. Yeah, like why do it like?

Kara Brown 6:30

Yeah, why have you stayed home mom and like, just be a stay at home? Mom, you should definitely go back to grad school and start a company all at the same time. It was really because someone asked me they said, Hey, I think are you not working right now? Could you just like send some emails for us and help us out. And Amanda BOL, who’s now the CEO of ship Primus was our first customer at the time, and she paid me $1,400 a month to write emails and manage her HubSpot early on. And I just really enjoyed it. And it wasn’t actually about being my own boss, because frankly, I worked a lot more when I was a consultant. I worked corporate. But it was great. And I was really happy. And so when I exited my last role, my husband said to me, you know, you were happiest when you worked for yourself, because definitely had a couple job offers. And then I learned this statistic that less than 2% of female founders will ever break $1 million in revenue. But American Express number, it’s actually 1.7% of women that start companies will ever break a million dollars, top line revenue. And I thought, okay, hold my beer. Let’s do this next, right. I did an IPO I work for private equity. I’ve done the venture capital raise, let’s do it for ourselves. And so it’s just been amazing. I think moving to Atlanta was a really good opportunity for us to sort of start over in a new place. Chicago is lovely. It’s a you know, wonderful place to be an entrepreneur. But as a woman, it was really hard to get in the door. And so in Atlanta, it’s just such a welcoming community for minorities of all kinds, putting myself into that sort of box in terms of business. And just there’s so many resources down here. The other question that you don’t get living in Atlanta is what business school that you go to, because there’s no Kellogg and booth down here. So moving to Atlanta, learning the stat, I just decided, let’s let’s do this. Let’s try this. And I did it. So I joined EOA, which is the club for folks 250,000 up to a million. EO Accelerator Program. And they told me your goals, a million bucks. And I was like, That sounds about right. So we did that eight months, we were in and out. And then I learned the stat that let there are so few women who break 10 million in revenue bootstrapped. That is, it is statistically irrelevant. They literally don’t track it, because it’s so small. So you can guess what the next goal is for us. Right? Yeah, do it yourself. Why not? We’re having a blast.

Jeremy Weisz 8:58

I know several people actually from Chicago, besides it being cold moved to Atlanta, just for that reason for the diversity and opportunity, etc. So, um, you mentioned women leaders. And can you talk about chief for a second in involvement in Chief?

Kara Brown 9:14

Yeah, Chief was a really fun experiment for me. In the thick of the pandemic, I joined as Chief, it is a really solid group of executive level women that learn from each other. Unfortunately, being an entrepreneur, we just have different challenges than folks that are in corporate America. I don’t have a boss. I don’t get a paycheck when I pay myself. But no one decides how much I make besides me. Right? There’s, there’s a lack of politics. I’m sure that my organization has politics. I’m not naive, but I don’t participate because I’m at the top right. And so while I loved my time at Chief, I think what really brought home for me from my experience at Chief was that I belong in EO, I belong with other entrepreneurs that are, you know, sometimes putting payroll on an AmEx and not taking a paycheck and don’t have security and are making decisions that affect the lives of the people who work for them. I think, as an entrepreneur, I take the responsibility of paychecks that pay car notes and mortgages and health care and daycare very seriously. And it’s just a different level of stresses and responsibility when you’re an owner that has started a company than when you’re a corporate employee who’s running something or someone else.

Jeremy Weisz 10:38

I want to talk about the evolution of your service, as you mentioned, Amanda, early on, was asking you to do certain things. Now, you know, obviously, you offer, you know, paid media ads, you offer public relations, marketing, automation, rev ops, talk about what you started off with offering to how you came to what you offer now.

Kara Brown 11:00

That’s the sort of funny story. So my very first client I manual, I called a friend of mine, who had been my agency in Nashville when I lived there. And I said, What do you think I should charge? And he goes at least 100 bucks an hour, and I just about fell on the floor. I was like, I’m not worth $100 an hour. Are you crazy? Like, that’s insane. So I think I charged like at like, I wasn’t, I wasn’t sure, though. Yeah, like it was at $9 An hour or something like that. And I tell this story to female entrepreneurs, because now we’re like 215 or 250 an hour. So like, it’s come so far. And I have to remind myself, Hey, you didn’t start out like this, you know, this, just be reminded of how it started. And so

Jeremy Weisz 11:40

Like it’s not just female. From what I’m talking about. It’s just people starting out. It’s almost I don’t know if it’s an imposter syndrome, but it just feels any I mean, when I’m talking to women, men, whoever they feel like when they first start charging on their own, they undervalue themselves.

Kara Brown 12:02

And I don’t know if it’s undervaluing yourself at the beginning. I mean, no one would have paid me $250 an hour in 2017. Like there would have been like your joke, right. And now we’ve got niche experience and 40 people, and we have case studies that prove that we’re worth it. Right. And so I think I think you sort of have to do with the market will bear I did have a funny conversation with a gentleman who was in the same space as I am. And I after, after we talked about pricing, I was like, do I need to I need you please, to increase your prices by 2x. So that we can at least compete, because you’re so cheap, that you’re actually cutting off my legs, right? And so I’m trying to sort of raise the level of pricing around the table specifically in our space, but noted the great he was like, Yeah, great. I didn’t, I didn’t know someone would pay me that much money. And I was like, Well, yeah, try it. You know, a smart man told me keep raising your prices until someone tells you you’re too expensive, and then raise them even more. And so we’ve tried a lot to raise minimums and raise prices and get to a point where we were, we feel really good. And margin is important to us, right? We sell time. And so the faster we can do things, the more margin we make, the more successful we are for our clients. And I think that there’s a lot of value in that. So pick the maturing business has a lot to do with with what we’re charging now. But your question was really like the evolution so I was doing really demand gen marketing. And I’m not a I’m not a designer. So I want to lay sort of this out for your, your listeners, we don’t do design. So I’m not a marketing shop that will help you with your logo. We do math. In the marketing funnels. We spent a lot of time in HubSpot, sales force pulling, math, pulling reports, etc. And a dear friend of mine will hair away was running a PR shop in supply chain called backbeat marketing. And we ended up meeting a client together. And I remember calling him after a meeting one day and I said, Man, I don’t want to do what you’re doing. And he’s like, I don’t have any idea how to do what you’re doing. And I was like, we should probably do this more often. So fast forward to 2019. And we are now official together. So we’ll and his team do analyst relations and public relations. My team does sort of the hardcore demand gen work. And then we have Jeremy gave who runs our HubSpot shops. We have a whole team that just does HubSpot. And then we actually have a team that will make the first dial. So we have expanded the team and the company and what we do for clients based on market needs based on client needs. And then based on things that we learn, right, the next thing for us is AI, how are we going to take ChatGPT and the other tools that are coming out and incorporate them into what we know works for clients, and then give them our best use cases, test things, etc. So it’ll continue to change and it’s really exciting. I think the one thing that is that we know is true about the company, our company is that it’s always changing.

Jeremy Weisz 14:56

I’m wondering, you know, let’s say someone’s listening right now and they have really amazing partner that they do a lot of work with. And they have that same conversation, right? I don’t want to do what you do, and the other person that I don’t want to do what you do, and they’re a good match and almost a good marriage. They can keep doing that and keep partnering on things. But you almost made it official. So how did you? Why did you decide to actually make it official? And then how did you integrate the two companies?

Kara Brown 15:26

It’s actually a really funny story. So Will and I went together to pitch a company together. And he was like, okay, the guy we’re pitching, he’s like, I get it. You guys are really smart. Who am I hiring? Why am I paying? What’s going on? Like, I’m so confused.

Jeremy Weisz 15:49

Literally, it’s not what you want to hear.

Kara Brown 15:50

What you want to hear was the word it was like one of the worst pitches ever, right? And we walk to the elevator. And we’re like, well, we’re not doing that again, we got to figure this out. Right? Like, clearly the guy wanted to buy from us. But he was confused as to what he was buying. Let’s figure this out. So we were at the Georgia, the Georgia supply chain summit, I swear to God, and sitting on other sides of the room, because we’d split up to work the room together and texting each other for names. And I was on my Name Cheap app. And I found lead coverage for $135. And I was like, I think this is it. And you know he does PR. So coverage made sense for him leading coverage lead with coverage. And we were trying to figure out what made sense. And lead coverage just made sense. And so I think the first the first step for us was going to market together under one name, then we had to decide, alright, how are we going to how we’re going to split this up some clients I work for, and he doesn’t some clients he works for and I don’t. And then I think we’re very organically over the last seven ish years, we have just, the team just sort of came together. We had like a crazy deal. And like, I don’t recommend this where like I was paying employees and what was paying me back. And I got really complicated until we’d sort of sorted things out with lawyers. And now everything’s great. But we got to know each other for a very long time before getting married. And so, you know, personalities, were not a surprise teams, were not a surprise clients, were not surprised. I think we did the rebrand sort of at the beginning of the pandemic. And so nobody really paid attention. And it’s just been really, really great. I know that like 75, or 78% of most business partnerships fail. But after going through the pandemic, and the great resignation, which was just horrible for most agencies, including us, with a partner, and coming out the other side stronger, I mean, we grew 171% through the pandemic, like, nothing can touch us, you know, like, just knowing that you have someone that is in your corner and has your back and vice versa has been a game changing. It took a long time, I will not tell you that it was like love at first sight and that we met and like immediately started a company together, it took a long time. But now we have exactly the same goals. And we back each other up. And it’s great. I’m really, really proud.

Jeremy Weisz 18:19

Yeah, it sounds like a really gradual thing where you’re using each other, you’re you know, you’re working with each other. And then you tested a couple of things together, but separate and then you kind of tested it together together. And then the integration kind of slowly happened over time.

Kara Brown 18:37

One more comment. One of the things that I’ve been reflecting a lot on lately, as an EO member, we do a lot of reflection, right? Is the I am I’m a tough person, if you ask around I don’t care is really tough, like she’s kind of badass, whatever. And what I’ve learned in the last couple of years going through this process is that empathy and patience are actually really, really valuable. And so I move really fast generally, and I make fast decisions. But this was one and this partnership was one that needed time, it needed time to mature and needed time to adjust. Everyone did and as much as I’ve, at the time wished it had gone a little faster. I think that it worked out just the way it should have and because of my patience, my ability to be patient, I should say with this whole process of the partnership, it was paid off dividends.

Jeremy Weisz 19:36

You’re mentioning obviously it’s very people centered business in general. I’d love to hear how do you what are your thoughts on attracting and hiring great talent?

Kara Brown 19:50

Well, hi, Darryl Brown. I’m terrible at hiring people. terrible terrible like if you say like hey, what are your five gaps like how Hiring is at the top of the list, I am the worst. So we hired a fantastic head of people just they say that when you’re growing a company, you have moments of these humans that come into your life. And they are pivotal hires. And our head of people, Matt Needleman was a absolute pivotal hire. Fantastic team player, amazing made a huge impact on the team within days of being on boarded. And so I don’t, is the real answer. I’m not allowed to anymore. I’ve made enough. I’ve made enough horrible mistakes, horrible hiring mistakes, that have cost me enough money that I know that this is something that I should not be doing. And it is, for sure, off my plate. I meet most of the folks that come to work for us. But there are some folks that I have not met, and it’s probably better that I didn’t. Yeah, I’m kind of scary. I can sell the dream. But man have I made six?

Jeremy Weisz 21:02

At what point in your company that you decide we need ahead of people?

Kara Brown 21:07

Well, I wish I could have had ahead of people earlier, we’ve actually hired other head of people, right, other folks that we tried to get in this role. It wasn’t until we found Matt, that we found the right person for the role. I think we may have hired two before that one or two before that, but getting the right person in the role with the right attitude and the right level of commitment, and sort of the ability to work with me I’m a hard person to work for if you are sort of a empathy person. I’m really tough direct, I make decisions really quickly, oftentimes without a lot of information. And a true visionary type of person. Yeah, I mean, in the rocket fuel book, like textbook textbook, which makes me a disaster, right? Like, true visionaries are they have no attention to detail, make super fast decisions move fast, right? Shoot, point, aim, right? That is me to a tee. And so finding I have people who was willing and able to work with that sort of leader at a small company, during a crazy time in the economy, like, finding that human was best. And actually in in true transparency. I didn’t hire him either. I hired my husband to be my COO, because he’s a good engineer, and a fitness model. But the nuclear engineer part is more important. And he was an operator and I was like, I’m, I’m dying here, man. Like, you gotta come help me out. The integrator? Yes, yeah, he’s the integrator. And so he found Matt, and was like, We got to hire this guy. I’m not sure that I would have hired him on my own. But again, I make terrible hiring decisions. So it’s really good that I’ve, I’ve, I’m all in the genome admin, and, you know, visionary integrator, and I have gotten much better than not perfect. But I’ve gotten much better about delegating things that are just not in my skill set. Like I should not be doing anything. And so trusting the folks around me that I trust, you know, that make those decisions on our behalf. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 23:10

So looking back, you had two other people before? What made Matt the right person for this? And also, if someone’s listening to this they could check out you know, Gino wrote a great book Traction Mark windows and Gino wrote a great book Rocket Fuel, you could check out an episode I did with Gino Wickman and a separate episode I did with Mark Winters. Those are both great. So check those out. What made Matt the right person looking back versus the other two people?

Kara Brown 23:39

Gosh, what made him great. I mean, everything makes him great.

Jeremy Weisz 23:43

Or what should people look for in like a head people person?

Kara Brown 23:47

I’m just my experience share, right? Like, I am no expert on how to hire how to people. But I will say that my, my experience with Matt has been a couple of things. One, he is a recruiter at heart, the same way that I’m a salesperson at heart. And I can make decisions hiring decisions quickly, because I know that he’s got a virtual pipeline of folks that he’s been talking to. And he can pull someone out of his magical hat. That’s like a 10 out of 10 for a job and like a couple of days. And that gives us a ton of freedom. If I don’t have to worry about waiting six weeks to get a couple of candidates, I know I can get a candidate or two in a matter of four or five days like holy cow, the ability to make decisions quickly is awesome. I think too is he tells me No. in the nicest way possible. But I tend to like to hire people who look and feel like me people from the space that I like, people that I think can bring revenue into the company and I’m like, let’s just hire this person. They’re gonna be great. And he meets them and he’s like, How do I tell care? I know, right? And he does in a very polite way. And I think lastly is just energy You know, and I, this is culture fit, just culture fit, right? Energy, willingness to sort of do anything jump in wanting to be seen as a leader taking responsibility before, it’s actually been, you know, given. I think anytime someone can take something off my plate, I find them super valuable not add to and he just, he just makes decisions. And in a company like ours that small and growing, you have to have leaders on the team that you can trust to make those decisions. And he can, and then in conjunction with my other leaders, and as well as my COO, like, I don’t have to make the small calls anymore, which is game changing when you’re trying to scale.

Jeremy Weisz 25:46

I want to talk about culture fit. And if you’re watching the video right now, I pulled up the LeadCoverage website. And I was reading through the core values. And then I want you to expand a little bit on the “Yes, and?” and what that means but “Deliver results”, “Yes, and?”, “Embrace tough conversations”, “Be extraordinary”, “Master of one, Jane of the rest.” So talk about the “Yes, and?” for a second.

Kara Brown 26:09

So “Yes, and?” it’s funny, if you’ve ever done improv, the answer is always yes. So I did improv stand up and college, etc. So, yes, and is easy for us to do we can we play games with? Yes. And? And I think the other piece too? Yes. And is we are a consultancy, right? We we work with clients every single day. And so if a client asks you for something crazy, the answer is not. So the answer is yes. And Jeremy, we are going to talk about how we take something off the plate to put something else on the plate. Right? And so teaching the team about how to use Yes, and has been super important. We also use it internally. Right? And the answer is always yes. I think being a mother, the word no is something I say to my children. But I never want to use it to a client or to an employee, right? Like the word know is that you say to a dog or a child. And so the nuance of Yes, and helps the team be more consultative. I love it.

Jeremy Weisz 27:13

You know, when someone’s listening to this, your book may be out. It may not be out. But I want to talk about the book. And you know, the full lot, you know, basically the book is your philosophy for demand generation. So maybe just start there.

Kara Brown 27:32

Yeah, so we have a three by three matrix for our philosophy of demand gen for b2b. So while we specialize in supply chain, this is usable for any b2b environment, it probably doesn’t work for b2c, it’s a lot more complicated there. So the philosophy is share good news, track interest follow up. We believe that there are three funnels that one funnel and sales there is a prospecting, a nurture and a customer funnel. And then lastly, we measure volume, velocity and value. And the book. While it doesn’t have a name yet to help, it does by the time some of your listeners, listen.

Jeremy Weisz 28:09

You’re listening, and you have an idea. Yeah. Yeah.

Kara Brown 28:15

I think the book is someone asked me like, you know, who is the audience, and I think it’s 25 year old Kara, right? It’s, it’s the, it’s the young hustler who wants to do a great job, who’s working her tail off, trying to do everything for everyone, wherever she is, and doesn’t really know what needs to happen, doesn’t really know how she should be measured, and is waiting for someone to tell her. This is the book. It’s also the book for her boss. It’s for the the business to business professional, who knows that he needs marketing, he knows that he he knows that his friends that are doing marketing are seeing success, but he doesn’t really know how to measure it, he doesn’t really know how to ask someone to do what he wants to do. And he certainly doesn’t know how to manage it, how to measure it, right? So this book is for both of them. It’s for her to say to her boss, this is the philosophy I’m going to follow. And this is how we’re going to measure what I’m doing. And if the book for him to say to her, Hey, I think this is where we should get started. I think this woman’s really smart. And we should probably follow some of what she’s doing. Let’s go get started. That’s the goal.

Jeremy Weisz 29:23

So we can see there share good news track interest, follow up and measure. That’s right, right. Under measure. You talked about measuring three things. Can you go a little bit deeper in the measure part?

Kara Brown 29:35

Yeah. So we, we believe that you should measure three things in your funnel in your marketing and sales funnel, which is volume, velocity and value. So volume is just what are the deltas? Right How many are at the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel bottom of funnel? Show me the math against your total addressable market. We work primarily in the supply chain space. This is a random number but also bear with you anyway, there are 19,677 shippers in America, over $500 million in revenue. So essentially, if you’re going after enterprise shippers which there aren’t that there’s aren’t that many, right? That’s pretty small Tam, but 20,000 of them once you get an SMB comes a lot wider. But if you’re really going after enterprise, small Tam, so the first question we asked our clients is, do you have the email address of every person who could buy from you? And 100% of the time? The answer is no. And so we spent a lot of time on volume. What is the appropriate volume? How many records should we have? How many are we touching? How many should we be touching? What is the appropriate volume for each stage of our funnel? Velocity is how fast are they going through the pipeline? So once we talk to someone, how long does it take them to go from a top level to a mid level to the bottom of the funnel? And then how long does it take them to turn into a customer, obviously, but we’re tracking the velocity through Delta’s really from top to bottom of funnel and the marketing funnel. And then value actually comes from a story a million years ago, from my group on an echo days, which was a very smart man told me, it costs you just as much money to run a $2,500 account as it does a $250,000 account. So how, what is the value of each of the deals in sed pipeline? And can you increase the value of those deals in some way? And then also, should you stop spending time on deals that are clearly below your threshold of value? So we track these three things. And then we track them actually inside each of the three funnels. So when you get really sophisticated, you’re looking at volume, velocity, value, and value of your prospecting engine, your nurture engine, and your customer engine. And so the book will go into what are the appropriate KPIs to measure for each of these? How are they a little bit different? What are the nuances of cross sell and upsell that don’t exist in cold emailing, or cold outreach on your prospecting funnel? Etc. I’m really excited to get the book done. Because I would love to have really deep conversations with lots of folks around how to measure volume, velocity and value at each of our funnels, and how other people think about it. Right? There’s lots of other philosophies out there. So I’m really excited.

Jeremy Weisz 32:23

What are some mistakes people make with cold outreach?

Kara Brown 32:27

Hmm. How long do you have? The stick number one, and this is all over my LinkedIn is list – list cleaning, lists management, Tam? How big is the TAM? Where are you getting the list? Right? Everyone’s using Zoom info. So if everyone’s using Zoom info, guess who’s getting a ton of emails? Anyone in zoom info, right? Like, where are you getting these lists? Can you find lists from places that other folks aren’t getting list? How do you clean them? Right? A clean list is super, super important. So I think that’s number one. Number two is not using one of the many, many, many tools out there to help you write better cold copy, right? Lavender, try lavender, I think it’s try or a is the best that I’ve seen. full transparency. I’m on the cap table. They’re amazing, amazing, amazing at writing cold email. I used to think I do think actually I’m pretty good writer. I’m like, I’m pretty good read. I’ve been doing this for a long time. But an email on lavender like you get a C minus I was like screaming lavender like what do you know, and it was totally true, like a bunch of things that I had done wrong. And so I think making sure that you’re just using the tools that are out there to write great cold email. And then lastly is follow up. I think the hardest thing that people that people miss, is the ability to follow up quickly is the difference between closing a deal and not. And I’m guilty of it. I’m busy, right? We all do this. But inside sales. And Harvard did a study that said if you can talk to a human within five minutes of them showing you a buying signal, you have a 900% better chance of closing that deal. So people are losing deals because they’re just not following up fast enough. So can you stay rigorous and diligent on follow up and not just let it be the last thing you do? At the end of the day?

Jeremy Weisz 34:25

I was talking to someone who can appreciate this who they’re an agency that serves lawyers and they do lead generation and the firm was saying it’s not working. And then they brought up I think they use call rail for call tracking. And they go let’s let’s bring up your call tracking and they go miss call miss call miss call miss call this call. And like you were saying they were calling and they were not getting anyone on the line. So that was I just found it kind of interesting. You know, it wasn’t working. Apparently that was funny.

Kara Brown 34:59

So And back to your previous question, which was, how has the business evolved? We have our own SDR team. I don’t sell it separately, we don’t make cold calls. But because of that exact reason, hey, you’ve been doing this for us who’ve been paying you all this money and the leads aren’t good. Or we’re not getting anything for our money was 99% of the time because the sales team at the client wasn’t making the dials. They just weren’t calling them. Or they’re missing phone calls, or they weren’t following up, or they were right. And so we hired our own team of STRS. Their internal they’re here in the States, and they make the first dial. And so instead of just handing over a list of qualified prospects, I’m handing over that meeting. Here is the meeting that I set for you. The big challenge for us in full transparency is that there are companies that just that meetings. So we end up sort of, because we do set meetings, but we’re not just meeting setters. Oftentimes, I have to spend some time educating folks that you have to have the full kit and caboodle. Right? Because whole dials will convert at a 1% ratio. Warm dials will convert at a 60% ratio, ad hoc dials, meaning that someone has filled out a form. They’re interested, they’re on the website, they’re doing some research, we’ll convert it 40%. So how do we get as many 40% meetings as possible? Well, it’s not being enthralled as to cold calls.

Jeremy Weisz 36:28

Yeah, and even if like you mentioned just in the outreach piece, there’s so many pieces. So like if one of these pieces gets dropped, the whole system doesn’t work, right. So that’s important to have like a kind of a full solution there. And that’s not even including just list or the copy or the follow up, but but everything together.

Kara Brown 36:47

Yeah, we like HubSpot for that to solve that problem. We have clients that will come to us or people I talked to that come to us and they’re on Zoho and MailChimp and some random CRM that you’ve never heard of before. And it’s always in that. So get yourself on HubSpot. It’s definitely the best in the space, really inexpensive. We’ve got enterprise clients that use it like enormous companies. We’re using it for marketing automation. Also for CRM. It’s great for any midsize and mid cap company. And then anyone can do it. It’s DIY, right? So well, we’re a gold sorry, platinum, Diamond, Diamond, good grief, Kara. We’re a diamond partner. So we can do the sexy stuff at HubSpot for you. It’s not so complicated that someone else can’t use it on your team or someone can use it on your team. And so I the the putting all of the pieces together is really, it was really hard there. The average business to business marketing technology tech stack is 17 thick. Which means that whoever is doing your marketing, if you’re b2b is using 17 to 25 pieces of tech every day. And there’s just no way that they talk to each other. Right. And then we also talk a lot about with our clients like I had someone say to me, Well, we see all that in Google. And I’m like, No, you see aggregated data and Google, you see top line aggregated data and Google but Google doesn’t tell you that Dr. Jeremy was on the league coverage website. And because he was you should call him like Google doesn’t give you that sort of primary intent, you know, nugget or clue. That’s all in HubSpot. So we spend a lot of time educating folks on that.

Jeremy Weisz 38:25

I want to highlight a little bit and understand more about what you actually do. Um, can you talk about you worked with the robot company?

Kara Brown 38:33

Yeah, that’s a robot. We love robots for warehouses. Yeah, so really, the way to think about what we do is a is a campaign led initiatives. Right? So for us campaign starts with public relations. And public relations are market specific information, right. So this is not the five best ways to choose a robot or your warehouse or a blog post about robots in 2025, like evergreen copies important and you should have it but it’s not going to you should not expect it to drive a lot of demand gen. But market specific copy market specific timing specific public relations that is then published by a third party that you can use should in theory, drive demand gen. So the way we do it is we put this piece of copy out there content that is a public relations based market specific piece of content. And then we share it on all of our channels. So this is we write an email, email sequence, landing pages, social media, etc. And we also get it picked up by other publications. So in our space, very sexy one like inbound logistics, supply and demand chain executive and material handling today, and these are really valuable, like super valuable.

Jeremy Weisz 39:50

I find it funny because when you’re mentioning the conference, one of them was like the transportation blah, blah, blah and the other ones called manifests. Very different naming and marketing.

Kara Brown 40:00

Very sexy, very sexy names in our space, you know, inbound logistics and transport topics. But really, really important for the folks that are your target audience. But it’s not about you and like, you don’t want to, you know, People Magazine, that’s nice, but truck drivers don’t read People Magazine, maybe they do. But like the ones we’re trying to reach, we don’t if we’re not really sure they read People Magazine, we do know that they are paying attention to material handling and inbound logistics. And so we make sure that they’re published in the right places. And then we also put some paid media money behind this. This is where you publish to LinkedIn, Google, right Facebook, maybe depending on the audience. And everyone is different before the robot company, this was all LinkedIn. And we shared a market specific piece of content. This was also sort of around the pandemic time. And so people were really, really concerned about how am I going to put a plan together to share with my board? And how are we going to handle this sort of now and in the future. So we called it facing the board. And the key to this was getting three partners to come on this series of webinars with us again, this was sort of think of the excuse me think of the pandemic, I would not recommend a really thick webinar strategy today, folks that kind of webinar it out, overall, going back in person to these trade shows. So how do you do something that is around your around your audience where they are meeting in person, right. And then we did a series of I think it was six webinars total, we had 265, people register for one or more of the webinars, and then we called every single one of them. After calling every single one of them, we said 18 meetings, they then closed 50% of those deals at an ARR of three to 10 million per deal. So that’s potentially upward, the top line of that as $100 million dollars put in the pipeline, right? So these are very specific lead by public relations or analyst relations, buoyed by the demand gen team plus paid media and then follow it up with with our internal SDR team to make those dials. And that’s when the magic happens. Here, let’s killer. Thanks for sharing that. Yeah, it’s fun.

Jeremy Weisz 42:10

How do you position the call when you’re calling them?

Kara Brown 42:13

When I’m talking to my prospects?

Jeremy Weisz 42:15

No, I’m the when they’re calling STRS? Calling the people that registered for the webinar? How are they introducing themselves? And kind of what’s the what’s the topic of the conversation?

Kara Brown 42:27

Sure, what’s the script? So every script is different. For this one, it would be Hey, I’m calling from XYZ company, they ghost the ghost as our clients. And we saw that you attended that webinar, and wanted to see if you’re interested in getting more information and setting a meeting with XYZ SVP at that company. So these are very specific. These are not cold calls, right? A cold call is just like, Hey, Dr. Jeremy ever heard a leak coverage? Nope. Can I tell you about it? No, I’m busy. Oh, shoot, like, Okay, hang on, like.

Jeremy Weisz 42:56

These people already registered for a webinar and may possibly even watch the webinar.

Kara Brown 43:01

Yeah. And we actually go backwards in terms of attendee attendance, right. So if you registered and attended, two or more, you were the first people we call them sort of backed into folks that registered within the 10. And then we had lots of options. Were like, Hey, Dr. Jeremy saw that you registered for the robots and warehouses facing the board. But you didn’t, you didn’t you didn’t get to come or you were busy. Can I send it to you. We also had partners on every single call. So we’re talking McKinsey, Bain, like big consulting firms. So just wanted to make sure you got the report that mackynzie talked about on the webinar, I have a copy for you, I’d like to send to you, right, the giving of the information for free, which is clearly what we do every day all day was really important for those phone calls, for sure.

Jeremy Weisz 43:53

I love that because I would think I’m guessing here, but most people are not, I mean, following up. And secondly, they’re not following up with a phone call. I would I would guess most webinars out there even to do webinars.

Kara Brown 44:07

I think it is such a shame. It’s just such a shame that we put all of this time and energy and effort and money into these events, trade shows, webinars, you know, white papers, whatever speaking engagements to then just ignore what happens next. It just it makes my heart hurt sometimes when I mean we went to a client went to for trade shows. They spent probably close to a million bucks, right between travel and trade shows up and not quite a million but pretty close. And had no idea how to track it. Didn’t have any idea how they were going to track leads that have come in from the trade shows and we know we do it every day all day. So I’m like this is how you do it. This is where you put them this is where you tag them. And it took weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks to be able to understand See what was happening post trade show. And it turns out that someone just put it in the system wrong and they weren’t owned. So they had all of these records from this trade show, we, the way that happens for the coverage is we say to the team on the client side, you can take two to five leads from this trade show, five is the most, you can’t actually work 10 to 25. Leads post show, it’s just too many, there’s too many, you get two to five, you’re gonna give us the rest, you’re gonna, you’re gonna send your updates to those humans, and we’re going to tell you who is interested from the rest of this group. And when we do it, right, and it works that way. It’s mad genius. But when you sort of leave it up to the sales team, inside the, you know, middle market client, they’ve got six or seven folks that went to this trade show. It just, they never get touched, right? So we go back and we look at all of the money that was spent on this show, or this event, or this webinar or this partnership. And we look at who didn’t get followed up with. And sometimes it just breaks your heart.

Jeremy Weisz 46:02

Yeah, you’re you’re almost helping I feel like these companies taking the 8020 approach or 9010 approach was like, you’re kind of sifting, here’s the 10% of the people you should be spending your time with let us kind of sift that down for you. Is that accurate?

Kara Brown 46:17

Yeah. And I mean, even one more level of sophistication. Right, which would be amazing if we could get our clients to do this, which is, who do you actually want to meet at the trade show before we go to the trade show? Did you meet with them? If yes, then follow up. You know, if no, then different follow up. But everybody’s so busy. And everyone’s you know, just there’s a lot of heartache around prepping for this stuff. So I’m not blaming anyone, right, it happens. That happens. Sometimes that happens better than others, you know. And sometimes the shows are really helpful. So you asked me very early on in our conversation today, what’s your favorite show, mine is puppet small manifest. It’s very sexy, all about about shipping. And but the app for the show is phenomenal. Phenomenal. You can set meetings on the trade show floor, you can tell people where you want to meet them. You can message people in the trade show app. It’s just the best thing I’ve ever seen for trade to activation. But the other challenge is like we can’t see inside the client sales people’s manifest app. So you’re like, Okay, Johnny, these were the five people on your list. Did you meet them? Oh, yeah. And I met with 12 others too cool. Who were they? Oh, I don’t know. I’ll get it to you. I’ll send it to you, and then we never get it. So the coordination of these super expensive, really high dollar investment, sort of practices, like shows and like these expensive webinars if you’re paying someone to be on, um, you know, I think there’s a lot more if you if you are diligent about it, it can be super, super successful. It’s the diligence, that can be the hard part.

Jeremy Weisz 47:59

Yeah, no, I love what you said there about, it’s almost being proactive, as opposed to reactive, right? I mean, we’re talking about after the fact, but you’re like, wait, if we have this strategy beforehand, which you advise your clients on, it can be that much more fruitful.

Kara Brown 48:15

Yeah. And then also, I mean, if you’re sophisticated enough to have some sort of ABM campaign going Account Based Marketing, where you have tier one, tier two, and tier three potential clients, and you know, they’re gonna be there, the ability to divide and conquer on your sales team, the folks that are going to be there. But that’s, that’s, I mean, for most of my clients, that’s pretty darn sophisticated. Like, knowing who your top tier, you know, wish lists clients are and then identifying who’s going to be at these trade shows, and then assigning someone to follow up. Like that’s, that’s pretty sophisticated for most of the folks we talked to, but if they all did it, they’d be crushing it.

Jeremy Weisz 48:53

Well, that’s why the hair you. Kara I just want to be the first one to thank you. This has been tremendously valuable. And I want to just point people to To learn more about your company and more episodes of the podcast and Kara, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Kara Brown 49:11

Pleasure. Thanks so much.

Outro 49:13

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