How to build a brand that launches your career with a B2B podcast - With Nick Bennett

How do you build a personal brand that not only authentically engages your own audience but also positively impacts your business? thinking face 
Marketing for our businesses doesn’t have to be limited to the strategies we deploy at our 9-5 jobs, but can be a part of what we build with our personal content creation, digital relationships we forge and side-hustle marketing strategies we experiment with
In our most recent episode, Kap sits down with Nick Bennett, Director of ABM & Community at Alyce, a gift-giving platform for B2B businesses, where they talk about the power of video podcasting for building a strong personal and professional brand, the relationship between sales and marketing and even Nick’s love for the New England Patriots. 
right arrow If you’re tired of the same old marketing strategies, and want to know how to reinvent yourself in today’s digital landscape, this episode is for you. Link in comments backhand index pointing down 
Main Takeaways:
gem stone Cutting-edge marketing solutions can build relationships
gem stone How field marketing is evolving in today’s digital world
gem stone How to market to target accounts more effectively
gem stone Consistent content creation builds your personal brand
gem stone Podcasting builds relationships and helps you grow as a marketer
alarm clock 00:00-6:59 | Alyce: the gifting platform for B2B marketing
alarm clock 6:59-9:45 | What is ABM marketing?
alarm clock 9:45-12:15 | What is field marketing? 
alarm clock 12:15-17:33 | How important is research for AMB and field marketing? 
alarm clock 17:33-26:03 | Content creation is residual relationship building
alarm clock 26:03-32:11 | Podcasting for marketers is key to success
alarm clock 32:11-35:49 | Learn to create content that shows your humanity and expertise
alarm clock 35:49-44:45 | Podcasting brings incredible learning opportunities for businesses
speech balloon β€œShowing that you deliver value first versus just saying, "Hey, I'm going to cold pitch you" and not give you anything, it makes a big difference.” - Nick Bennett
speech balloon β€œWhat you guys are doing is really bringing a relationship back to marketing, which in a world of an ever-evolving automation, I think we can grow a little cold and we can forget that that's what it's about.β€œ - Kap Chatfield
speech balloon β€œOne of the things that I value and has helped make me successful is I understand how to truly deliver value with the sales team.” - Nick Bennett
speech balloon β€œWhen sales sees that you're delivering value to their prospects and helping them move that pipeline across, when you come to them as a marketer. You say, "Hey, you know, I need you to do XYZ for me", they'll say "Absolutely", because you jump on these calls, and without hesitation, you have them reciprocating what you need in return.” - Nick Bennett
speech balloon β€œIdeally, with ABM, the goal is to increase your average deal size and then decrease your time to close.” - Nick Bennett
speech balloon β€œContent creation is like residual relationship building.” - Kap Chatfield
speech balloon β€œIf I can help one person a day understand field marketing, or ABM, or how to build your brand, as a marketer, then look, I've done my job.” - Nick Bennett
speech balloon β€œI keep that 80/20 split to still stay authentic to who you are and what you're passionate about, but also still understand that you are paid a paycheck by a company to support them as well.” - Nick Bennett
speech balloon β€œSharing personal things, being authentic, and an appropriate amount of that content output, is actually helpful to your overall brand. Because people see a multi-dimension with you, they see that there's some depth to you, and it makes you an easier person to connect with.” - Kap Chatfield
speech balloon β€œEveryone knows what your 9-5 is. However, what is the 5-9? And that's what we focus on connecting all these people with the 5-9.” - Nick Bennett
Connect with Rveal Marketing:
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210501_RM_B2BP_Ep_How to build a brand that launches your career with a B2B podcast_QG1


Full transcription:

Kap Chatfield  00:20

Hey guys, welcome back to B2B Podcasting. I'm so excited for this episode today. I was just kind of geeking out with Nick Bennett before the call. Because man, Nick, you're like one of the giants. It feels like in the whole world of b2b marketing, ABM marketing, just the whole LinkedIn community, I see your name pop up everywhere. So it means a lot that you join us on the show today. And for those of you who aren't yet familiar with who Nick Bennett is, he's currently the director of ABM & Community at Alyce. He's also the host of Rep Your Brand. It's a podcast about building a personal brand and the co host of Real ABM, another show specifically about account based marketing. Nick, so grateful that you join us on the show today.


Nick Bennett  01:03

Yeah, I'm super pumped to be here. Couldn't couldn't ask for a better conversation.


Kap Chatfield  01:07

So Nick, first of all, just to give the audience some context, what is Alyce? What's the company about? And what are you currently doing for them?


Nick Bennett  01:16

Yeah, absolutely. So we're a smart gifting platform. So think about gifting in the b2b space where you're trying to break through that digital noise to get to someone's inbox and you want to personalize a gift for them. And so basically, that's what we do we facilitate, we're a SASS platform that allows people to send gifts through I think there's about probably 12,000 different items that they can send on a kind of an everyday basis. They can brand stuff, they can write personal messages. We integrate with pretty much every platform from a more tech perspective that's out there. And the end goal is to drive pipeline and revenue for your sales team as a marketer. And so we've been really successful with that as well.


Kap Chatfield  02:01

So I think for just for clarity for people you mean GIFT not gif gef, gif, you know the the ultimate battle of how's the pronounciation of that? So what you're talking about is not just sending like a little you know, looping image that kind of looks like a video clip or a pixelated video clip, you're talking about actually sending a gift or at present, a digital present to people correct?


Nick Bennett  02:25

Exactly Yeah, so it's a recipient first. So we don't even need your address. You know how like direct mail everyone was always like oh, when people were in offices, you would send them a box, cookies or whatever it is. And so now with everyone being remote where we kind of thrive is say I want to send you something, I will basically create a landing page of the gift in present that I want to give to you and then you have to decide that you want to accept it and then you put in your address on the back end and it gets dropped shipped directly to you.


Kap Chatfield  02:57

So are you guys doing this partly, I mean for the clients that you guys are serving the customers you guys are serving, do you do you see customers using this for LinkedIn DM's?


Nick Bennett  03:06

Yeah honestly a ton of times. Yeah, it's basically it's a lot of people are using it for those big accounts that they're trying to get into. But the funny thing is, many people use it for cold door openers, but gifting can actually be used in about 17 different moments across the buyers journey from like door opener all the way through to customer celebration. Say your circle your customer hit a one year with the company, like send them a bottle of champagne or something like that to celebrate them being with you and everything in between. So it can definitely be used very widely and we have a lot of big brands that are using us specifically for new hire orientation. They're sending like swag boxes to basically welcome new hires. Or they're you know, driving event registration is another big use case like sending people a $10 you know, Uber Eats gift card to attend a webinar or something like that.


Kap Chatfield  04:05

The reason why I asked but the LinkedIn DM thing, I love that you first of all, it's amazing that you know definitively that there 17 different touch points. I think that's it shows that you really know your product well and how it can serve your customers. But the reason why I was asking about asking about LinkedIn, particularly, is because I think anybody who's on LinkedIn who's listened to the show, they can they can vouch for feeling feeling like the victim in an opening up their inbox in LinkedIn, like excited to get a new Kinect and it's some sort of spammy, you know, automated text that's asking for you to do business with them. And so the reason why I was like, I was so intrigued by when you said that was I've been playing around with this philosophy in my head, what if people actually invested in in the long game journey of rather than asking in a direct message on LinkedIn asking for your business actually offering something actually giving a gift. So yeah, it's cool. You guys are doing that.


Nick Bennett  05:06

Yeah, it goes over really, really well, too. And like, funny enough, so I'm actually running even like LinkedIn conversational ads, where I'm offering kind of like, a gift in response for like just hanging out with me. And it's been it's been going over really, really well.


Kap Chatfield  05:24

So explain that. What do you mean by that?

210501_RM_B2BP_Ep_How to build a brand that launches your career with a B2B podcast_QG3

Nick Bennett  05:26

Yes, so so basically, it's like a sponsored inbox message that will show up. In so we use a sixth sense as like an intent platform, and you can push over a specific segments. So say we want to send a message to our top 20 accounts. And so basically, people will get a LinkedIn message from myself. That goes to other marketers, and it will say, like, hey, I want to send you $100 gift, like, take 30 minutes, let's hang out, let's chat, like talk shop. And the click through rate has been like about 48%. In the last, I would say three weeks. And the conversion is incredibly high. Yeah. And it's, it's it's definitely a newer channel for us. But it goes back to showing like that if you kind of, you know, deliver value first versus just saying, like, "Hey, I'm going to cold pitch you" and like, not give you anything, then like, it makes a big difference.


Kap Chatfield  06:19

48% click through rate, are you kidding me? I think that's the only way you're getting a click through rate like that, and your emails, if you have two email subscribers, and one of them is your mom. That's the only way you're getting that high. So that's amazing. It's good. But it goes to show, you know, if you're willing to not just play the short-term game with marketing and really think about how do I bring value? How do I nurture a relationship? I think that's like, what you guys are doing is is really bringing a relationship back to marketing, which in a world of an ever evolving automation, I think we can grow a little cold and we can forget that that's what it's about. So along that line, I'd actually like to for you to unpack real quick for our audience. That's like ABM What the heck is that? And then Director of Community? Can you explain to our audience from a 30,000 foot view what what does it mean to be the director of ABM and community at your company?


Nick Bennett  07:17

Yeah, absolutely. That's great question. So ABM is really just targeted marketing to a subset of accounts. So say, you know, you have your your 20 target accounts or you know, whatever the number is 200, 500, 1,000 whatever that number is, you're doing a highly targeted approach with multiple channels and tactics. And so you've got like website personalization, gifting or direct mail, you've got you know, paid social you've got display ads, you've got nurture stream. So like you're doing, you're tailoring your messaging and everything to the specific pin points of these accounts, because these are the accounts that you want to break into it. That's really all it is. I mean, honestly, I came up as a field marketer and so field marketing has been doing ABM for years working with a sales team to a define target account list. It's just now everyone likes to kind of it's the Huggy it's the hot word. So like, people are kinda like, hey, like, we want an ABM marketer or like, we want to do ABM, but like, they have no clue really where to start. Or they think ABM is basically just, you know, sending BDR emails or something like that to a target list or inviting them to an event. It's a holistic strategy, it's got to be a company wide approach, all in on kind of this method. The community piece is it's kind of interesting. So that's actually newer for me. And so for us, we doubled down on community because throughout the pandemic, marketers are looking for communities all over the place, and you've seen tons of slack communities, discords, they've all popped up. And so we started to sponsor some of these communities. We actually sponsor I believe about I think there's four or five of them currently, like Thursday night sales, rep genius, Peak Community, and there's a CMO coffee talk hour. And so like we we sponsor these and so within these sponsorships, you get different benefits. And so it's like webinars and like brand awareness. But the funny thing is, I would have been in these communities regardless if we were sponsoring them or not, I think that's the big difference. Like you as a sponsor, if you're just gonna come in and sponsor community, it's gonna be the same thing as any other like event. Like you're just you're not invested. Whereas myself, I'm invested into these communities because I want to level myself up as a marketer. We just happened to be sponsoring them as well. So we reap those kinds of benefits that then drives hopefully our target accounts back to wanting to take demos with us.


Kap Chatfield  09:47

That's, I think, man, there's so much that I would love to unpack there. The first thing I think we before we go to down, too far down the rabbit hole. The field marketing thing I think is a is an important thing to touch on. We talked about this pre-show call, but field marketing in your own words, how would you describe that?


Nick Bennett  10:05

So I think I think there's two things. I think there was field marketing 1 Dotto. And so that was like maybe pre-COVID, or even maybe a little bit during COVID. But it's event driven. That's that's all it is. You're basically an event marketer. I'm trying to like coin the term like field marketing 2 Dotto, which is basically you're a full stack marketer. You understand events, you understand digital, you understand brand content, all of those pieces, and you're really the quarterback of the team. Because I love sports analogies, you're the quarterback of the team working with your your wide receivers, you're running back, your tight ends. You got your, you know, you got your O line, like you're working together to ultimately score touchdown, which in our case is revenue. And so like you're the one that's calling those plays, but you need to cross functionally work with everyone else to drive, you know, pass these first downs to get to the end zone.


Kap Chatfield  10:57

So and you're specifically talking about this integration between sales and marketing. So not just being in the marketing world, creating cool graphics coming up with funnel strategies, but actually being in the field, quote, unquote, talking alongside reps understanding what customers care about, correct?


Nick Bennett  11:16

Yeah, absolutely. It's, you know, sales and marketing alignment, it's always been so siloed. And that's, that's the issue, it's sales is doing their thing, marketing is doing their thing. And then they wonder why everything is like crap, because it's not, they're not working together. And so like, one of the things that I value, and kind of has helped, what make me successful is, I understand how to truly deliver value with the sales team. And personally, like I jump on 7 to 10 sales calls a week with prospects, talking to marketers that are looking to talk about use cases are talking about my experiences. And you'd be surprised at how far that actually goes. And the thing is, when sales sees that you're delivering value to their prospects and helping them move that pipeline across, when you come to them as a marketer. You say, "Hey, you know, I need you to do XYZ for me", they'll say "Absolutely", because you jump on these calls, and without hesitation, you have them kind of, you know, reciprocating what you need in return.


Kap Chatfield  12:17

So in that world, I mean, and I guess there's kind of a blend here of like the field marketing world and the ABM world because you're you're also better understanding these specific accounts that you want to continue to do business with or begin doing business with. So I want you to take us on a journey of like, what your process looks like and what is the importance of research, for ABM and for field marketing?

210501_RM_B2BP_Ep_How to build a brand that launches your career with a B2B podcast_QG2

Nick Bennett  12:40

Yeah, you know, it's it's crazy because I feel like in the biggest part of an ABM strategy is the list. Before the list, you have to figure out your ICP. And for me, so you have your primary ICP and then your secondary ICP. And for example, for us, our big ICP is selling to marketers ABM marketers, field marketers, event demand Gen, whatever. However, the secondary IP ICP is selling to salespeople, because marketers are more likely the ones that will purchase a tool like ours, but sales will be the one that will actually be using it to do door openers, or whatever it is. So you've kind of got a multi-tenant approach of like, selling or marketing to both marketers and sales people. And so we have that piece. And then it's like, okay, we understand our ICP, what does the list look like for our target account piece? And I would say 50% of what our ABM strategy was, was figuring out that list. And it was a mixture of like, okay, "Hey, can we service these accounts in our present day? Will we make them successful? Do they have a land and expand potential?" Because that's what our product is all about. Do they have a logo that will attract other companies? Like you take, for example, say like an Adobe, like when people see an Adobe, like, they're gonna want to work with you. And so that's another piece and then we use six cents from an intent perspective to say, "Okay, these are the companies that are surging, here's, you know, the keywords that they're looking up, here's the competitors that they're looking at, here's what their intent score is". And then so we kind of weigh all these pieces. And we then say, "Alright, during the decision of purchase stage, they may be maybe looking at a tool like us, or one of our competitors. You know, let's add them to this this list". And then we run specific campaigns for them.


Kap Chatfield  14:36

What would you say? I don't know if you could like pull together aggregate data in your mind right now. So don't don't feel like you have to give like a very specific answer unless you have it. But I'm curious about what what a success rate would look like for doing your due diligence and really like using the software that you're talking about, having these doing the things that kind of aren't scalable, right? Like having these conversations with people in order to to understand, Hey, this is what they care about this is what their intentions are, let's create, let's create a campaign or modify our campaign and direct it towards them regarding these topics that they care about. What would you say is like, you know, the success rate of doing that versus, Hey, we just have this you know, kind of vanilla campaign that we assume is going to hit our target audience and we're just going to give the same thing to everybody.


Nick Bennett  15:28

Yeah, it's it's a great question. So when I launched like one dot O and I'll be honest, one dot O wasn't as good as it could have been, I'm actually in the process of launching two dot O right now, but we had 45 accounts that were part of like that tier one that we really want to get into on the net new side. Within a quarter and a half, we open 26 of those. So I mean, that's that's over over 50% it was it was a decent clip, a shorter period. And ideally, with ABM, the goal is to increase your your average deal size, and then decrease your time to close. Like those are two of the big things that you should be like looking at along with other metrics. But when people are doing ABM, that's really what they want to achieve the issue with our one dot O version, when we did open these 26 accounts, for example, we didn't have anything in place that was acceleration plays. Like basically our sales team was treating it just as any other opportunity that they were opening. And so we you know, we had to step back and say like, okay, maybe this isn't the best approach to do a one to one for where we are right now. And so whereas moving to more of like a one to few, and one to many approach where we can kind of group similar accounts together, but still deliver a personalized experience for them.


Kap Chatfield  16:47

You are, I mean, you're brilliant. I love, I love what you're doing. And it's no, it's no brainer to me that you're in the position that you are at your company. Because even when I asked that question, which we had not talked about, for any everybody listening, I did not give him that question before to kind of pull it together. I asked him on the spot. And you had a very definitive answer to prove the with evidence, how effective that strategy actually is. And you still want to tweak it and modify it and enhance it, which is brilliant. So you clearly know what you're talking about. And if you're not following Nick on LinkedIn, you probably should, because he's constantly putting out content about these things, about ABM, about field marketing, about the alignment of marketing and sales in the organization, how important it is today. And that content has actually landed you the job at Alyce that you're currently working at. Can you tell us a little bit about that story about how how you got this job basically by by sharing this knowledge with the world.


Nick Bennett  17:45

Yeah, it's you know, so, so funny, because so I actually, I purchased Alyce at a previous company a couple years ago. So like I knew about them, I've always stayed in touch. And I actually spoke at their conference. Like, it was a was it 2019 I believe it was, may actually 2020. And so, you know, I've always kind of admired what they did. And when at the time kind of they reached out, they were like, "Hey, you know, we're thinking of going down like the ABM, like path would you have any interest in, like coming here and like helping us build that?" And I was just like, Oh, this is a no brainer. At the time, I was marketing to engineers and developers, which I realized very quickly, that's not an interest of mine, like I, my, my whole network, and everything that I've built is very much geared towards being in Mar tech, or sales tech. Outside of that, like, yeah, like I can do the job, absolutely, but it probably doesn't excite me as much. And so, you know, it was a shorter stint at my company. And so I was like, "Yeah, absolutely". And so had a conversation, one conversation. Um, and I had actually one other conversation just to see and like, I knew within my mind that like, if they were going to offer me the role that I was going to accept it, because I admired the company, I admired the path and the product that they were going on and the mission that they were trying to achieve. And so literally, they were just like, yeah, look, let's do this. Like let's, you know, it wasn't a drawn out, like I didn't talk to like five, six people, like talk to actually I talked to two people. And it was one of them was just like someone that I knew. And so it was just kind of like gut checking couple things. And honestly, it was the ability from posting on LinkedIn, LinkedIn, and like talking and showing how my brain works. And I think that's the big thing. You have the ability to show people: This is how Nick looks at a problem or solves a problem. That's what these interesting interview questions typically are. They want to see how your brain works. How do you answer specific things? Are you a culture fit? Yeah, like you can tell all of these things. If someone consistently posts on LinkedIn or social or whatever it is, like they can tell their story and paint a picture and like all honestly, I think that's enough. And honestly, if I was hiring someone, and I thought if they posted every day on LinkedIn or consistently on LinkedIn, and I could see everything that they needed, I would probably go down the same path. Like I don't need to have seven conversations with someone to basically ask them all these mundane questions that are stupid to begin with, um, you know, it's, I think the game's changing for sure.


Kap Chatfield  20:24

I one phrase that we throw around, obviously, by being a b2b podcasting show, we believe in the power of podcasting, especially as far as being a content vehicle that just, it's just explosive. As it creates all of this content for various marketing channels. But what I tell our customers, is content creation is like residual relationship building. And it's, you know, because I love, I love economics, I love entrepreneurship, I'm, you know, the the term passive income, it should, it should get anybody excited, right? If you can start collecting a check residually every month that, you know, you plant a seed, once in a bears fruit for a long period of time, that should get anybody excited. But we always think about residual income, or residual, you know, the power of residual, whatever fruitfulness from the world and the world of of income, and, you know, dollars coming in. But when we think about creating content, like you're saying, there's this element of residual relationship building where you put on you put up a post, and you do a consistent content strategy. And you don't even have to be overwhelming with it, doesn't have to have a ton of production to it, you could even just be typing, you don't have to actually do video necessarily. But if you show up every day, you're gonna have people come and see your your profile, or go see your YouTube channel, or go see your blog, subscribe to your newsletter. And if they're interested in what you have to say, they're going to go back and they're going to see previous pieces of content that that you put out there. And you're able to build relationship with people on their terms without you having to show up. So I mean, in your scenario, Nick, like you, you've been able to build this brand for yourself by being a serial content creator. And you all you had to do was show up one day at a time. And look at what you're at now.


Nick Bennett  22:15

Yeah, it's it's, it's crazy. But it's so true. It's funny, because like, when I went down this path of like, starting to create content, it was, it was March of 2020, I remember it was right when the pandemic started to happen in the US, and like, I at the time, I was working for a company and like my boss, he was very popular on LinkedIn. He's, his name's Kyle Coleman, he was putting out a lot of content for sales and like SDRs, for example. And so he was like, you know, it, this is easy, like, you just have to show up every single day. And he put out a challenge to his team. And he was like, you know, let's run a, like, not even a contest was like, let's just do something where we commit to like the next like, month where we're consistently showing up. And so I was the only one that really like, stuck with it. And like, honestly, I'm super thankful for him. And I tell him this all the time, I'm just like, you know, if it wasn't for you kind of like lighting that fire, like I just didn't, I didn't look back. And for me, like I went down the path of niching down, like talking about field marketing, because out of the 750 million plus users that are on LinkedIn, no one talks about field marketing, people don't even know what it is to be honest with you. And like that helped me kind of start to get some traction. However, it did take me a solid, I would say six months before I saw any real like traction, but and I showed up every single day for six months.


Kap Chatfield  23:35

That should be encouraging to anybody who's thinking about starting to create content and is discouraged after day one. And I'm sure, you could also attest to the fact that, you know, first of all, your content gets a ton of engagement. So if you're looking at Nick's profile, and you're like, gosh, how can I get as much engagement as him? There's probably a day in the beginning when you weren't seeing that level of engagement, but still getting qualitative feedback from people, whether it was in a DM where they show up later and they're like, yeah, I've been actually consuming your content. And you're like, you've been consuming my content? You haven't showed up anywhere in my in my notifications! But the reality is, is that you don't know who's actually being impacted by your content.


Nick Bennett  24:13

Exactly. And that's honestly that's what it was, like, I had so many field marketers reach out to me that was like, "hey, like, I love your content". And I'm just like, you know, what, why don't you like comment on there? Like, honestly, I don't I don't comment on people's stuff, or I don't post my own stuff, but I thought it was worthy to send you, you know, a DM and they just say that. And I was just like, you know, if I can help one person a day, understand field marketing, or ABM, or how to build your brand, as a marketer, then look, I've done my job. Like that's, that's all I care about. I don't, I don't and we talked about this before, like, I don't monetize off of it right now. People tell me, you know, Dr. Chris Walker, for example, and he's like, Oh, you should be doing that. Or like Justin Wells, and I'm just like, yeah, like I could put out a course on field marketing or ABM. I'm sure people would buy it or I could create a newsletter or whatever it is. One, I don't have the time or bandwidth to do it right now. Um, but I just believe in delivering value first and then the karma of having it come back around whenever I need it. Like if let's just say I get fired tomorrow, I'm pretty confident that I can put out a LinkedIn message say hey, unfortunately I lost my job, you know, I'm an open you know, I'm a free agent on the market. And I'd probably get a decent amount of DMS offering me to do some type of role for them or I can go down the consulting path. So like that's another thing like, I'm just kind of like future proofing myself within like my career as well.


Kap Chatfield  25:45

Get bro you've like hacked the system. You get it, you understand you understand the power of personal brand and the power of content creation and how it can be it's, I feel like it's, it's it's literally the most important investment you can make is having is building those relationships with people and you can do it through content. So speaking of content creation, and titling you a serial content creator, as I mentioned at the beginning of the show your your hosting, slash co-hosting two different shows right now. You're the host of Rep Your Brand, and you're the co host of Real ABM. Can you break down what those two podcasts are about for us?


Nick Bennett  26:20

Yeah, for sure. Um, so Rep Your Brand is a podcast for b2b marketers that are looking to open doors that they never thought were possible, I want them to go down a similar path that I did, where they can become advisors at tech companies. Where they can get jobs without ever needing a resume or having to apply. Like being looked at as someone that like is a value first edition. And so that's what it was. And so I said, Alright, you know, to make this, a show that people will actually listen to I went down of trying to grab just big names, like people with big followings, because I said, you know, if I can get you know, Chris Walker, Daniel Murray, or Andreas, from Shale, like all these big names, people will listen because they value what they do for the LinkedIn community. And I'm actually, I just recorded my 20th episode that's coming out at the end of October. And so it's with Devin Reed from Gong, which is a fantastic conversation, he is someone that like, has such an inspiring story. And like, I just want to have these conversations with marketers. And even sometimes I have conversations with sales people that aren't specifically marketers, but if you think about anyone with a brand is really marketing themselves. And so we have these conversations of saying like, hey, since you built your brand, what has that unlocked for you? What have you been able to do? Why do you think it's possible? And we just have some really great conversations around that it's been really successful. The other show, Real ABM is a show that basically, everything that you read from an account based marketing perspective is usually put out by vendors. And it's very fluffy BS. Like, ultimately, there is a subliminal message that they want you to purchase their software product at the end of it. So I said, I want to put out something that tells marketers stories of actual tactics and campaigns that they're running, because it's tangible takeaways, and not just like another blog piece from a CMO that probably didn't write it in the first piece, but is ultimately pitching whatever product that is. And it's gone over really, really well. We did six, six episodes within our first season. So we're now looking at doing season two, and we're actually going to be bringing it to an in-person event. So like a two-day event, where we're getting together, and we're just creating killer content for two days, with some really cool brands. So I'm excited, excited for that. And I'm excited to kind of see what comes of it after season two and beyond.


Kap Chatfield  28:59

One thing that you mentioned, and particularly in the second show, we're talking about real ABM was you were trying to find a way to not just have it be this kind of glamorized sales pitch, right? Because I think sometimes we have to, we have to really disconnect ourselves from like the sales mode, which we can appreciate both, we need both, right? We need to have the short term, gotta to close the deal. If you don't close the deal, we're not making money, nobody eats, the company doesn't grow, and this whole thing's over. So we got to have that. But the marketing approach is, hey, like I want to build relationship, I want to warm this person up to what we do. And when they're ready they're they're gonna buy, and we know that they're going to continue to buy because they're not going to feel like they've been manipulated or feel like that they were headlocked. And so you're in this position right now where you're doing this content. And you mentioned about your personal brand. You said you're not currently monetizing content for your personal brand and for this ABM thing, which really does kind of fit your your business model. You're not really leveraging that to sell anything. However, I'm sure that you could say that doing both has actually. But both these initiatives I should say, have affected in a positive way have affected your personal brand, have affected your business. Can you can you allude to whether its quantitative results, or qualitative results of how you've seen committing down these content journeys, how has that actually impacted your business?


Nick Bennett  30:31

Yes, I actually I do have have an answer for you. So I can tell you so I've been at my company for about, say, eight months now. And so just from posting on LinkedIn people that have reached out to me that said, Hey, you, I love your content, you know, what I am looking for a gifting platform. I've sent over to our sales team about 29 opportunities that have come directly to me solely from posting content onto LinkedIn. And I'd have to double check how many of those have actually closed but I know for a fact, because I keep track of it so I can show like hey, like this is actually an ROI positive thing. And so this number has been really really strong and just goes to show like hey, I probably post I would say 80% of the time on like my own stuff. Like it's just authentic to me. 20% of the time is Alyce specific stuff, whether we're we announced our Series B or we're doing our big conference, or whatever, our new product features, whatever it is, like I keep that 80/20 split. And I think that's kind of like a good split to still stay authentic to who you are and like what you're passionate about, but also still understand that like, hey yeah you do you know you are paid a paycheck by a company to you know, support them as well and being able to do that piece of it. And it's honestly it's also helped me drive a lot of registrations to our big conference that we did back on the 23rd of September. Just from like posting videos of me and my daughter and things like that.

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Kap Chatfield  32:12

The personal touch I think is super super important, and you don't obviously want to exploit that. But I think people, I just look at my content, the two posts that I had the most engagement on recently one was of my second or my third child born. It wasn't the graphic picture of him being born it was him after he was cleaned up and swaddled, and all of that, and then the other was me taking my kids to preschool. And and you know i don't think that if I was to only post that content, I don't think I'd have a brand over time because that's not necessarily bringing people the most value. But I think doing that sharing just personal things being being authentic, and and you know an appropriate amount of of that content output, it's actually helpful to your overall brand. Because people see a multi-dimension with you, they see that there's some depth to you, and it makes you more an easier person to connect with.


Nick Bennett  33:09

Yeah, it's you know, it's funny because I put out a post about this recently that like people are saying LinkedIn should be very business specific like that's what it is it's a business like platform. But it's actually a social media platform and so like if you're gonna tell me that Yeah, like value first 100% like 98% of what I put out there is like actual value. However, I do put stuff about playing baseball or sports or my daughter or things that I do with my family because I think that tells, it paints a nicer picture of like who you are as a human, versus just saying oh like you know Nick's just on here talking about ABM again like I don't know he just basically like put stuff about ABM I don't know who he actually is or what he's passionate about outside of work. But for me and Alyce specific, funny thing is like we do everyone knows what your nine to five is. However, what is the five to nine? And that's what we focus on connecting all these people from the five to nine. And so, in our email signatures we each put three things that we're passionate about in our five to nine. And so like for me for example, it says like New England sports, baseball pitcher and being you know, a dad to a daughter. And so like we all have these things and when whenever we do things like whenever we have internal meetings with new employees, we always start off with like, Hey, what are your five to nines? It's like we want to understand who you are outside of work. We understand you know, you're a sales rep or you're an account manager, or you're in engineering or whatever, like we can read your LinkedIn or like your your profile to understand what you do. But like who are you? And connecting to the person versus just another persona of understanding what industry or what title they are.


Kap Chatfield  34:55

I think I'd love to hear your take on this. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but for me, I was to answered this next question about why do I love podcasting so much? That'd be part of it. Part of it is because you get to really get to know somebody. You know, not just, you know, listening to a podcast and hearing, you know, hearing amazing content from an individual or you know, a series of episodes but as a host getting to interview you right now I mean, I'm getting to learn some things about you that I wouldn't have known before. That you're a New England fan and and I'm sure you're was that game this past weekend, by the way, Buccaneers versus the Patriots, I didn't see it. 


Nick Bennett  35:34

They only lost by a field goal too. So honestly, considering like, you know, yeah, we lost but like, it's okay, cuz it was only by a field goal, I thought we would get like smoked by like 40. So,


Kap Chatfield  35:44

Yeah, so it was a it was a fair, fair match. Definitely worth celebrating. So, but that's cool. So the question to you is why podcasting? I mean, you're, you're putting out these little, you know, written posts, they seem to be performing pretty well. Why focus on doing an audio slash video format?


Nick Bennett  36:00

Yeah, personally, I love learning from people. Like it's, it's funny because like, I don't care if anyone listens to my show. Because there's things of like having these conversations and understanding different things that I can implement in my everyday life. And so if zero people listened, and I still had the, like, the guests that I have, that I could learn from, because I look up to them, like that's, that's worth it for me. Like I don't, I don't care, like I'm just looking to learn and like level up to get to where I want to in the next five years, or 10 years, or whatever it is. And I feel like implementing, you know, bit by bit as I talk to each person for what's made them successful. And yeah, I understand you can't just copy because what works for some person doesn't work for another, but like, you're just understanding how their mindset works. And like, where they focus their time, or where they think that you can kind of like shine through. Like, I take those things away. I'll take that any day of the week over like, you know, a million listens, or whatever it is or downloads on on my show.


Kap Chatfield  37:03

I love that you're investing in yourself. Getting building these relationships, getting to some pick some pick the minds of some really brilliant people in your industry. I selfishly I've enjoyed that, too. So a lot of these questions I'm like, yeah, so on behalf of the audience, like I want to ask this question, when really it's I'm just curious about what you would say. So I appreciate you sharing all that. I want to hear also, just from a business perspective, why would you think that b2b brands would be hesitant to why would they Why are they hesitant to doing something like this? Like a podcast format in order to be a marketing initiative for their company?


Nick Bennett  37:43

Yeah, it's it's a great question. I think they just partly don't know where to begin. And I'll give you a perfect example. So we run a podcast within our company as well and so I'm not the host it was our head of marketing who actually just recently left. But all we did was put these episodes on to our website. We have an incredible design team and an animated like video person and he absolutely crushes it. The issue was, we didn't do anything with them. They just sat on our website and so we did two seasons and we actually recorded a third season and it was never produced just because, one our head of marketing left. But like I think people just don't fully know how to utilize them. One person I think does this incredibly well is Chris Walker. Like his whole like State of Demand Gen like, like show is all like he does so much with it from like cutting it up. Like I listened to it. Honestly, I don't listen to a ton of podcast, I don't even listen, like after I record and release my own shows. I don't even listen to those half the time like I listened to it once. But I don't listen to it usually down the road. But Chris Walker's is probably one that I listen to on a consistent basis. Just because he does he talks about so many things that are important to like me from a marketing perspective that I walk away like, Hey, 100% like this is something that I could implement tomorrow. And then he has his like, Tuesday night like Demand Gen marketers like meetup type thing where he like fields questions. And it's just a really great time to like, spend time, like learn from other marketers. And so he understands how to take all those angles and put it together. And I think a lot of companies, one don't have the resources or bandwidth to be able to do that, but also just don't know like, the correct approach. They say, okay, like everyone's creating a podcast right now for their company. Like, we should do it too. Yeah, like, Okay, so what's your what's your distribution strategy? Like, what are you do with it? And I think that's where people stumble and then they just never get started or they don't want to outsource it to a company or they don't want to produce it themselves. Because again, it takes away from other resources that are needed, and then it just kind of like fails.


Kap Chatfield  40:01

So taking away from other resources that are needed, that's that's obviously a big one. Because if I'm the CEO of an organization that knows, you know, here's kind of how I've been, you know, working through this in my head. Most company leaders aren't waking up asking themselves, how do I solve my b2b podcasting problem? But they're asking themselves, how do I solve our revenue problem? How do I solve our win-rate problem? How do I solve our customer retention problem? And so I, you know, personally, I think doing a podcast is such a smart way, it's not the ultimate way. It's not the only way. I think that there's there's a lot of power, though, in doing a podcast in order to, to, to do all those things. But I'd love to hear straight from you. How, how could a podcast possibly help with the executive who's like, how are we going to see an ROI on this thing? The last thing I want to do is invest in another cute marketing strategy that our competitors are doing, but does it actually contribute to the bottom line?


Nick Bennett  41:03

Yeah, it's so I can tell you kind of like one of the approaches that I took was getting your key accounts on there. So like, if you're having you know, you sell the marketers, you get a you know, VP of marketing or someone on there from that account, you're basically again, like it's, it's you're learning, it's basically like an easy way you're learning about what they're passionate about, what their marketing strategy is. You can then go back one, they get a ton of cool content that you'll hopefully get them to share. Or you'll share and tag them. But then you can also go back to your sales team and say, like, hey, here are 20 takeaways that we learned from this episode. You can use it in your outreach strategy to this specific account now.


Kap Chatfield  41:48

So really leveraging it from a relationship standpoint. Back to the ABM thing, thinking about how do we, you know, whether it's an account that we currently have, or an account that we would love to do business with. How do we use this as a strategic relationship building vehicle? And then the content really becomes it's like the field marketing thing, right? It's like you're pulling this information directly from the source. You're not guessing you're asking them. And the podcast also can present this back to, you know, kind of bringing this conversation full circle, about the power of providing value up front, rather than just asking. Because I don't know about you, but for me, I get a I have a way better click through rate, I guess you could call it as far as, as far as being people being willing to have a conversation with me. What instead of me just cold calling them or cold emailing them saying, "hey, I want to talk to you about our product". When I talked to them and say, Hey, I'd love to get you on our show. I want to, you know, talk to you about this specific thing that you're an expert in. It's mind blowing, how many more people are open to that, because they know, hey, I get to share, share my thoughts, the contents gonna be captured. I'm going to be able to repurpose it for myself, which is going to help build my brand. So it's a win win for everybody.


Nick Bennett  43:01

Absolutely, yeah. Couldn't agree more. It's like, but people just have to figure out what that strategy actually looks like. And I think that's like the big piece. Like, if you're just gonna say, throw it up on a website, and not drive anyone to it, then it's a waste of time for everyone to. 


Kap Chatfield  43:16

Yeah, super true. Well, Nick, we're coming up to the end of the hour here. And I think you've just given us so much to think about. As far as listening to episodes, I'm going to be listening to this one over and over again, because there's so much here that I want to continue to implement in my own marketing. So thanks for being willing to share that with us today. For everybody listening, just as a reminder, Nick is the host of Rep Your Brand, check out that podcast on all podcast platforms. I prefer Spotify, it's on Spotify, and it plays well there. So check it out there. You can also check out Real ABM and it sounds like you guys are preparing for season two. Do you have an idea of when that will be ready?


Nick Bennett  43:53

Ah, hopefully within the next few months. Yeah, we're waiting to see. 


Kap Chatfield  43:58

Okay, well, if you follow him on LinkedIn, let's make that the main call to action. Follow Nick Bennett on LinkedIn, we'll put his LinkedIn profile link in the description and in the show notes of this episode, so you can check him out. Connect with him. He's a real easy guy to talk to you. I mean, I hit him up and he got back to me very quickly. So as far as being a very personable and relationship oriented person on LinkedIn, Nick, you're the guy so thanks again for joining us on the episode today, man.


Nick Bennett  44:26

Yeah, appreciate you having me. It was a fantastic conversation.

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