Catalytic Leadership

How To Master Brand SERP and Digital Marketing, with Jason Barnard

August 21, 2023 Dr. William Attaway Season 2 Episode 1
Catalytic Leadership
How To Master Brand SERP and Digital Marketing, with Jason Barnard
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Imagine going from a band singer to a blue cartoon dog to finally becoming a successful digital marketer. You'd think it's a movie plot, but it's actually the life of our guest, Jason Barnard, the CEO of Kalicube. Jason's diverse background and his engrossing journey to the top of the digital marketing world are truly something to marvel at. In our discussion, he takes us along his unique journey, sharing his experiences from starting a record label in Paris to his current role as a leading expert in digital marketing. His candid storytelling will have you hooked from the get-go.

What does Google think about you or your brand? Jason believes that understanding this concept is vital to effective digital marketing. He introduces us to the concept of Brand SERP and how it impacts your digital marketing strategy. Jason provides insights from his own company, Kalicube, and how they leverage Brand SERP to create effective marketing and branding strategies. His experience and mastery of this concept are evident, as he also introduces us to his Kalicube Pro SaaS platform, a tool that can help businesses analyze their data from Google to better prioritize their digital marketing efforts.

In our final segment, we open up the floor to discuss the importance of continuous learning, the role of generative AI in the digital marketing landscape, and the significance of team building and delegation. Jason stresses the importance of being on top of your game and continually honing your skills to stay relevant. We also delve into his philosophy on "educating Google" and how it can be used to bolster your SEO strategy effectively. We wrap up the episode with Jason sharing his thoughts on building a successful team, the importance of delegation, and how it was instrumental to the success of Kalicube. This episode is a rich tapestry of insights, practical advice, and inspiring stories that have the potential to transform your digital marketing strategies.

Here's the link to the white paper Jason mentions on the episode: https://solutions.kalicube.com/easy-to-sell-services-and-lucrative-margins-with-kalicube-pro

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Catalytic Leadership, the podcast designed to help leaders intentionally grow and thrive. Here is your host author and leadership and executive coach, dr William Attaway.

Speaker 2:

Hey, it's William and welcome to today's episode of the Catalytic Leadership podcast. Each week, we tackle a topic related to the field of leadership. My goal is to ensure that you have actionable steps you can take from each episode to grow in your own leadership. Growth doesn't just happen. My goal is to help you become intentional about it. Each week, we spotlight leaders from a variety of fields, organizations and locations. My goal is for you to see that leaders can be catalytic, no matter where they are or what they lead. I draw inspiration from the stories and journeys of these leaders, and I hear from many of you that you do too. Let's jump into today's interview. I'm thrilled today to have Jason Bernard on the podcast. Jason is the CEO of CaliCube, a software company that helps business leaders take control of their brand narrative online and dominate the competition. Jason has over two decades of experience in digital marketing, starting in 1998, the year Google was incorporated with a website for kids based on the characters Buwa and Koala that he built up to become one of the 10,000 most visited sites in the world. In the 1990s, he was a professional musician with the punk folk group the Barking Dogs. He currently plays double bass with Bar Acoustic. He's a conference speaker at major marketing conferences worldwide. He's a podcast host with his show Branded Search and Beyond with Jason Bernard, being a weekly staple in the digital marketing community. And he's an author with his first book, the Fundamentals of Brand Serps for Business, published in January of 2022. Jason, I'm so glad you're here. Thanks for being on the show.

Speaker 3:

It's an absolute pleasure, William. That was a delightful introduction. My life sounds really exciting and fun, doesn't it? It does.

Speaker 2:

I can't wait to hear more about it. Let's start there. I'd love for you to share some of your story with our listeners, particularly around your journey and your development as a leader. How did you get started?

Speaker 3:

Right? That's a lovely question. In fact, I grew up in the countryside in the north of Yorkshire, surrounded by pigs and sheep and goats and cows, and very lonely. Then I went to Liverpool, joined a band, played the cavern club, where the Beatles played delightfully, and I was a singer in the band. I met a friend of mine 30 years later. He was the guitar player in the band and I said to him thank you, thank you for being in the band with me and giving me that opportunity and organizing everything. He said no, no, no, you've got it all wrong. He was about to give up playing the guitar when he met me and he said you were so naive, so enthusiastic and so good at organizing and getting people to do what they needed to do when they needed to do it, to actually get the band going. It reignited my delight and my passion for music. It turns out I organized everything and I just didn't remember.

Speaker 2:

Wow, that's so fantastic.

Speaker 3:

It was really, really an interesting time. Then I moved to Paris and joined another band and organized all of that as well. We couldn't get a deal with the record company. In 1991, I set up my own record label and we recorded our first album in three nights, sub-renting a music studio a recording studio from another local band in the middle of Paris. I was working all day as a teacher and then I finished the work as a teacher and for three nights I did no sleep. Three days working three nights playing the music. It's actually quite a good album, I think.

Speaker 2:

Wow, how did you get from that to marketing, to digital marketing?

Speaker 3:

The whole thing about that was I was determined that our group would be successful. I organized gigs. We produced four music albums. We played 660 concerts. I organized concerts. I organized them all. I set up a touring company. I set up a record company. All of that simply because I wanted to be in a band and I wanted to make my living playing in a band. And I made it happen. Then that stopped and I decided after that that I wanted to be a blue dog in a cartoon.

Speaker 2:

Very non-traditional career path.

Speaker 3:

Yes, I set up a company to do that as well. I set up a company that did web development of games for children and music albums for children that I recorded I was the blue dog Boa, who has very deep voice and sings a lot and enjoyed it greatly and built a very successful business. As you said, it was one of the 10,000 biggest sites in the world. We were competing with Disney and PBS. That was huge and we were making very good money. A lot of the traffic, a lot of the kids found us through Google. We were ranking number one for all the key terms like kids games, coloring pages, kids songs all of these terms and attracted a million kids a month through Google alone. Five million visits a month. That's 100 million page views a month, which is over a billion pages seen by children on this website in the year 2007. Think about that 2007. Wow, a billion pages for a small website for kids Brilliant.

Speaker 2:

What was?

Speaker 3:

next. Yes, I was a very good businessman in the sense that we were making a lot of money. I was a very bad businessman in the sense that I took the wrong business partner who proceeded to steal the company in legal ways because I was naive. Once again, another person who saw that I was naive but took advantage. This time I had to set up a new career. When I started to pitch for work as a digital marketer, I realized that when people search my name Jason Barnard it said Jason Barnard is a cartoon blue dog. The clients I was trying to sign were saying well, that's not serious, I'm not going to give my digital marketing strategy of millions of dollars to a cartoon blue dog. I then had to figure out how to change Google's perception of me, so it presented me as a digital marketer. If you search my name today Jason Barnard, j-a-s-o-n-b-a-r-n-a-r-d you will see that I look like a digital marketing superstar, not necessarily because I am, but because that's Google's perception of me. And that's the key here. What is Google's perception of you as a person and your company and your products and offers and services?

Speaker 2:

That's brilliant. You talk about educating Google, jason. Yes, that is a fascinating concept. I don't know that I've ever heard anybody talk about that before. What do you mean by that?

Speaker 3:

I actually realised the other day that I've just reproduced Boo, other blue dog in Cali Cube. Because, yeah, educating Google is all about educating a child. That's what Buwa and QuaLa were all about. They were educational games. We did a TV series with ITV International. It was educational content for children to show them the world that surrounds them that they don't necessarily understand and that they are often fearful of. Quala was the small child that Buwa was helping understand the world. The lovely thing about Buwa and QuaLa that we didn't take everything down to a really low level. It was discovery, it was curiosity, it was kindness and helpfulness within any given circumstance. I realised a couple of weeks ago that's what we're doing at CaliQ. What we've done is we said, well, we can educate Google. Come with us clients, agencies, and we can help you to educate Google. That makes your world much less scary. Google isn't scary. Google's a child thirsty for knowledge. All we need to do is transfer our knowledge about ourselves into Google's mind I might even say soul, but that might be pushing it too far.

Speaker 2:

That's fascinating to me, I wonder. I mean, is this something anybody can do? Can anybody teach Google?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's a really, really lovely situation. Google is a massive machine. It's hugely complex. That makes people think that it's difficult to interact with it. In fact, everything you post online is interacting with Google directly or indirectly. It's simply a question of interacting with Google in a consistent manner and giving it clear signals and clear messages about who you are, what you're doing, which audience you serve. If you can do that, you can educate Google, because Google is sucking in all of this information Like a child. If it gets consistent information about specific topics that make sense and it all fits together, it will understand. When it understands, then it can start recommending you to the subset of its users, who are truly your audience, because Google, at the end of the day, is a recommendation engine. We go to Google for a recommendation for the solution to our problem or the answer to our question. Google will recommend the source my company, I would hope, or myself that it finds to be the most trustworthy, authoritative, credible, expert, experienced. Google calls that EEAT experience, expertise, authority, trustworthiness.

Speaker 2:

And you can adjust where you fit into that particular equation by what you put out there.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's micromanaging, which some people find very difficult, especially companies, and so that's the huge challenge is to say well, if I want to have a consistent message, that's actually the hardest thing for a human being to do, and even more so a collection of human beings within a company. So one of the keys at CaliCube is weekly meetings with the team. Everybody discusses what they're doing, everybody understands what everybody else's job is and everybody's working together with the same ideas, the same approach, the same communication style, the CaliCube voice. And that really helps us to educate Google, because, whether it's Joanne in social media or Katrina on the service pages, or Jean-Marie or Bernadette or Leanne writing the articles on the website, or indeed the design which we often overlook, with Verona and Jean-Marie and Mary Ann, everybody is expressing themselves in a very similar manner, using the same language, the same ideas, the same style. So CaliCube has a voice and I have a voice, and Google is now able to recognize that voice and it's able to extract and that's a really important point, it's able to extract information from what we write and what we produce, reliably and with confidence that it is fully understood what we're talking about, because we communicate consistently and in a way that we know Google can easily understand.

Speaker 2:

A lot of the people who are listening to this, jason, are business owners small business owners, such as experts and this, to them, feels like something that they should do, but they're not techie. They wouldn't describe themselves as a tech geek. Like is this? This feels like it may be beyond them. Is that true?

Speaker 3:

No, I've got great news for them. It's not. It's absolutely within everybody's reach, and I think that's one of the terrible things about SEO. Search engine optimization is that the community has made it seem much more technical than it truly is. It used to be very technical. It has got progressively less and less technical. So let's say, in 1998, when I started, it was 20% the content you produced, 80% the technical way you put it in your web page. Now it's the other way around. It's 80% the quality of the content you produce for your audience and remember that you're producing the content for your audience 20% the technical implementation. And from that perspective, it means that the value that you need to push within your team is the quality of the content you produce for your audience and actually answering their questions, solving their problems, because that's what Google is looking for. That's good. And actually, once the content is on the page, google's getting smarter and smarter and smarter and smarter. And even if you don't do such a great technical job and that 20% is only half done, you're fine if you've done the 80% content.

Speaker 2:

Wow your book that you published last year, the fundamentals of brand serps for business. Some people listening would probably want to ask you what exactly is a brand serp and do you? Care about that for us, for our business.

Speaker 3:

Well, and yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. I can't remember what all the questions were. Yes, you should read the book. Yes, you should focus on brand serps and yes, a brand serp. I will explain what it is. A SERP? S-e-r-p is a search engine results page, so every time you search on Google, it produces that page. It gives you the recommendations we mentioned earlier on. Now, a brand serp is the search engine results page for a brand, a company or a person. That page represents Google's understanding of that company or that person and which content around that company or person their audience is going to be most interested in, what content is going to be most valuable, helpful and relevant to the audience. And that's the huge insight. This is where we move away from SEO, the geeky Google thing, and towards marketing and branding, Because what you have there, when you search your own company name, is Google's understanding of your company or your brand and Google's understanding of your marketing. And if it's not what you want, then you've got a problem in one or both. And what I like to say to people is search your name, your brand name, company name, personal name, even your product name, but before you hit return, think what do I expect to see. Make a little mental note when the page appears. What do you see? How similar are they? Number three what do you want to see? How far away is that from what you expected to see? And what you do see? And what you'll find is, by correcting that from what you do see to what you want to see, you will naturally build a much better marketing strategy and a much better branding strategy. And that, the SEO, is actually at the end of this little triplet Branding, marketing, SEO. If you don't have a brand, you've got nothing to market. If you don't have anything to market, you've got nothing to SEO. So you need to do it in that order. And the CaliQ process in my book talks about that idea is saying well, SEO, search engine optimization is actually just packaging for Google. So it's packaging something you should be creating anyway for your audience, for Google. So if I now look at my brand SERP and look at it and think, well, I've put a lot of resources into Facebook, but Facebook isn't on my brand SERP, Google doesn't think it's important, there are two possibilities. Number one is Facebook simply isn't important within your industry and you're wasting your money. Or number two, you're not doing a very good job and you're wasting your money. So, either way, you can immediately see from Google's perception oh sorry, it's representation of your brand is its perception of how your audience engages with you, and that's both to do with the work that you're doing. I mean, my Facebook work was terrible. Therefore, it's not ranking. Therefore, I'm doing a bad job. Therefore, I need to think about what I'm doing, but also your competitors within your market. What works for a real estate developer? It's going to be more something along the lines of images than it is Twitter, so it'd be more likely to be Instagram. But we have the data in CaliQ Pro. We've got a platform. What we do is, when a client comes to see us to work with us, first of all we say do you have a marketing department? If they don't have a marketing department, we can't help, Because what we do is we click a button in CaliQ Pro, which is a SaaS platform I built, and it will pull up the full digital marketing strategy based on your current strategies, their success and failure, your cohort, ie, your competitors, and then we can talk to you and say well, this is your ideal strategy based on those two things that Google has told us. So it's Google telling us what you should be doing. Then we talk to you what are your resources, what are your priorities, what are your business goals? We can then adapt that ideal strategy to what you're actually trying to do. We call that the CaliCube process. Then we implement it with our clients by coaching their team to brand better, to market better and to ensure that the packaging for Google is wrapped up in their natural standard operating procedures for every aspect of their marketing.

Speaker 2:

It is so intentional and purposeful in how you've built that and how you serve your clients that day.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, I've been doing it for 12 years and I only really realized quite how intentional it was recently. So it's unintentionally intentional, if that's the thing.

Speaker 2:

Really intentional oh that's much better.

Speaker 3:

Thank you very much. You've just saved the day. Oh, that's great.

Speaker 2:

So the SaaS platform that you've created sounds fascinating. I mean, this sounds like a tool that companies can use to really manage what you're talking about and really make some ground as they're trying to move the ball up the field.

Speaker 3:

Well, in fact, I created CaliCube Pro, which is the SaaS platform, in 2015, so it's actually eight years old, and I created it to solve a problem that I had, which was analyzing this stuff manually is very slow, very painful, very boring and you get it wrong, whereas what we've done at CaliCube I've built the algorithms, I built them myself is to analyze the data that we get back from Google about a brand and its competitive market and prioritize everything based on the data, which means that when I say focus on Facebook, I'm not saying I think you should focus on Facebook. I'm saying Google's analysis of you and your market tell us that Facebook is the most important. So we need to start there. And when you create that content for Facebook, make sure that you're using it as well on your website. You're creating a post. Think about how you might integrate that into your website or vice versa. It doesn't matter, but think about why am I and once again, the idea of being intentional is saying I shouldn't just be creating a piece of content for Facebook, even if I then say, well, I'm also doing Twitter and for LinkedIn. There are three different platforms with three different approaches. It may well not be worth your time even posting on Twitter if it's simply not important in your industry. It will be more worth your time taking that content and creating a page on your website that actually helps your users, solves a problem or explains to Google tiny bit more about who you are, what you're doing, which audience you serve, because Google cannot read everything on Facebook. Somebody once told me it's probably untrue, but 30%, let's say. Google can only get 30% of Facebook. It's just too huge. But it can get 100% of your website and it also, when it sees it on your website, it knows it's you. It knows it's you saying it. So if you've got somebody on Facebook asking a question let's say somebody pings you in a post and says I'm not sure how to download the software for Mac, and you reply on Facebook done why don't you take that question and put it on your website as an FAQ and say where do you download the CaliCube software for Mac? Here is the link. This is where you might want it and this is why it's a credible solution. So repurpose it where it's actually going to be useful. And that thing of saying your website is your home, it's something you control. It's something that Google connects directly to you, so it's your best conduit for communicating with Google. And we come back to educating the child. You need to educate this child so it understands who you are, what you do, which audience you serve, because only then can it recommend you to the subset of its users who are your audience.

Speaker 2:

So what you're describing as far as Google's limitations with Facebook, do those apply to LinkedIn as well? A lot of people I know are creating content on LinkedIn now. Do the same limitations apply?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we don't know quite how much it's able to crawl. We even don't know if it can crawl in certain circumstances because of the fact that LinkedIn often, depending on circumstances, will force you to log in. So you don't know how much information it's getting out of LinkedIn. We don't know how much information it's getting in our Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. It's got a firehose, so it gets it all, but what does it do with it? And there's so much junk in there? Is it important? Is that stream Sorry, it's the world stream of consciousness. How useful is that in terms of understanding the facts? It's good, great for sentiment, because Google can bring it all together and say well, all of this talks about CaliCube. The sentiment of that is highly positive. Therefore, we can assume that CaliCube is a good company that serves its clients well. That's great. But it doesn't get the details. But if I post that same content on my website in a more structured manner and structured just in terms of human beings saying here's the question, here's the answer to that question as concerns my company, I'm educating Google, and educating Google is the single most important thing to do in SEO today, by far and away. And educating it is just answering the right questions and solving the right problems for the right audience, and putting it on your web page in a manner that they can understand it and they can use it and I'm talking about people here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm curious. You have really elevated your game over time. I mean, there's no such thing as a wasted experience. I tell clients to solve the time. There's no such thing as a wasted experience. You're going to carry what you learn forward and it is going to benefit either you or people around you later in your life. You have continually upped your game. How do you do that? How do you stay on top of your game and level up with the new skills you need to lead your company well?

Speaker 3:

Oh, that's a lovely question, because as a kid I was criticised by my father because I played one sport, got good at it, stopped, went and played another sport, got good at that, stopped and went and played another sport. And he couldn't understand that what was happening was that I was getting good enough to realise that I would never be great. So there's no point. Wow. And the only sports I played consistently were field hockey, chess and football. And I played field hockey for the French champions and I played football in the French Parisian third division. I played chess for the northern half of the UK as a 18 year old punk, but then I stopped chess because I realised I was never going to be a grandmaster. So then I did economics at university and I realised I was never going to be the greatest economist with the greatest ideas and I wasn't going to change the world. Played music I think I was a very good musician. Then that fell apart and I started doing the cartoons and so on and so forth. So it's always this thing of always wanting to improve, always wanting to learn, always wanting to get better and in fact, the only three things that I've never stopped and you mentioned it earlier on music you have never mastered music. Making cartoons you have never mastered videography. Making cartoons, making fun stuff, educational stuff. I made a video this weekend for CaliCube and I enjoyed it so much. It spent eight hours doing it. I did the whole production process, recording slides, things coming in and out. I really enjoy it because every time I learn something new. And the third one is figuring out how to educate Google, because educating Google is like educating a child, but it's the smartest child that you have ever met and it's the child that has perfect recall memory and it's the child with the biggest capacity to remember everything you tell it. If you tell it in a clear, concise, consistent manner, wow, and it's so much fun. There are always different angles and one of the best things about my job is when Google gets confused and people say, oh, it's got my age wrong. Or oh, I've got three different representations of me in the knowledge graph. Or it's ranking my competitor, not me. It's misunderstood my brand name it's not putting. I've got a small letter at the beginning of my brand name and it's putting a capital letter. All these things, they're mysteries to be solved. I'm Sherlock Holmes. I get my magnifying glass out my pipe and I go around the internet. Elisa and Nell in the CaliQ protein do this as well. It's figuring out what it is that's made that child misunderstand and then fixing the points that are making that conflict in the child's brain, and it's magical to watch you fix that. You wait a few weeks. Google understands what you've done. Everything comes back exactly as you wanted it and it's all a question of figuring out why it's misunderstood and fixing that. And one of the great things about CaliQ Pro is that it shows you big on the screen. This is the confusion. You obviously have to look a little bit, because there's a lot of human intuition, and that's the other thing. There's so much human intuition in this. It's data. I can show you a big list of data, but I can't program in every single exception, every single issue. What I can do is present it to you as a smart human being. You can look down the list and say there it is, and that's so much fun. And we're opening the platform now up to agencies, so it's an agency platform. One of the people using the agency, gert Melak, said what he loves about it is it's so robust, and what I love about the word robust is it's solid, it doesn't break, it doesn't fail to load, it doesn't give you the wrong data. And guess where that comes from? Comes from Buanquara, because when I was building the games, I was programming the games. If there were any bugs in any of the games, the child would always find it and the child would get frustrated because they didn't finish the game. They'd got a score of 100 or whatever and they were about to get 120, and it was going to be their high score. It breaks, the bug hits in and they go absolutely. They're so frustrated and when they get frustrated, the parents get frustrated, the parents get angry and they write very rude emails. So I used to bug test and stress test our platform all the time, to the point at which the games that I built in 1998, 25 years later still work. Wow, yeah. And one thing is we had the server and I used to stress test it and just send lots and lots and lots of queries to the server to see at what point it would break, and every now and then it would break. Obviously, these things would have a perfect. Every time it broke we would get literally 200 emails in the space of a day from very, very frustrated angry parents, thanks. So for me, I needed it not to break in order for me not to have to employ people to reply to 200 emails from angry parents, and it was a great lesson in life and I built that into CaliCube Pro and I'm hugely proud of it.

Speaker 2:

That's fantastic. There's a lot of agency owners that are listening, and I know this is a tool they're going to be very interested in learning more about.

Speaker 3:

And we've just finished a White Paper, Six Ways oh sorry, Six Services you can offer to your clients as an agency with lucrative profit margins that allow you to add services and scale your agency without headaches and without needing to employ vast numbers of new staff. And that was the video I was recording this weekend, because the White Paper is 5,600 words and it explains in detail six service offerings, with pricing and how to implement them. But we realized that agency owners don't have that time, so I made a seven minute video that explains it all so you can immediately see is this going to be interesting for my agency or not.

Speaker 2:

I love that. I would love to share that, when that's ready, with our Brilliant Absolutely.

Speaker 3:

I'll be ready in two days' time.

Speaker 2:

That's fantastic. We'll send the link over and I'll put that in the show notes for this episode.

Speaker 3:

Brilliant. Thank you very much. I'm really, really pleased, because I built the platform eight years ago to solve one problem for myself and it's ended up solving six different problems which we sell to our clients as an agency using our own platform. But it also allows us to then help other agencies, especially today. What's happening with generative AI in the digital marketing space is that all of a sudden, you can create lots of great content really quickly. Ai will write your code for you. Ai will appear in the search results and it would appear that it's taking over the search results, and a lot of agencies are frightened and worried. Do I provide the same number of services but reduce my prices? Do I keep my price, add more services? And if so, how do I do it? What we're now doing is saying well, why don't you just offer more services and you can maintain your prices, sometimes even increase them? If you can say to a client, I can extract from Google the exact, perfect digital marketing strategy for your company in your situation, in your markets, and then I will coach you through that digital marketing strategy In the first year, you will get an increase in visibility, brand awareness, across the entire web. We will clarify your message in Google's brain. You will then rank you higher and in the second year you will get an increase in SEO traffic. That is beautiful. The point there is from CalliQ we've implemented ourselves. The first year we got 25% revenue growth and that's just from the digital marketing, without any SEO at all from hitting the right spots, standing where your audience are looking, offering them the solution to the problem they have front of mind and showing them what the next step is. And they walk straight down your funnel. It's beautiful. Then the second year, of course, google understands that we're doing this and it can see that this is what's happening. We've been standing where the audience is looking. We've been showing them that we have the solution to their problem and we've showed them the next step and they walk straight in 300% growth in search traffic the second year because we had created the content that demonstrated that that's what we were doing. And in two years we've doubled income and this year I've already CallieCube's already done as much income in the first six months as the entire year last year. It's a veritable hockey stick. I think it's just coffee attention. It sounds like I'm showing off, but I'm British and it's really difficult. I suddenly feel really guilty.

Speaker 2:

I think you just caught the attention of every business owner and leader and agency owner. Who's listening?

Speaker 3:

Right, brilliant, oh, that's great. I would like to thank Leanne, jean, marie, maryanne, katrina, who have helped me to really get that nailed. I mean, we managed to create this white paper and this explanation. It's become incredibly clear. I couldn't have been that clear three weeks ago as well. I'm here. I'll also thank Elisa for the CallieCube Pro team, who is the best in the world. She's the person who serves the agencies. And the other great thing is, as we're building our own CallieCube process, I mean, we're implementing our own digital marketing strategy, we're developing the skill sets in-house and we're now working on SOPs that we can then sell on and provide to agencies and our clients, based on our own experience. What went right, what went wrong, where did we get it wrong? And one of the vastly underrated aspects is getting that process, getting the right software tools, not wasting time, not having many backwards and forwards, and making sure you're really hitting the spot with as much efficiency and efficacy as possible.

Speaker 2:

You know, jason, one of the things that has stood out to me in this interview is you illustrate a principle that I teach a lot and you're living it out and you're not even aware of it. I don't think. And the principle- is that nobody. Nobody ascends to greatness alone. No company ascends to greatness because of one person. What you have done is you have said, hey, and I wanna talk, and so and so and so, and every one of your team members that you've named you know you've called out my name because you realize that every one of them makes a difference. They make an impact, and CallieCube could not be what it is without every one of them. It's not just about you, it's about the team that is accomplishing what you're doing 100%.

Speaker 3:

And two and a half years ago I was completely on my own. Wow, it was just Jason. And now we have a catchphrase in CallieCube. If you go and see our team page, search for CallieCube team. It's great page that I didn't build, of course, but at the top it says CallieCube. It's not just Jason, and that's one of the things we've really had to communicate. It's Maria organizing our podcast. We've invited you on the podcast, but I've said to her but she has to say yes, it's not my choice, and that's the another point is we have what we call CallieCube babies, which is a project that is 100% in the hands of one person and that one person is there to nurture the baby and help it to grow. And Maria's CallieCube baby is the podcast. Wow, and the podcast is absolutely rocking it because I don't get involved. I just turn up and interview people, which is lovely, but up until the point I'm actually interviewing them, I've got no idea who they are or what we're talking about, because Maria literally does everything. Wow, that is phenomenal. What a team it is. And I think that's the I mean it's Madsingers who taught me this, something I'd love to say it was all my invention, but it isn't. And he said first thing after six months, my team was falling apart and I had him on my podcast and he explained to me. He said you're giving them tasks. That's never gonna work. You're looking for people to do what you were doing and just repeat your process. That's not gonna work. You need to give them roles, responsibilities, which is where CallieCube babies came from and you need to delegate to them and you need to understand that they will find a better process than you because they're gonna do more of it. It's gonna be their specialization and you have to trust them to do that. And if you can't trust them to do that, don't work with them. And he's right. And another interesting aspect that we're really starting to get right in the team is an atmosphere of friendliness and happiness and mutual support, and I'm hugely happy with that. Ann, who joined the team a month ago. We have weekly team meetings. Everyone explains what they've been doing in a week so that everybody knows what everybody else is doing, which really helps the CallieCube Pro team, help our clients, because they understand the problems of the different members of the marketing team. And during the meetings after a month, I say to the person who's been there a month, I would like you to stay. You've done a great job. This has been a really good month. It's been a great kickoff. Do you want to stay? And I mean they can say no or they can say yes, and she actually said yes, I would love to stay. I haven't had meetings where I've laughed so much ever. There is usually a lot of pressure and no laughter, and for me, meetings are about sharing success, sharing how we're all working together, what each of us is doing. It's not about proving how valuable you are. If you have to prove how valuable you are and you've got five minutes to do it in front of a boss in a public meeting, that's a terrible, terrible situation to be in. I agree with Anne so good, so good.

Speaker 2:

I love that. I hope every leader who's listening, who leads a meeting, listens to what you just said, backs it up, listens to it again, backs it up, listens to it again and then writes it down and puts it on their wall.

Speaker 3:

Another thing is also it sounds very trite, but, leading by example, I make mistakes I moved all our WordPress sites to a new server and then the whole thing just collapsed. I had to come back and then move it to Kinster, who are a great host who I've got no deal with, so I'm not getting anything from them for saying it. I moved it there At the team meeting. I had to say well, I moved to the new server. It all collapsed in a heap because I got it all wrong and we've now moved to Kinster. Tata helped me with that. It's been absolutely wonderful and I'm really happy because now I can hand off the whole thing to Tata and it's now her CaliQ baby. But I think it's important that I said I actually messed up the first time and I got it wrong. It was a misjudgment on my part.

Speaker 2:

Yes, Absolutely, because when you go first in that, jason, when you go first and say, hey, I messed up, you give other people in the room permission to also mess up, to know that it's okay not just to mess up but to admit it publicly and say, hey, I own this, I did it, I screwed it up. This is how I'm fixing it. When you give that kind of permission to your team, that creates a dynamic of health that is really astoundingly effective in creating momentum.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I've always been quite honest. I've got nothing to hide. I don't mind being wrong. I don't mind showing that I've been wrong, but I do love people teaching me things and I think you'll agree with the podcast. One of the best things about having a podcast is people coming on and teaching you things and explaining things. You just go, wow, I've got a tick. That I was. I often go ooh when somebody says something I found really, really interesting and surprising. It's really just the enthusiasm of saying, oh, I didn't know that. Yes, yes, it's so. So loving that's I think we call it, wearing it out in your sleeve.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. There's nothing wrong with that. I think that's a wonderful trait, man.

Speaker 3:

If we come back to the growth of Cally Cube and the team, I've had this platform since 2015. For six years, I was just running it on my own. It was basically just my platform for working on my five or six clients as an independent contractor. But I built an entire platform cloud-based SaaS platform, and I just didn't let anyone else use it. Wow Then started building a team. Katrina was the person who got on board first and who's still here. She started the team. She managed to keep it together. She managed to motivate everybody to keep moving forwards. Now, all of a sudden, I can feel that flywheel going. Exactly. All I have to do is what I always, always wanted to do is build my mad machine. Look into the data Sherlock Holmes on Google to figure out the why it hasn't understood, why it's misrepresenting. What information it can provide me allows me to help our clients and the agencies so that they can serve their clients. That's all I want to do in life, because it's the most interesting job of all, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's the best use of your time because of your gifts, your passions, your abilities, the things you've learned. You're able to leverage that for the benefit of so many more people when you can focus on that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I'm going to name check a few more people as well. We've got Christina and Leanne who have been pushing and pushing and pushing, along with Katrina in fact. Now I think about it, pushing me to stop doing the things that aren't a good use of my time and focus on the things that are a good use of my time. Yes, I find that difficult. I think a lot of people do. I want to look and check and make sure it's all going well. A great lesson I've learned from Elisa, who runs the CataCube Pro team, is every now and then, a client will tag me into an email. Then I think, oh, something's gone wrong. Of course it never has. Elisa is completely on top of it. Yeah, it's difficult for me not to say well, elisa, what about this? I've resisted it. I've managed to resist it three days. Once Then we were having a conversation and I couldn't not ask her. Then, as soon as I looked at her, I thought, no, I shouldn't have done that, because she's sort of this out. That's it. I have to believe, I have to delegate, I have to give authority, I have to let go.

Speaker 2:

I think what you just keyed in on is spot-on. I mean, that's the challenge for leaders to delegate not just responsibility but to also delegate authority. Ooh yeah, when we do that, then we are demonstrating trust, we're demonstrating value. People who feel trusted and valued lean in to your company. They lean into your organization. Often, what I see is leaders only delegate responsibility because there is a lack of full trust. That communicates a lack of value over time.

Speaker 3:

Right. You've put your finger on something I've only just started being able to do, because delegating responsibilities and roles relatively simple, I can now see Delegating authority is a huge step. So thank you, I mean because that now means I know what I'm trying to do. I think that's key. Once I know what I need to do, it becomes much, much, much easier because I know I'm going that way. Yes, until that moment you're kind of striking around in the dark and never really very sure.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, jason. I could continue this conversation for another hour. This has been so fascinating and so incredibly insightful. Thank you for sharing so generously. I know a lot of people are going to want to stay connected with you, continue learning from you and find out more about what you're doing. What's the best way for them to do that?

Speaker 3:

Right? Well, the first thing everyone should do is Google my name, Jason Barnard, j-a-s-o-m-b-a-r-n-a-r-d. And that is my Google business card, and that gives you a choice of how you want to interact with me on the left-hand side, and on the right-hand side, it shows all the facts about me. That's what a great Google business card your brand search looks like from a personal perspective. From a business perspective, you can Google CaliCube, k-a-l-i-c-u-b-e, and it will show you the facts on the right-hand side once again, which is Google's understanding of what we have taught it about ourselves as a company. And then, on the left-hand side, all our sites, our social media profiles, our offers. How do you want to engage? Do you just want to watch the podcast, or do you want to jump in and buy a service? Do you want to learn more about me as the founder, or do you want to join our Facebook support group, which is free? Or do you want to download the white paper for six ways to make lucrative margin money as an agency? That's the beauty is our brand. Surf is perfect because it represents to you our audience. Now, if you search our name, exactly who we are, what we can offer you, why we're credible, and offers you the opportunity to choose how you interact with us, and if somebody wants to be super smart and clever, come and tell us what we're doing wrong with our digital marketing strategy by reading our brand, surf. I'm happy to hear if we're getting it wrong.

Speaker 2:

And that teachable spirit, that insatiable curiosity. That's why you have found the success that you have and why you continue to go up and to the right. May it be a model for us all, jason, thank you.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much, William, that was brilliant.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for joining me for this episode today. As we wrap up, I'd love for you to do two things. First, subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss an episode, and if you find value here, I'd love it if you would rate it and review it. That really does make a difference in helping other people to discover this podcast. Second, if you don't have a copy of my newest book, catalytic Leadership, I'd love to put a copy in your hands. If you go to catalyticleadershipbookcom, you can get a copy for free. Just pay the shipping so I can get it to you and we'll get one right out. My goal is to put this into the hands of as many leaders as possible. This book captures principles that I've learned in 20 plus years of coaching leaders in the entrepreneurial space, in business, government, nonprofits, education and the local church. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn to keep up with what I'm currently learning and thinking about. If you're ready to take a next step with a coach to help you intentionally grow and thrive as a leader, I'd be honored to help you. Just go to catalyticaleadershipnet to book a call with me. Stay tuned for our next episode next week. Until then, as always, leaders choose to be catalytic.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to Catalytic Leadership with Dr William Attaway. Be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don't miss the next episode. Want more? Go to catalyticaleadershipnet.

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