Today’s guest is Brian Loebig of Loebig Ink. Brian and I talk about what’s going on in the world of social media marketing and how you can use it to put your customers first.
Adam Lowe: Today I'm here with Brian Loebig of Loebig Ink. Brian, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you help people?
Brian Loebig: Absolutely. I'm the founder of Loebig Ink Web Consulting. I like to say that we're inspired by coffee, creativity in music to provide web design, social media and search engine optimization services.
Adam Lowe: You had me at coffee. So tell me a little bit about your path to starting your business.
Brian Loebig: I've only been in business since 2012, which is actually kind of a long time for businesses. Usually, you know, you succeed or fail by the five year mark. So it's been about that amount of time and I continue to improve and to grow. So that's good. I started, one of the things that really motivated to start the business was getting laid off. I used to be a chief operating officer of a large nonprofit social service non-profit in Virginia, a Lutheran family services of Virginia, multi-million dollar non-profit doing social work, a foster care adoption and family preservation, all those kinds of services. And, um, I laid, some people off in 2010 during the down turn in the economy. I laid some people off, I got laid off. Um, I would help them suggest I get laid off based on my responsibilities and how the organization was going because I was one of the senior executives and uh, and my wife was in medical school at the time, full time. So perfect timing for me to be laid off.
Adam Lowe: You were in it,
Brian Loebig: This was in Richmond, Virginia. And so, um, we prayed about it and we had a long discussion. We decided I'm just going to, um, go into this web design thing full time. So I've always done it as a side project side hustle, if you will. Um, since going to college at Marquette in 1997. I graduated from their first executive MBA program. I actually develop their website. I'm the first executive MBA website at Marquette as part of a class project. And so I've always had my fingers in like web design and technology since then and doing it on the side. So when I got laid off, that was a perfect opportunity to do it full time. And then we didn't know, my wife was an army doctor so we didn't know where she was going to end up anyway. And so I decided to do this and just follow her wherever she goes and drag the kids along. And uh, so we wound up in a. She got. I'm stationed at Walter Reed right after graduation. So that's what brought us to the DC area and that's kinda how I kicked off the business.
Adam Lowe: That's awesome. And your business has been going pretty good. You also do a lot of public speaking. I know that you're really actively, actively involved in, uh, some of the chambers. And I know that I spoke with you on a panel once a couple years ago and I saw you present again, I think last year. Um, so tell me a little bit about that.
Brian Loebig: I've been doing, I've been doing more of that if it had more opportunities. Um, it wasn't really a strategic plan. People would ask me to speak at things. I'm Julie Schumacher is a close colleague of mine with sassy agency and she's very active in the Bethesda chamber. She'd always ask me if I could, uh, speak with her on, you know, marketing or google analytic related kinda topics. And so, um, I really liked doing that and so I decided to actually make that kind of a strategic plan and, and, um, kind of seek those opportunities. And so, uh, I've been. So when I joined the Silver Spring chamber, um, they, that's created some great opportunities to do larger speaking events. I've spoken at, um, AIGA, which is a graphic design, you know, organization and um, it just, uh, even BNI, I'm involved with business networking international and um, I've, they've flown me down to Florida to speak at a BNI of Florida Broward county, talking about how to use LinkedIn to increase your visitors to your chapter.
Adam Lowe: Alright, fancy pants. I always just saw you as being the seo guy that everyone turns to around here. So, uh, yeah, I had no idea until I actually went on the website. I was like, oh yeah, Brian, Brian is awesome. But on the website I was like, holy crap. Bryan does a lot of stuff. That's pretty amazing. So tell me a little bit like the breadth of what, uh, what you offer
Brian Loebig: seo is kind of the, uh, the thing that's kind of risen to the top. I've, um, I started off doing web design and I love web design, but I've really been the fastest growing part of my business is search engine optimization and that's really happened through a lot of collaborations. Um, like a white Label. I do lots of white label seo through partner organizations with other web designers and marketing firms or consultants. I did over a hundred seo projects last year. We're on track to do a hundred and 50 this year. Um, and so I have a whole team, uh, you know, I started off as a solo entrepreneur now I've got like 15 people working for me. That's fantastic. It's great. And so we, we've, um, up. The cool thing about SEO too is that I also do a lot of consulting with organizations where I'm not doing the seo, but I'm consulting with them to bring on other consultants and bringing in other organizations to do, um, like seo or web design. So I get to see how all these other organizations that are doing their process and some of them, some of my clients are pretty large, like pretty good sized marketing firms. They'll bring me in as kind of an outside consultant to kind of vet the other marketing firms or the other SEO companies that are coming in and so had been a great opportunity to see kind of get an inside look at how these organizations do their process and then use that for information on my own team's process.
Adam Lowe: Again, there's so much BS out there and that whole marketing and seo world and people don't quite understand it and they think that it's this magic black box and that they just get phone calls three times a day from people saying, I'll put you on the first page of google. So you know, tell me a little bit about what seo actually is and you know, what, what you actually do to help people get, get noticed.
Brian Loebig: What seo actually is, is getting on the first page of google. That's the ultimate goal is to, you know, get ranked highly on the internet is not necessarily just google, but that's, you know, the 8,500 pound gorilla is if you're on the first page of google, then you're going to get traffic, you're going to get visits. Um, and so that, that is the ultimate goal. But you can do that through, um, not just a website like I do. I've been doing a lot of speaking engagements lately about personal branding, seo, how to increase your own personal brand on the internet, even without a website, how you can, you know, how you can use other kinds of internet properties to increase your visibility all over the internet.
Adam Lowe: Websites, not always the right place to, to market yourself for certain certain businesses. Understanding where your customers are, then that's where you need to be. Um, so what I really wanted to talk to you about today is, you know, there's been a lot of crazy stuff happening the past couple of months with, uh, with social media and seo is changing and just digital marketing in general is going nuts. You know, it's right now. You know, it, it operates at internet speed to begin with and now it seems to have gone, you know, that times 10, um, you know, with the data breaches happening, um, with the cambridge analytic data breach with facebook and uh, you know, everyone's reacting to that and the GDPR changes, you know, everyone's, that we've got the privacy issues going on. So there's a lot of people that have built their entire businesses on certain platforms.
Adam Lowe: So I know a lot of people that their entire business has been built based on facebook advertising, for example, or having a facebook page and building a facebook audience or you know, their entire followings on twitter, um, where they've, you know, they, they did this one magic thing inside of google that, that got them all this awesome google fu and then the algorithm changed and now they're, they're invisible. So I thought you'd be a great person to really talk about, you know, what's going on there and, and you know, why these things change so often and how you can protect yourself. Uh, you know, I think when, when we were talking about topics, I threw out the idea of diversifying your, your marketing channel, it's just like you would diversify a, uh, your, your money, um, you kind of need to do the same thing with your marketing if you want to be safe. So, you know, I'd love to get your take on it.
Brian Loebig: Absolutely. A diversification is key. It's first finding out where your customers are or your customers might be going and on a, on a changing landscape of, you know, with, with all the social media, you know, changing, um, you never know what's where things are going to go and so it's good to have at least a strategic partner, if not your own self in your own staff. Be kind of aware of what's happening. What's the trends like. Alignable is really pushing everybody onto that platform. Lately. It's their, their approach is very, um, pretty intrusive. It's, um, they make it very easy, just like linkedin kind of made it real easy to invite everybody in your phone book and then then people being really annoyed. So in line with bull is doing that same kind of thing, so there's lots of people jumping on the platform because their, their processes working to grab eyes and so it's good to kind of see, just follow those trends and see where they go.
Brian Loebig: Are you getting business out of it? So I'm talking to colleagues, you know, you talk to your colleagues and friends. Is that working for you? You know, how are you connecting with people? How are the conversations happening? Um, I, I think it's for people who rely on one platform, you know, they built their business on like a facebook or a twitter. um, it's ok to build, to, to use a platform even kind of focused a lot of attention on one platform, but you absolutely don't want to have that as your sole platform. You want to take them somewhere you want to have, bring them somewhere where you have control, like your own email list. You don't have to get on facebook and then invite them to join, you know, to sign up for your newsletter. You have relative control over that. However, however, with, uh, with the new, um, GDPR changes, um, that you know, that you have to have, you have to follow a whole new set of criteria unless you're doing business overseas. And I suspect a lot of those principals will be adopted here as well with, you know, what's happening.
Adam Lowe: Um, but you know, it's kind of cool because in marketing you always talked about where you always talk about paid, earned and owned media. Um, and I did a blog post not too long ago talking about rented media, um, because that's how at least I see some of these social media channels is that, you know, is your content, but you're putting it on someone else's platform. Great example. When, when myspace went away, I don't know if too many people who are doing business on myspace, but we see people that are, that are leaving facebook in droves now, or at least say that they are, um, you know, that's an entire platform where if you put a lot of effort into building it up and you're not actually driving traffic back to your website, capturing that, that contact information, capturing those leads, you're going to end up in a world hurt. So, um, yeah, it's just, it's, it's a completely different mindset and a, it seems to change every day.
Brian Loebig: You know, my, I was thinking about the topic and how my, how uh, how my own kind of marketing channels have changed over time. Like back when in 2012 what I was using, what I was focused on, it was like when I was starting up, it was a lot of um, kind of paid lead channels like thumbtack, craigslist, which was free at that time. They've changed their whole marketing. When you heard of this just in the last two weeks, the last two weeks, craigslist has started to require payments for major, major, major sections of their website. So if you want to promote something on creative services, you're going to pay a fee. Now it's $5, it's going to be $5 for a month to post anything on there. And everything was free. Then they started monetizing a job listings, then they started monetizing the, um, the housing listings and now they've monetized, about 70 percent of all the listings on there.
Brian Loebig: So really becoming like a paid a paid service, which has pros and cons, you know, people tweeting, weeding out the crap. Exactly. That's my, that's my approach. So I'm still on there. I'm paying the $5 a month, see how that goes. I gotta lead this week from somebody on craigslist. Um, so that's, that's something I've continued for 2012 to today because I've always get, I one one job a month, I get on there from just keep posting that's worth five bucks. Yeah. Um, but then, but then family and friends was big. You know, when I first started and now it's, um, when I joined this business networking group, bni, that was, I, that continues to be my, um, my biggest source of referrals and repeat business. And then some of the newer things would be I've gotten jobs through every social media channel.
Brian Loebig: I've got clients through twitter, I've hired people through instagram and facebook, of course. Ah, come on, snapchat. Tell me about snapchat. Yes, absolutely. You are the one person who figured out how to use snapchat for business. I've got my first client a, well, my first lead, let's say, put it that way. It didn't turn into a client, but it was this close. What, uh, so I've, I've decided to, uh, you know, I'd like to stay in tune with what my kids are doing in what people are doing and uh, and so snapchat, I'm on snapchat fairly regularly, more of an observer, but I do snap occasionally when I'm going to a meeting, I'll probably snap on my way out of here. And uh, and so I've stayed at I when I attended a, um, one to a meetup. I used to run a law, a meetup on kind of web technology, Bethesda.
Brian Loebig: I met some new people at this workspace and we were talking about social media, so we connected with everybody in the group on like snapchat and a couple other things. And back then and was actually own was periscopes, competitor, meerkat. So we were musically thing and dance your way out of your order because that'd be pretty awesome if you can get a lead from that. Encouraged me. I should've brought my mandolin. I heard you. I heard you knew how to twerk. That's those are lies. So snapchat. So I connected with a, um, a guy in that group. Well the only place we connected. What does. Well I think I'm going to because I'm on linkedin, but I've never connected with talk, you know, message them on linkedin. We've only watched each other on snapchat. So I've seen his snaps. He's watched mine. And then eventually, um, he, he has a client, he actually has a global business.
Brian Loebig: He's down in Guadalajara, has an office here in Bethesda and then one up in New York. And he contacted me and said, Brian, I have a client, I'm munchies. Have you heard of that? No, it's a, it's a, it's a chain. They have a food truck and they've got two restaurants in dc. Um, it's a kind of, I think he's a Lebanese food. Uh, restaurant sounds good. And uh, is, is fantastic. And so he's like, um, I have this friend who has this, uh, that runs this, has these restaurants and he's looking for social media support. And I the first person I thought of since we're connected on snapchat. And so, uh, I said thank you. And went down to munchies and started to, started to created the proposal and you know, went through the process.
Adam Lowe: That's crazy. I just thought, I thought snapchat was nothing but 16 year old girls.
Brian Loebig: There's adults on their real people. Absolutely. There are some people. So you've got to find, you know, there's some people who you to follow, you know, more than kids. There's actually businesses and people like for some of the best people that I think are doing a great job or like personal trainers on bunch of personal trainers that are, they're snapping all the time with their workout routines and it's, you know, it's, it's, it's only up there for a few, you know, for a day and then it's gone. So he really kind of gives you an inside look into, you know, a picture of what's going on in their, in their everyday life. And so it tends to be a millennial, you know, kind of millennial and younger kind of generation. So for them it's like a, yeah, you really have to dedicate time to it to keep it fresh.
Adam Lowe: That's pretty wild. Doing a live every everyday challenge in April, that's going live every day and it's killing me.
Brian Loebig: Any particular channel or does any alive on anything
Adam Lowe: Right now it's in a private facebook group where we're all just supporting each other and helping each other with the challenges. And I've grown So much just doing this every day and I can definitely see the value in it. But dear god, is it hard? I like to be behind the camera, I'd like to be the guy behind the scenes pulling the strings, not the person, uh, you know, waving my own flag in front of the cameras.
Brian Loebig: It's totally different, but the live, you know, the live stuff is where things are going. It's like the, it's the, it's the highest engagement part of any platform right now. Like facebook live, instagram live, the, um, the, the, the natural organic rankings for that stuff is huge because, you know, when you go live that, you know, the little icon, for example, on instagram shows up first, you know, and there's not everybody's live all the time. It was only a few have. Even if you've got a couple of thousands of followers, only one or two live at a time. And so the visibility on those things is really high. If you're, if you do that on a regular basis, you're going to be seen.
Adam Lowe: That's a good point. Doesn't mean I like it, but it's a good point. `Video is huge for, for anybody, but it's hard and I guess that's why it's still powerful because it is hard and not everybody's doing right. That's true. It's a um, so, so tell me what kind of, what kind of new things are out there were kind of new. What's the new hotness these days for the cool kids?
Brian Loebig: That's, that's it. It's like a, it's live. Well, that's what I was thinking is like that kind of thing and I'm excited about lately is the live streaming stuff. So I'm doing that more with clients. Um, we just um, like one of the, one of my newest clients is Root Studio up in Columbia, Maryland. Have you heard of that? No, it's a, it's like a live music creative entertainment space. I run an open mic there once a month. Nice. slightly like live music, spoken word. And so they've hired me as their marketing director, consultant and then, and then so I'm, I get to since they gave me free reign with the, with the open mic stuffs. And so I bring in my team to do a live streaming video or instagram live facebook live and just kind of testing it out, seeing how it goes, learning from mistakes like the first time my, um, my facebook live manager started the broadcast with his phone, you know, you typically hold your phone vertically and you start the broadcast, but it looks better, you know, and it's horizontal because it's more of a video movie.
Brian Loebig: But uh, as soon as you start the live video on facebook, that's how it's fixed. So if you flip it sideways, it's going to flip sideways into your phone, but it's not going to be sideways on the, on the live stream. So everybody's looking at the video sideways. So we had to spend a nice amount of time converting that to the correct orientation. But though, you know, it's great, it's great a learning, that kind of stuff. And that's why you have the private facebook group to test it. Or you don't know what you don't know the, you know, the first time slip, it looks better this way. And whoops, maybe you don't want to stand in front of the big lamp, just a thought because see, the thing is your, your profession, your background in photography and videography is so valuable to clients and they don't even know it. Like people will shoot, you know, video with various things happening behind them, including lights and everything else. They don't know, they don't even. They think it looks fine to them. But then once you have somebody that actually has some knowledge about lighting and space and backgrounds, then you really start to understand how you can set yourself apart. That's the value your, your business brings.
Adam Lowe: But not only that, but then you have people that insist that they want to make these really long videos, you know, five, 10, 15 minute videos. They don't understand that people just don't have that attention span. Like two minutes is about the most that you're going to grab someone's attention for. Um, I'm working with somebody right now that wants to do a intro video when they're on the front of their website and you know, he, he insisted that it be five minutes long. Like dude, seriously, so I had to go out and pull up all the research showing you know, the drop off rates and all that good stuff and you know, under two minutes is where it's at.
Brian Loebig: If you're doing a webinar or from your home page, that's a different story. It's totally different. Webinar webinars are completely different,
Adam Lowe: but even then, you know, you've got a fixed amount of time before people really start dropping off. I think the research said it was around 22 minutes before you start losing people's attention even though a lot of webinars now or are generally 45 minutes worth of content and then a 15 minute sales pitch after that.
Brian Loebig: The worst ones I hate though is like when you, when you sign up for these, these um, these webinars and then they don't give you any ability to fast forward pause or click. And they do a good job of kind of leading up to like what, what they're trying to, you know, the, the, the call to action is like fantastic. Which is why you give them your email to watch the video and then wait for the, the punchline and it never comes and you've watched 30 minutes, 20 minutes.
Adam Lowe: So here is so much sleazy stuff out there going on in the, in the online marketing world. I'm just sick of it. It really has given marketing a bad, a bad reputation. Um, you go into social media and you're just smacked upside the head with, with garbage after garbage. So I guess it raises the point, you know, how do you, how do you differentiate yourself as somebody who's doing marketing effectively and not being a jerk about it, you know, not, not doing the stuff that's going to piss off customers because a lot of this stuff that, these sleazy tactics they worked to build to get leads, they're just unqualified and crappy leads
Brian Loebig: I think. I think it's really understanding yourself and really being authentic. It's really bringing your best self forward and not trying to really try, in my opinion, I really liked the principal of givers gain, like give more than you receive and treat others the way you want to be treated. Because there's the, there's the goal that there's the golden, the gold standard is treat others the way you want to be treated. And there's the platinum principle, which is treat others the way they want to be treated. That means understanding them, that means putting, asking them what they want first and then giving that to them, um, and that, but that really means putting yourself, putting yourself in their shoes, getting outside of yourself and then really answerIng their questions and, you know, giving them what they want without, without any initial expectation in any kind of return is really hard for people.
Brian Loebig: Have a short term perspective. Like you have to have a long, you have to really think about it. I'm in this for the long haul. That, um, I, I met with a client yesterday, a potential client yesterday. He called me up and uh, he wanted a, uh, he, he found me on google search. My own seo is working. Um, it's on my google reviews and give me a call at randomly. Um, and he said, you know, I need a website for my, what was that kind of business he wanted. He had, I forget the type business, but he's like, I need this website. And um, I saw a great reviews, you know, talking about very highly and any, and so I told them kind of I do either low cost entry level websites are kind of high end custom wordpress sites or special programs kind of sites.
Brian Loebig: And So he's like, oh, that's again my prices and he's like, that's really too much, you know, I really like to work with you and etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. And uh, I said, you know, that's, this is, this is, this is my thing. If you really want something in the middle, I've got somebody really close to me, I can refer you to. Um, we had a 45 minute conversation. I looked over his stuff that he had, oh he's a locksmith, he was a locksmith. Very competitive. Yeah, very competitive challenges there. The locksmith world. Absolutely. And especially since, you know, you've got keys to things, it's a very highly regulated. I've done some seo for locksmiths companies. It's not easy. There's lots of competition and there's a lot of shady practices. Actually his profiles, he's had to to uh, duplicate my business profile and so he couldn't get the other one removed and so I told them since I'm a google local guide, if you do enough reviews, they'd give you the status.
Brian Loebig: Um, I've had pretty good results being google local guide, getting duplicates removed. And so I submitted a request on the phone while we were there and did a couple of other things for him. Just, you know, because I'm a givers gain kind of person, you know, helping him out and then referred him to somebody. I'm also my business networking group that can do the middle of the road web design. He's like, why are you doing that? You know, I mean, you're not even hiring you because, well, because it's the right thing to do and you'll remember me and if you need something you need seo or something else in the, in the future, you know where to look.
Adam Lowe: So I think it's that approach that complete yourself apart. You've just got to be authentic and you've got to treat the clients that give them what's in their best interest long-term. And that's always tough because clients love to come to you with the solution, not with their problems and they always say, hey, I want x. And then you start doing a little bit of digging and try to understand what they really need, which is 80 percent of the time, not what they're asking for.
Brian Loebig: It might not be what you provided, which just makes it a little difficult. Then you've got a moral decision makers, should I give him what I'm good at, which might help them, but what's it really going to best help them? Is it really going to be, you know, something else isn't going to be, you know, they need to brand strategy first, which is not something I do.
Adam Lowe: Right, right. Yeah, it's a, it's a tough thing out there and there's room for everybody. And that's, that's the thing is some people have this, uh, this, this mindset of scarcity. and I don't know, I just believe in having that abundance mindset, that there's enough work out there to go around, um, that you got to treat your clients the way that, like you said, the way that they want to be treated, the way that they deserve to be treated.
Brian Loebig: A good example of whether or not you have the abundance mentality is if you're in a, again, if you're in a networking group and they only has one person per profession, and then you don't want anybody else from your profession to come visit that group, you know right away if you have an abundance or scarcity, mindset because you don't want anybody else coming to your group who's, who also does web design. Those are the first people I invite, you know, me too. It's like, I know I'm there, my network,
Adam Lowe: like, you know, w, we might all kind of do the same thing, but everyone's got their own little take on it. Everyone's got their own specialty.
Brian Loebig: You have your own niche. Like some people they do, they work with the doctors and lawyers or physicians or they only work with high end doctors and lawyers or they aren't, you know, so when you get into this business you automatically start getting into a niche is a, if you're doing it right, in my opinion, like you start to get really good at something and you kind of, you know, if you're, if that's a sustainable businesses, they really start to focus on a niche. Riches are in the niches, right? Yeah. I've seen that. like marketing for. I work with Fixation Marketing in Bethesda and there it says fixation marketing, but it's not everything marketing. They, their niche is um, is trade shows, international trade shows, very hyper, you know, segmented, kind of, uh, the group that they are after and so me being in a, like a marketing firm or are you, you could eat easily partner with them and then get referrals from, you know, they get contacted all the time with people who are not in that, in that very niche segment.
Brian Loebig: And then they needed to refer out somebody, somebody else. And they only deal with bigger clients, they only deal with, you know, that you need to have half a million to a million dollar budget to begin with. Yeah. I started my business in 2013 and I still think that every year I refer out more business than I actually take on a cause. Not every. And it's not because they're bad clients, it's just that they're not the right clients for me. Exactly. But that's such an opportunity to be able to refer, to have the amount of business to refer to other people. You're going to build relationships and wealth and trust with all these other people you're referring to. I mean, that just increase, that increases your, that increases your influence. Um, like exponentially when you have enough enough business in clients where you're referring that out to other people, it's going to draw everybody to you. It's counter-intuitive. It's like I'm given all this business away, but you get it all back. Truly. You get it all back. And then some, because you're giving it out, you know, willingly without strings attached. And people are like, wow, this guy, this guy is the person that needed to go to because he knows everybody and he's, and he's giving me referral. Then you get, you get it back in that zone and you're doing right by the person that came to you with a problem.
Adam Lowe: This conversation conversation's going completely off topic, but I love where it's gone. Um, if there was one suggestion that you could give somebody in a sense, since you are the seo guy, I don't know, you're always going to be the seo guy in my head. Sorry, you were introduced to me as the seo guy. I love it, but it's. So if there's one piece of advice that you could give every business or the one thing that you consistently see people doing wrong, what would you give? What would, what would be a good takeaway for people?
Brian Loebig: Um, the one thing I think a lot of people do wrong is, is setting goals but no met without measures. I think you really, you know, you improve what you measure. And so if you set a goal for doing something, create some measurements along the way off your setting, you know, it's great to have a, like a big hairy audacious goal. But then I have, have some measures measurements along the way so you know, you're, you're, um, you're on the path to, to meeting those goals. And then the other thing is also to have, um, like a coach or business coach. Have a somebody. It doesn't have to be formal, although formal business coaches are fantastic because as that built in accountability, but you need really need somebody. I mean, it can be your wife, you can be your dad. It can somebody where you actually have a formal kind of relationship where you can, um, it can hold you accountable to question you about where you're going because, you know, you could...
Adam Lowe: I just go to say, right now I don't my wife to be my business coach. In fact, I pay a business coach to tell me the same stuff that my wife tells me. Um, because I won't listen to her.
Brian Loebig: My wife says that I occasionally don't listen to her either. We just had this conversation and you can listen to me more because they don't have an mba. I'm only having an md but don't have an mba. I feel like you don't listen to me sometimes.
Adam Lowe: Ouch. But I, like you said there about needing to measure it, if you want to change it, you've got to measure it because that's, that's one thing. So many people wonder. Awe. And I get asked this all the time, like how do I know if this marketing stuff is actually working? And I asked, well, are you measuring, you know, what, what's your baseline or are you actually tracking where your leads are coming from? Are you actually tracking this stuff? Well, ok, well that's your, that's the first place you need to start. Um, you know, that's the thing. Like you might be getting 50 percent more leads coming in the pipeline, but if your process is falling down in the sales department or in the delivery, then you've got other issues that you need to look at. So you've really got to measure things all along the way if you want to improve it.
Brian Loebig: When we, when we do seo, I always want to be carbon copied on an email forms that are being submitted so that I can see so that can see where it's coming in and, and then verify that they're getting those email leads. So like when we, even when we, if we're not even doing seo, but we're building a website, um, I want to be on the email. I asked them that I don't actually ask them, I just put myself on there and then I'll forward you the emails that initially come to make sure they're getting them though, that they know I'm paying attention and that they're following up on those leads that are coming through the website. Um, and then a lot sometimes that'll spur into like, how can I get more of those things, you know, how can we get.
Adam Lowe: Then we started talking about marketing automation and all sorts of crazy things which could probably go on for days talking about that. Um, so yeah. Any, any parting words of wisdom that you, that you want to give, um, before we hit you with some lightening round question actions?
Brian Loebig: Um, I would say I would say really pay attention to the newest, the latest kind of marketing channels. Um, it's what some of the, some of the channels that have really been lately very good for myself is I'm like linkedin profinder are you on a very good, um, I get a, I've got, I got one. My biggest a single this year was through my first linkedin profile under ref, you know, job that I got a the genetic clients down in dc and it keeps expanding. Like, um, I've got, I've got two people dedicated to that account I'm doing, helping maintain the website and then doing ux improvements for their website databases. Um, and so it's so that. So linkedin profinder is big. I'm speaking engagements is big for me right now as know and even meet up. I've been getting some jobs through meet up. People don't optimize their media profile when you're on these profiles, you have to optimize them.
Brian Loebig: This is my biggest pet peeve for personal branding is like people will sign up for me to, they'll sign up for twitter, they'll sign up for alignable, they'll sign up for it. But then they don't put any details about what their business is. They don't link it back to their website, they don't put a headshot. Um, and so once you're on these channels, step one fully maximized that profile and you, I guarantee every profile I've, I've maximized and filled out and then just pay at least occasional attention to so that I know it's there and you know, that I get the emails from that thing. I've gotten jobs from them. Every single one. I've just got a job. I just got a, a, a major lead to website leads through meta because somebody saw my immediate profile member, lots of different groups, music related and be like, hey, I see you do websites and now you're into music. Can you do, can you give me a proposal for these two websites?
Adam Lowe: It's just really beat up, beat up, super powerful. And I didn't even think about that until a couple years ago when I actually started getting involved in, involved in meetups. And uh, you know, there's, there's been at least some great relationships there and have some pretty crappy ones too. But a good one. That's all right. So let's, uh, let's hit you with the lightning round questions. Um, so I'm a book nerd. You'd probably know that. So if there's one book that you could give to everyone that you know, what would it be and why it would be the seven habits of highly effective people by stephen covey familiar. I, you're the second person to say that on here. And I actually listened to that book on audio book because I'm in my car all the time. I listened to it at least once a year. It's a great book
Brian Loebig: just based on correct principles, you know, seek first to understand then to be understood, you know, these, these basic concepts which live on,
Adam Lowe: into perpetuity or based on correct principles. That's the one book you got the older youth in the goodies you got that you've got, um, how to win friends and influence people, which is still applicable today. It's just starting to go through the gary vaynerchuk and books, the thank you economy. I just finished that one. I was from a few years ago, but that was pretty good. I read, I anyway, I don't know what the biggest gary v fan, but he's got some good stuff to say. I am a huge peter drucker fan and I've read the entire collection, which I don't know if I should be proud of that shame that I read every peter drucker book. Um, I think that just shows how much of a nerd I am. Anyway. So you kind of touched on this before, but what's the biggest mistake? It doesn't need to be seo related or website related, but what's the biggest mistake that you see business leaders make that was the one where not may not identify as regimens for key goals. Yeah. Cool. And then what's the one, and you're not allowed to say cell phone because that's cheating. What's the one tool or piece of technology that you can't live without?
Brian Loebig: I cannot live without google docs. I have my, uh, my email is on google apps, so all my teams emails there. I use google sheets for my seo process and so we have, we have these, um, template sheets and we collaborate back and forth between my team of 15 people back on the, on the sheets. We use those as templates for each new project I put. Um, it's actually also a very good. It's also very secure you, um, as far especially if you do two factor authentication. Um, it's a, it's just as good as those, uh, those email password lock platforms. You've got that turned on. I cannot live without that.
Adam Lowe: I'm an office three 65 guy. Um, but, you know, whatever, if you could have lunch with anybody dead or alive,
Brian Loebig: why? So that would be my mother. There might be a boring answer, but, um, she passed away two and a half years ago, about three years ago now. And um, I really just can't think I've thanked her plenty of times when she was alive, but I just can't, uh, continue thanking her enough for the amazing heart for children and diversity that she brought into our family. I have 11 brothers and sisters. Hold on. Nine of us are adopted across the cultural spectrum. I have more black brothers and sisters than I do caucasian ones even though I'm caucasian. Um, and that opened my, I mean, that's what caused me. I mean, that's what opened my eyes to where I am today, who I married and who my brothers and sisters married and uh, and how it's formed are my personal relationships. Um, I think I'm the first white member of the Maryland black chamber of commerce.
Adam Lowe: That's crazy. I'm ok. So does that also count as your fun factor? Do you have another? I have another one.
Brian Loebig: Perfect. Um, I founded the, uh, the kensington running club before years ago and we've run every week for the last four years on thursday's rain or shine north. Did. That's pretty cool. Yeah.
Adam Lowe: All right. So anyway, um, where do you expect your business to be in the next level?
Brian Loebig: Months? Well, I have, I set goals for my, for my business and measure those things along the way. So I'm hoping I'm, I'm on the track for a half million revenue in the next 12 months. I'm a hundred and 50 jobs in the next 12 months and then I find in my goal is five and new strategic partnerships. That's also helped you to those goals.
Adam Lowe: Yeah. Very nice. And you also talked a little bit about doing possibly some trading. Do you want to open that up or you want to keep that under your hat for now?
Brian Loebig: No, that's, that's, um, that's one. One of the things I'm kind of excited about it. I started doing a, like a five week course on seo. We just finished one and so we'd be starting another one up probably into summer or so.
Adam Lowe: Nice. Um, all right. So how can people find you and reach out to you?
Brian Loebig: They can find me the best way to find me. I was thinking about this like listing like facebook, twitter, I'm on all the social media, but the single place, this kind of best to see and then to connect with me wherever you are connected would be about me. So about.me/brian [inaudible], b r I n l o e, b as in boy, I, g, m. That's where you can see all my social media links and website and everything.
Adam Lowe: Awesome. Well this has been fantastic. I really appreciate you taking the time to come out here and uh, talk to me today. So is there anybody else that you think would be a good person to interview on this podcast?
Brian Loebig: Yes. I'm glad you didn't ask. I think I'm. The person I recommend is a karen. I salivic from root studio. I mentioned a lot. The open mic up there. It's, it's a, it's a kind of a brand new. She's an entrepreneur. It's a, it's a brand new kind of place. It's a, it's a physical space. Um, she's an amazing entrepreneur. Um, she really, she's bringing kind of the diversity, a diversity of art in a creative space to like the baltimore dc area areas. They do a needs it. Uh, it's, it's amazing. They do. So they do the live musical mike thing of course. Um, but they do painting, they do a videography podcasting of sound production. Her co-founder is a grammy award winning sound engineer with rca records. So it's a really cool, um, it kind of amazing space for creativity in this area.
Adam Lowe: ok. Yeah. I'm going to have to check her out then. Very cool. All right, well thanks again for coming out here and um, I'm sure we'll work together sometime soon. Absolutely. All right. Take care.