Building Your Brand - Uncle Marv's IT Podcast Guest Appearance

Building Your Brand - Uncle Marv's IT Podcast Guest Appearance

Check out Bobby’s guest appearance on Uncle Marv’s IT Business Podcast, where they talked about how your reputation defines you, taking the time to define your brand, including its values, purpose, and mission, and how to communicate it effectively to your audience or clients.

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Marvin Bee: All right. We’re gonna read an excerpt from the book Build Your Brand Like You Give A Shit. By our guest tonight, Bobby Gillespie, I encourage every business leader to spend some time reflecting on everyone who has contributed to their success. Consider the people who have given you the opportunities, you took advantage of the people who influenced you to make the right decisions, and the people who are contributing to your success right now. And I’m not just talking about your financial success. Consider your health and happiness as well. Indeed, the people who only define success by money are the very ones who are a storage on the earth, making a lot of money but leaving burned-out employees and environmental ruin in your wake is not success. It is clearly a failure. In terms of your brand, you’d be a lot more successful, even if it meant breaking less money or making less money and not growing quite as big. If you are focused on creating a good product with engaged employees while making a positive impact on the world to the best of your ability, we need a hell of a lot more business leaders who will chase that kind of success fine.

Hello, friends; Uncle Bob here with another episode of the IT business podcast, the show your show for it business support, where we help you do your job better and run your business better, smarter, and faster. Today, we are excited to have Bobby Gillespie, author of the book, build your brand like you give a shit. Bobby is a branding expert, marketing strategist, and entrepreneur who has helped countless businesses build their brands from the ground up. Bobby, how are you, sir?

Bobby G: I’m great, I’m great, Marv. Thanks for having me on.

Marvin Bee: All right. was glad to have you back; for people that may not remember, Bobby was a guest back on episode 468. Back in January, so it’s been a couple of months.

Bobby G: It’s going by quick.

Marvin Bee: It has; how’s the weather up where you are in Baltimore, right?

Bobby G: Well, we got we got a taste of winter sometime around Thanksgiving before Christmas. And it’s never come back. So it’s just been spring ever since. disturbing but not too bad.

Marvin Bee: Well, that’s not terrible. At least you’re not talking about, you know, snow blizzards and power outages and all that sort of stuff. For those of you that follow the show, last week, we did an episode where our guest was in Chicago and lost power and muscled through in his car. And I thanked him for that. And, Bobby, you’re not doing that tonight; you look like you’re in a nice comfortable spot.

Bobby G: Yeah, it’s like, I don’t know. 55 degrees in Baltimore.

Marvin Bee: 55?

Bobby G: Warm, relatively speaking,

Marvin Bee: I am not going to be doing that. So, Bobby, so I read from your book I should tell everybody that the Build Your Build Your Brand, Like You Give A Shit. And we talked about that last time. And you okay with the passage that I read?

Bobby G: Yeah, I liked it. You’ve picked that one. It’s a book about branding. But we don’t talk about design or messaging; talk about everything else that you do that sends a message. So I’m glad you picked that spot. Because I talk about that a lot.

Marvin Bee: Well, it’s kind of weird because you know, you, you titled it, build your brand. And you talked about other things. And we even talked last time about the difference between branding and marketing because they are kind of interchanged a lot. And we’ve also hear the word image, you know, what’s your image, you know, as compared to what’s your brand. So there’s a lot of things that are now coming with it. And I think this book really gives a framework for how you should be thinking about your brand and the totality of the business, not just about, you know, the transactions and making the money; it’s what do you want people to think about when they say your name.

Bobby G: Right? You know, a good way to put it is a friend, former client friend, or colleague became a friend as a client, which is a testament to sort of how we operate. But she said. It’s really like connecting head and heart. Yeah. So like, you sleep well while running your business. And, you know, that’s important, right? We want a good night’s sleep. Like we want to make sure that the legacy we’re creating through our actions is supporting the reputation we desire. You know, reputation is funny, like, in real-time, we see the Dilbert guy just absolutely eviscerate. His reputation wasn’t good. But some people were holding out hope that he was just misunderstood. I didn’t believe that for a while, but he completely eviscerated it because he wouldn’t stop pushing his opinion. Which one? Why would anyone care what the Dilbert guy thinks, but it’s really, like, bad? And he went from, you know, a successful comic strip guy to a well-deserved pariah. And, you know, there’s no shortage of examples in modern culture of that happening. And I left a comment as I do, from time to time on a Washington Post article, about, you know, the Dilbert guy’s self-inflicted wounds, if you’re going to get the reputation deserve, not necessarily the one you want.

So why not just work every day and earn the reputation you desire? Make decisions all the time that are going to support that reputation because the brand is defined in a lot of different ways. Some people I posted an article on LinkedIn today, and a guy was trying to debate me about it; it’s not worth it to build a visual expression of your brand, your identity, and things like that. And I’m like, that’s not what I’m talking about doing. Talking about is sending the right message to people. And part of that comes through the expression of the visual and verbal language you use. But it’s how you’re treating people and how your customers are feeling about you. It’s, it’s the message that your actions and activities and all the things you’re doing, what’s that message that you’re sending that message you’re sending, and how it makes people feel that’s your brand. So your identity and your website, and all those other things, has to align with that. They’re not leaving it. They’re just another piece of that big equation that makes up who you are and what people think of you.

Marvin Bee: Now, when we talked about the book last time, I kind of asked you how you got started down that path in the way that I probably should have asked the question, back then was what was it that inspired you to write the book? And how did you come up with the title?

Bobby G: I always kind of wanted to do a book. My mom, I felt like at one point in my education, I could have been a writer or designer, and I am more of a visual guy. But it’s funny later in my career; I write way more than I write every day now, and I design once in a while. But I’m very involved with company and our clients. But a coach I was working with, I was like, he wrote a couple of books; I say, how’d you do it? And he just made it very approachable. He’s like, if I basically says the same thing, I say, now if I can do it, anybody can do it. And he connected me with someone who kept me organized through the process. And who, you know, he worked for a company like a scribe that helps people write their business books, and he goes, writes for other people, but it’s all my all my stuff. He just helped me do it. But really, the catalyst was given back, adding to the conversation. And, like, that’s something that I forget the term use for. I’m reading a book by Neil DeGrasse Tyson now. And there’s a term, and I forgot to market my book to remember it and internalize it. But it’s, it’s conversations and storytelling and sharing information that humans have been doing since the beginning. It’s led us to where we are today.

And, you know, I have a lot of experience. I have a lot of opinions. I have a lot of ideas that some that may be provocative or thought-provoking. And I was like, Well, you know, it’s really important for me to get that out of my head. Add to just share it with the rest of humanity. And you know, there are so many reasons why I did it. But that’s really the primary reason is like, let me let me add to the dialogue and maybe help somebody make a decision that is going to be for their betterment. And their communities. Betterment accompanies betterment, and not so self-centered and selfish has, as we’re kind of pushed into that direction from everything.

Marvin Bee: Alright, so I do want to let the viewers and listeners know you, and I are going to be having a big conversation; most of it’s going to be around branding. And I want my friends to know that my brothers in tech guys, Paco and Rick, over at the MSP unplugged podcast, just released an episode yesterday, also entitled branding. So I just want to let the listeners know that Paco and Rick and I did not, you know, coast buyer, you know, too, to have this same topic in the same week. But I do want to mention; I just want to mention that, yes, we realized that we are talking about the same thing there. They come at it from a different perspective, talking about, you know, things that they’ve done. And, of course, Bobby, I’m going to ask you later to evaluate me. And my branding, because, you know, I was once dubbed no marketing, Marv. So we’ll see if that really holds true. But I guess the questions probably should always start around the idea of how do you define a brand. Because most of the time, we always, you know, we do think of what’s the image of the company? What’s the marketing message of the company? You know, what do people think of when they hear the name? You know, do they think of your logo or whatever image you’re putting up? You know, digitally, or stuff like that, but but how do you really defined what a brand is?

Bobby G: Well, all those things are part of it. And you know that a lot of my colleagues in the sort of brand strategy and the brand implementation industry share this notion that it’s all the pieces together, send a message. And, you know, it’s really how do you want to develop your reputation. What do you want to be known as? So for example, you know, if, if you’re a high-end brand, right, like, like Tiffany just mentioned, Tiffany, and because of, you know, 150 years or so, of them, existing, you know, lamps and jewelry, and all that all the stuff that the turquoise bag, silver, the vault sort of door at the stores, like all that, we instantly get an idea. There’s something that triggers in our gut in our mind, that we’re like, Yeah, I know who that brand is, or, you know, on another side of the spectrum, is like Harley Davidson. Same thing. There’s textures. There’s people, there’s sounds, it’s tactile, it’s so like, you know, the logo, like it’s the most tattooed mark, like, it used to be, I don’t know if it’s still the case, but like, people just get this Harley Davidson Tatsu that’s a brand’s logo.

But they identify with like some sort of culture associated with, you know, being an aficionado of big, loud motorcycles. And that’s what we want to establish with your brand, everybody’s brand; you want to manage that message; you want to be consistent with that message. Because you think about what can go right with that is that you’re easy to recommend to people. And he doesn’t know why. So think about it as what’s getting people talking about Uncle Mars company; those are the things we want to be known for. And you kind of drill it down to some values that are nonnegotiable and a purpose that is clearly defined. But that is negotiable. That can change over time; your visual expression, your identity, your website, your marketing message, and your advertising campaigns, they will change over time because the world is constantly evolving. So let me let me put it into like a story or a comparison. You know, we work with a lot of tech brands. So you know, we No, no Nokia and Nokia started as a mining technology company in the UK. And fast forward to the 90s.

That was our first cell phone. And fast forward to today. What are they doing? Well, they still exist are not competing with Apple, you know, on products and services, that what they’ve done is pivot around what their focus is and our values are. So they create, it’s all around technology, communications. So they still do that today. And they’re still, you know, super successful company and admirable for the most part, but they’re creating infrastructure for telecom, they’re putting Wi-Fi on the moon, right? So over that 100-plus years of their existence, they’ve pivoted around their core expertise, their values, and their purpose. And that’s how they’ve thrived. It’s not pivoting around a specific product or service, or feature. And the companies that do that they struggle.

So another companies like Polaroid, right, Polaroid has been around forever, was around forever. And in the late 90s, I believe they’re valued around a couple billion bucks. And within ten years, they declare bankruptcy for the second time and liquidated all their assets, and they were bought out, and they’re gone. Why? Why didn’t they exist? What Why did they fail? Because they didn’t, because they looked at their product as the brand, not a core set of beliefs, not a core mission, not a core purpose. So they say, Oh, well, you know, digital, digital photography, digital technology was, was already around, which is really expensive. And it got cheaper and cheaper every year, and better and better every year as things do. But instead of pivoting around what they were as a company, as a brand, they tried to just double down on more features more products around a device that was headed to be extinct. So who would you rather be a company that thrives and pivots and stays on their toes but doesn’t waver from what you truly believe in and your mission as a whole? Or competent says, like, we’re going to compete on this service, or this feature or this person, and say, like, this is our brand, and live or die by? Well, you’re gonna die by quicker then you want.

Marvin Bee: And there’s a lot of companies that have done that. I mean, Blockbuster was big. They were headquartered down here in Fort Lauderdale, another company that did not see the writing on the wall, and they actually had the opportunity to buy, if I remember, Netflix, Netflix, yep. And I know they said, No. A lot of companies like that. Now. It’s funny because you mentioned Nokia. And when you asked, you know, what are they doing? Now? I would have my first thought was nothing. Because, you know, we don’t hear about them. But you’re talking about the fact that they’re building infrastructure? Well, we know that there’s a huge infrastructure to tech, so they’ve got to be doing well.

Bobby G: Yeah, I mean, they’re putting Wi-Fi on the moon; you can’t get Wi-Fi in parts of Baltimore or in the subway in Philly; you’re gonna be able to get on the moon.

Marvin Bee: Yeah, I can’t get good internet here at my office.

Bobby G: You know, they’re building towers, and 5g and doing all that stuff. Which is true to their core; they’ve just pivoted around sort of their area of expertise who kept it within a radius that makes sense that their brain can consistently exist and thrive. You know, and it’s not that products and services or features. Those are important at certain times. Sometimes you got to pivot, and COVID told us all that in real-time.

Marvin Bee: Yeah. So that’s one of the big takeaways from your book is, you know, learning to do what’s best for the brand and the importance of authenticity. Staying true to who you are. Yep. I mean, but first of all, you don’t know who you are, right? How many? Do you come across people that come to you for help? And they’re like, Oh, we’re, we’re flailing here? We’re dying here. Can you help us with a nice marketing strategy? Only to find out that they don’t really know who they are. They just started a business because it seemed like a good idea at the time, and that was it.

Bobby G: So we start every every engagement whether we’re putting together like a rebrand or, you know, everything we’re trying to do is is built around performance and growth for our for our clients. So it doesn’t always need, you know, we don’t always need to touch everything. But before we before we recommend and do any work, whether it’s a big website, or refresh, or expansion or transformation, whatever it may be, whatever the scenario calls for, to get them the outcomes they’re looking for. We got we dive deep into who they are. Now the ones that are pushing kind of like something that isn’t authentic. It’s all kind of House of Cards; see, they’re not interested in us because we’re going to expose that. And that’s pretty scary to them. But it’s the one but clients that are really interested in doing something that’s sustainable and scalable. The benefit of doing it that way is peace of mind that you just have to be yourself, right? And like, you know, oftentimes it’s the founders or the senior leadership in a company, like, yeah, we know who we are, they can’t articulate it, or they it doesn’t permeate through the ranks, or it doesn’t really get to the customer. And the customer has some confusion about who they really are, but they appreciate them for some reason; they can’t really connect the dots. So what we do is really dig in deep. And the story I like to tell is a unverified story of someone asked the artist, Michelangelo, how he created a statue of David. And he said, simple, he just chipped away the stone that wasn’t David, meaning that the statue was already there, he just had to expose. And I love that story. And it’s in the book because I’ve been telling it, probably, since I heard it 15 years ago. Because it’s real like your brand is there. And oftentimes, it just can’t be articulated, or it’s, there’s too much distraction around it to really, you know, seize it, and use it and make it approachable and understandable and actionable to your team.

So it really just whittles down to three or four core values. And it’s not like core values aren’t, you know, integrity or service. Sure, like, that’s, that’s part of it; they might be some of the terms we use to define their core values; the core values have to be in your tone of voice, it has to be you, it has to be your brand, right? So if your brand is an individual, fine, it’s easy to do that. But when your brands accompany, then you got a, you got to put a person, a personality around it, give it a tone of voice, and give it a like, give us your team clarity on who you are. So they can be consistent, and you know, understand what’s appropriate. So if you’re, you know, just just for fun, like if you’re the personification of your brand, if you’ve labeled it as like a famous person, which makes it even more accessible and even more fun.

You have someone like Samuel Jackson as the personification of your brand. Well, then Sam Jackson, like, gives everybody that permission to be themselves and be as irreverent and, you know, loud as they want. And that should come through in the design and the writing, and the messaging from your brand. So people feel that VOD right, and it’s back to that human connection. That’s what we’re trying to establish, just consistency so that we’re not asking the team, like, you guys all had to go out there and be saying, oh, Jackson, no, but you understand what the tone of voice, and the personality brand is. So lets them know that this stuff this is this is what we’re allowed to get away with, so to speak. And they just wrap it from their own point of view, their own personality, and say, like, Yeah, this is how we wrap this brand. This way.

We can be irreverent; we can use the F word, we can do these different things, you know, we can have a good time with it. That’s truly empowering. And, like, that just gives you so much ability to innovate around that, that if you didn’t do it, there’s no way you can innovate because there’s just too much potential options out there. So if he didn’t say like, what’s it? What’s the personality and our values of our brand? Say, I don’t know. And how can you really say what’s right and what’s wrong? Well, there’s one person or two people that are going to determine that, and they determining it because of its what their preferences, or are they determining it? Because it delights them? Or because it’s really what’s best for the brand and the customer? Well, if it’s not the latter, then how do you know if it’s helping or hurting a company? How do you how do you ensure that you’re doing is going to be consistent time and time out, or not going to rely on gimmicks and things like that, that we hope we get it right.

Marvin Bee: All right. So, folks, you’ve just heard some nice nuggets there. And these are most of these are going to be found in the book that I mentioned at the top of the show, build your brand. Like you give a shit by Bobby Gillespie. Chapter One, entitled, are you faking it? So there’s a good way to start that out. So I’ve put a link in the chat. And it will also be in the show notes. So you can go back and look at it; it is available on Amazon. And it is available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle. So there should not be a reason for you to refuse getting this book. So nice little books, a quick read. And I did finish it this time, Bobby, got it. And I even got it to be read, I guess, to the bar where it says do something about it at the very last tag there. So before I asked you to look at me and see what I’m doing right and wrong, let’s take a quick little break here. And give a shout-out to our sponsors. The IT business podcast is presented by net ally, your number one ally, for handheld testing, basically the tools that will help you diagnose, test, troubleshoot, designed, do everything wired and wireless, faster than ever. And just a quick little testimony on that I was at a client yesterday, where they were having trouble with Wi Fi, I probably shouldn’t say client, this was a friend of mine asked me to come and do a quick look at their network. And so I brought the new air check G three, basically connected it to the Wi-Fi. And found out that they were trying to run about 150 devices off of a mesh network that was very old and not configured properly. And they were all jammed on to one channel.

So I could show them that pretty quickly with the air check. And we weren’t able to do anything yesterday because he is not the network administrator and does not have access to the control panel of the access points. So we’re gonna go back probably in a week or so. And actually do a full network assessment and get in there and either try to make changes or recommend wireless upgrade for them. So net ally just got me another job, even though it’s not my client. So thank you, net ally. Our live show is presented by computers done right, the managed service provider here in Florida and southwest furler. And not only do they do manage services, they can help you with social media content as well. So if you need services done, look no further than computers done And I do want to give a shout-out to my patrons. I got asked the other day, why am I still doing this show? And I just basically said, Look, this show gave so much to me some of the other podcasters in the community. I’ve talked about my brothers in tech Paco and Rick. And this is my way of giving back. So if you like the content that we’re putting out here and you’d like to give back and make sure we keep doing this, head over to it business and support the show. You can become a monthly patron. You can shop on Amazon to do some other things. But I want to give a shout-out to our patrons that are giving monthly $10 a pop or more. And that would be Clark, Kyle, Tom, and synchro. So that is a shout-out there. Thank you, folks. And let’s see, do I have any news? I have a news combo Florida man story that we’ll get to later. So Bobby and I will continue on here. And we’ll go into that a little bit later.

Bobby G: World’s worst superhero, right?

Marvin Bee: Yeah. So Bobby, I probably should have asked you. I know that I mentioned what I configure what I thought were top takeaways from the book. And I don’t think I asked you last time. And I mean, I asked you now was what do you think should be people’s biggest takeaway, or what do you hope people would have as their biggest takeaway from the book?

Bobby G: Oh, man. I haven’t been asked that. Yeah, so I really just want to be provocative with the book. When people to think a little bit differently. I want them to have a little bit more ownership of the decisions they’re making, and not relying on the same cliches of like, it’s just business or as a business decision. That’s a cop-out. It’s pretty weak. And you know, I really don’t accept those excuses when people We’ll try to give them to us, and we shouldn’t no one should accept them. So think about it in terms of what legacy are you creating for the company. Or at? What? What are you going to be known for? What is your company going to be known for? And don’t worry, start worrying about that stuff until you’re like, you know, in retirement and you’re trying to; you feel bad that you’ve reached Havoc your whole career and, and done all the all these bad things for your own self-enrichment, like, you can be good at business and be a good person. Like, I don’t think people realize that. It doesn’t have to be, you know, cutthroat or backstabbing or all this different stuff.

Marvin Bee: You mean people can be rich? And nice? Is that what you’re trying to say?

Bobby G: Yeah, and rich doesn’t necessarily mean rich doesn’t mean you have a lot of money. Right? Like, that’s back to what you quoted in the beginning. Like, your fulfillment is more than your frustration. And the level of kindness you share with others is greater than the amount of selfish selfishness you act out. So there’s a balance, right? Like when when we think about, we look to nature as the example because we’re all part of that. It’s all it’s all, sort of, there’s a balance to the equation, and nothing’s taking too much. And if it does, it gets rectified. And you know, so like, think about how you fit into your company, your community, the people around you, how you’re contributing to that. And use that as the means of like, okay, well do we want to be known as, and that’s a great way to establish the bar for like the expression, your website, your logo, your messaging, all that stuff is like, is this sending the right message to people, if you talk to them, how you treat your customers, how you show up on-site, like the clothes you wear, the words you choose, you know, all those things are sending a message to people. So make sure that you’re making the decisions that are going to earn you every day, the reputation you desire.

And sometimes, you know, it doesn’t have to feel like a huge burden. Sometimes it’s just like, let’s establish what good enough is for us. And, like, let’s meet that bar. And eventually good enough or low and longer be good enough. So then it’s like, okay, this doesn’t feel right anymore. Let’s improve it. And you don’t have to solve that problem; you can find people to help you solve that problem. You know, we all probably did our books at one time. But eventually, that’s no longer good enough. And when that’s a lot, you find a bookkeeper, and your CPA and CFO, and all those people are there to help you when the time is, right? So like this, think about what’s good enough, set a bar, manage these expectations, and to be consistent is committed to that. And then then meet those standards.

Marvin Bee: So it’s a good point you make, and I know that in your book, and when we talked about the fact that the brand should always be evolving, and it should always be being evaluated. Now, when you and I first talked, even before we did the first podcast, we talked about me and my branding. And I told you about the fact that, you know, for, like, the first 15 years, I had basically a crappy website. Didn’t care because I didn’t. I didn’t really want to get people through the website. I wanted to get referrals. I wanted them to be, you know, I wanted it to be something where Oh, you need that I got a guy. That’s what I wanted. Now, I did do all the stuff where I did come up with, you know, it’s it’s not a great logo, but it is something to where when I or a tech shows up at an office, we always have it now. I don’t have the same color shirt. And I don’t have, you know, the signature colors; I guess so that if you look across the road, yep, that’s in the system’s blue shirt. It’s, it’s on all my shirts. And I remember a customer asking me, Do you own a piece of clothing without your logo on it? Which I thought was pretty good. I’m like, hey, they always recognize the logo.

Bobby G: Do you?

Marvin Bee: Well, I do, Yes.

Bobby G: I wanted an answer. Yeah, I mean, but you don’t need to establish like set brand colors like sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t.

Marvin Bee: Right.

Bobby G: You know, if UPS truck showed up, and it was purple? You’d be like, What is this? No, get out of here, you know, but they’ve established part of their brand identity to manage your expectations. And when you see that truck calm, there’s an expectation that they live up to or they don’t. And when they don’t live up to it, you feel like something’s wrong. But the color brand doesn’t have to be married to color because you think about, like, it needs to be successful in its most simple forms, right? So black and white fine, high contrast; not everyone sees color. I’m a CS, CS in general. So if you’re, if your brand is relying on color to be successful, not being inclusive. So just giving you giving you permission to not have to worry about that.

Marvin Bee: All right. Good. I’ll go back to not worrying.

Bobby G: Good, yeah.

Marvin Bee: But let’s say I was to come to you and say, Man, Bob, I need some help. I have no idea what my brand is. I mean, I’m telling you some of what I thought, you know, I do try to do what everybody else does about image, you know, we try to, you know, I do little things like, you know, I wanted to have an office space, I wanted people to see me as a business. And I didn’t think that they would do that if I was, you know, having them meet me at my house or apartment at the time when I got started. I wanted to have, you know, somebody answered the phone; I didn’t want an automated, you know, attended Mr. sort of thing or having them always get voicemail. So those were the things I looked at. And then that was kind of it, you know, outside of being professional and courteous and kind and patient, which is one of the things I felt is, no matter how frustrated the client got, we weren’t going to get frustrated with them. Right? Stay calm. tell them look; we’ll figure it out. Yeah, we can’t. We’ll find somebody who will. That sort of stuff.

Bobby G: I mean, if that’s what your brand is like, you had, you had an expectation, you set a bar, you’re like, Well, I want to feel like this is a legitimate business. Whether the customer feels that perception doesn’t matter. You’re feeling it. So like it admits from you, right, as the founder, the leader, a top-down scenario is the only time trickle-down stuff works, unless it’s raining, right? So like, we have to have ultimate buy-in, or no one else will. So if we feel that, like we’re not legitimate, because we don’t have an office, or we don’t have, you know, a logo on polos, like, that’s fine. Like, do what you need to do. So you have that confidence to go and rep your brand the Propr way. All those terms you used about being patient and professional and unflustered, and, you know, problem-solving, like those are the core tenants that we want everybody associated with your brand to really embody those traits as well. And we want to convey that message through your website. Right.

So like, when that gives us the ability to assess things. So assessing it from just a design perspective is one thing; I could do that all day. But when folks ask, asked me my opinion about, you know, what do you think of our brand? Or what do you think of this? We think of that. I always say like, I can give you a design credit. But what’s the point of that? I need to know more about you. I need to know what you care about. I need to know what your customers care about and how you’re meeting that need. And then I can say okay, well let’s assess things, and you can assess personnel, you can assess everything from that once you have sort of that Northstar, like that’s the thing that we’re working towards all the time.

So when you set that as your bar or the dot when they arise and say okay, everything’s got to be moving in that direction. And if it’s not, either has to be pivoted or removed because it’s going to conflict with the consistency of our mission. So we may have talked about this last time, but like I always scarf it when people say like oh, we’re a family here. You know, their business is a family, and I’m always like, well, that’s problematic because families are like often dysfunctional when they fight and you know, like can’t agree on anything and go on vacation with your family, and you can’t wait to go home like I’m not saying it’s the case all the time. But like think about all that all the nonsense with your family; you can get away with because your family, but it should be a team. The team has a shot Our mission, and everybody in everything has a role in achieving that mission. So if you know, just like you’re evaluating a player or a tool or a technology, is it helping us reach that goal?

Well, if it’s not, what do you do about it? But you can say like, Oh, you got to improve on this, or this is not the right tool for us, you remove it, or you, you get them to buy in. And the one thing that I want to add to that team’s mission is the core values of the company are the core values of the company. Everybody that’s a part of the brand doesn’t have to share those core values verbatim. They have to agree with them, they have to understand, because, like, you think about how you get along with others. It’s because you have something in common, you give a crap about the same stuff, most likely. And you may have common interest, you may have whatever, right, whatever bonds us, that’s the core values of your company, that’s your mission and purpose at your, and you bring in the wrong person. Like, that’s going to be problematic. And the degree of that problem is going to be unknown.

But same thing with technologies, anything that assets, anything, you know, all this stuff. Same thing with contractors and vendors. Like if they are completely conflict, or the antithesis of what we believe in, then it will never work out. No matter what revenue they’re bringing in is always going to be it’s always going to hurt the brand. So identifying what your mission is bringing on the right people in the right things, the right assets, the right technology to help you achieve those goals. It’s really easy when we’re thinking about sports or something like that. The same applies to our business; you know, you want your quarterback to lead from the quarterback. Right? Not everybody needs to be the quarterback. Some people just need to be a fullback and bulldoze people. Somebody just needs to be The Waterboy. That’s all. Okay. That’s their role there, supporting the mission.

Marvin Bee: Great. So do we get kind of misguided when we’re thinking about brand as only related to things like website and social media clicks? And, you know.

Bobby G: Oftentimes, that’s so your website should be considered. In most cases, not all, the hub of that marketing, activity, everything. Everything is marketing, as Seth Godin says, right? But everything because everything sends a message. So if it’s important that your message conveys or your website conveys the right message, then make sure that it does make sure the images and the functionality and the performance and the speed and the ease. And you know how it informs the customer, like whatever is like we work with a consultant that, like, she’s getting referred business just like you. And they’re going through her website first. To make sure she checks out at whatever evaluation that that person is doing in their mind. They want to go to that website to make sure she’s legitimate and that they believe that she can help them with their problem. And they’re not going to fill out the contact form. They’re going to ask for email or phone number, right? So it’s not a lead-gen situation for everybody. But it’s a validation that someone made an introduction or an offer to connect them. And like, alright, this, this just checks out. Yeah, they’re right for me.

Marvin Bee: So they’re going to her website just to check her out. But they’re getting the contact information from the person that referred them.

Bobby G: Yeah, I think we’re working with her again on some things, and she said that one person. In the two years, she’s been in business, filled out the form, and now it was, but everybody’s a referral for hire, or because she’s just really well known and what she does, so like, there’s no shortage of referrals and introductions, but only one person filled out the form.

Marvin Bee: Alright, that’s interesting. Now that I think about it. I may have only received. Let’s see; this is year 26. I’ve had a good functioning website for about ten years. I think I may have five people that have emailed me through the website,

Bobby G: How many your customers go onto your website before they talk to you?

Marvin Bee: I don’t you know; what’s funny is I don’t even ask.

Bobby G: How you guys got connected?

Marvin Bee: Yeah, they either call me, or the person that is doing the referral calls me and says, Hey, I got somebody for you to call, and I just call them. I’ll be honest; I probably need to turn on that Google Analytic thing. Find out if people are going to the website because the only time I send people there is when we need to do a remote session. Okay, and I send them there to click remote. That’s, that’s all I do. So how many mistakes? How many mistakes that I make right there?

Bobby G: Mistakes is not the right word.

Marvin Bee: Okay.

Bobby G: Are you looking for new business? Are you looking for a new avenue to bring in new opportunities?

Marvin Bee: Actively?

Bobby G: No, actively, but is that a desire that you’re ready to commit to?

Marvin Bee: Well, it’s not a huge desire; let’s say that I’m not looking to. I don’t have this goal to, you know, get a new client a month or grow, you know, 20%, year over year, I don’t have any those types of goals. I’m doing pretty good.

Bobby G: So what would happen if you start showing up more for certain terms and solutions that people are looking for? In their words, your phone and email are going to be ringing more you’re gonna be evaluating people more, which is hard to do through a contact form or impossible to do if you offer a phone number. So you’re going to be telling people, you’re going to be assessing their problem on the phone for free, you’re going to be advising them whether you can help them or not for free. And you’re basically giving up a huge chunk, whether it’s you or somebody in your team, have your free time, or your productive time to sell tell somebody No. And, like, if you just want to maintain your business and be continued to be competitive and successful, then you just, instead, I would say, make it easier for people to refer you; it sounds like you’re doing a good job with that already. So you’re not doing anything wrong. You’re doing it right, because you’re getting qualified referrals through your network because of the reputation you earn day in and day out.

So there’s nothing I would say that you would want to do other than tighten up and define the things that you want people to say about you. And just reiterate them all the time. So you have some testimonials and quotes in your website. So here’s an exercise; you can tell we do the same thing. When we ask for reviews. And we use a third party. We give them a summary of the project and an egg; we give us a review the great work; we love the work, you guys. Would you do this the honors? It’s very important for us to get feedback and social. Here’s this for if it’s helpful, here’s a summary of the project. So we’re writing bullet points out. Because not everybody that’s given us a review was a part of all parts of the project. So they don’t have to, they always know the full complaint. But here’s the things that we want them to say. And that’s consistent with what we’re saying. And what we’re selling. So we’re managing the message, which is our reputation. So like, there’s things about how we advise the clients, and we’re doing what’s best in their best interest.

And we’re helping operationalize their marketing through branding and for performance and things like that, like what we love to say and what we love to try to strive for with every engagement like we want our clients to set to so when so when they say give us feedback or they make a referral. Oh, you guys should go with Propr. They were great. That’s plenty for me. When I say get you go Oh, but saying that. Go with Propr; they were great is a result of their friend or their colleague, or their associates saying, Ah, like we got we got this brand, but it just so clunky. This website is so impossible to update and manage, and we can’t control that leads to suck like all these things oh, Propr can help you with that because they’re hearing the things that are relevant to our brand. And they’re not necessarily the exact words, but it’s the themes that are important.

So just like when We’re going through and did digging deep into our client’s brand and exposing it like the statue of David, what are the themes that are people are saying that are real? And we’re going to put it in it, we’re going to rewrite it and wordsmith it into a way that’s very direct and concise, but in their brand’s tone of voice, and that stuff is what gives your champions your referral sources, the tools and confidence they need to recommend you to their associates. And it’s the same tools and confidence, the people that are working at at the companies that you’re serving, if they’re not holding the purse strings, they need that that information that messaging, those bullet points, so to speak those themes and saying, like, these are the guys for us, here’s why. And here’s like, you know, the person with the purse strings, they care about money and money out and was it worth it. Balka Yeah, it’s gonna be worth it. Because look what they do; this is what we need. So that totally aligns with us. So your message becomes your marketing, and your associates and your clients become your marketers. And that’s what we want to do is get people talking about our brand when the time is right; we don’t wanna be talking about our brand and be like, Oh, no, don’t go with them, they suck. That’s just as damaging. On the flip side, I say go with them. They’re awesome.

Marvin Bee: All right, you mentioned your company and all of that. And I think I probably failed to do that at the top of the show. So let me make sure I go back and do that. Your company is Propr, and it is spelled P R. O P R, and the website That is, your business started in 2014. And all the things that you and I have talked about are things that your company does. You’re not just, you know, a marketing agency. You are public relations and marketing.

Bobby G: We don’t do PR.

Marvin Bee: You don’t do the PR?

Bobby G: No.

Marvin Bee: I’m just giving you jobs. You don’t want that.

Bobby G: That’s okay. If our clients need PR, though, we have colleagues that we build the Dream Team for them.

Marvin Bee: Okay. But you are basically, I think, where I saw it was a brand strategy and creative agency. Does that say it better?

Bobby G: Yes, yeah. So everything from figuring out who you are and who your customers are, how to get in front of them, what to say, or to say it, and what we want people to do. It’s very unifying in terms of like unifying your team right back to the team. But also being consistently saying the right thing out there that gets people talking and buying.

Marvin Bee: Right, so Bobby, we are we’re coming up towards the end of the show we could talk about, about stuff forever. Because I feel like if I asked you a question, I’m gonna get an essay back.

Bobby G: Even this late at night, I’m, you know, you’re asking the questions that I have full enthusiasm to answer.

Marvin Bee: Well, it’s funny because you made it sound as though I’m, I’m asking you these questions for the very first time. It’s feel good about the questions I crafted.

Bobby G: Yeah, I mean, like you said, I think we can go for many hours here. Maybe we had to think about doing a three-hour podcast like knucklehead Joe Rogan or something.

Marvin Bee: We can think about that. Yeah, so folks, Bobby Gillespie, founder of Propr Agency, the links are going to be in the show notes. If you’re watching the video here. Yes, they are in the chat. And Bobby said that he came up with a contending story for Florida, man.

Bobby G: Well, you challenged me, so I did a little I kept it to something in current time. So Maryland Man, am I gonna go right now? Yeah, go ahead. Yeah. I mean, we’re involved, and why I’m an East Coast guy. I’m a city guy. I grew up in Philly. I live in Baltimore. So there’s no shortage of stories about just bad stuff. But here’s the here’s a Maryland man Maryland man found dead in a house full of 124 snakes.

Marvin Bee: Okay.

Bobby G: There we go. It wasn’t on the city he was somewhere in account as somewhere in the boonies down? You know, below DC, I think.

Marvin Bee: Okay. Did they say anything about how he died was a result of the snakes or he’s been dead so long the snakes invaded the house?

Bobby G: It was inconclusive. This articles from last month, and I didn’t see it organically. I had to look up. I actually looked up Maryland, man. And so, what would come up? But there was there was venomous snakes as well as constrictors and regular snakes. I mean, 120 of anything is a lot.

Marvin Bee: Wow.

Bobby G: Especially when it’s alive. But they don’t know why he died. I’m sure it had something to do with vipers.

Marvin Bee: Ouch. All right, so my Florida man story, I’m gonna give you the option of picking story number one or story number two. And for those of you that are new to the show, I will always do a search for Florida man for only the last 36 hours.

Bobby G: Oh, yeah. I mean.

Marvin Bee: So, would you like to hear story number one or story number two,

Bobby G: Or this goat behind this box?

Marvin Bee: Or would you like the ruckus dog I have up here that I got today? Attending a partner meeting. So the little dog up there is nice. That was part of their goodie bag.

Bobby G: Um, I gotta go with story one.

Marvin Bee: Okay. Story number one. A South Florida man thought he’d hit the jackpot after he won 1000s off a winning scratch-off ticket. After Joe Chun saw that he’d won $10,000, He went to the lottery office to cash in. But while he was there, he was told the state was keeping his winnings and that he owed the state money, according to reports. And what had happened was during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chung reportedly received unemployment assistance. And he was told that he was overpaid and had a debt balance of $7,800. So the state of Florida took his lottery winnings.

Bobby G: Oh my god, what a disappointment that must have. Funny because there was a viral man story that I ignored that a guy won a lottery choice one day. Yeah, you won like 10. He won. 30 grand, and then 20 grand, same day.

Marvin Bee: So I wonder if that so I saw there was a story where let me see if it’s recent here. And it may not be okay; there’s the 1 million from a scratch-off game. It may have been last week. But somehow, somebody purchased a lottery ticket twice with the same numbers. They picked two lottery tickets with the exact same numbers that won. And so they got paid twice.

Bobby G: Was it in Maryland?

Marvin Bee: I don’t know. I have two look.

Bobby G: So this guy one the scratch-off. Oh, so it was over the same month during the same month. 50 grand and 30 grand. And then here’s another one. That guy won 15 million. Okay, 1 million. This guy won the lottery twice in two months.

Marvin Bee: Yeah. So yeah. Marilyn Man buys two lottery tickets and wins two jackpots. Yeah. We saw the same stories out of 50,000 bucks.

Bobby G: I’ll take either

Marvin Bee: So very good. All right. Well, Bobby, thank you for hanging out on the show. My pleasure.

Bobby G: Thank you for having me.

Marvin Bee: Thank you to everybody who’s watched the video, whether live or after the fact. Thank you all for downloading and subscribing to the show. And again, head over to it business and catch all of the past episodes. And be sure to go back and listen to episode 468 If you had not. That’s where I introduced Bobby to the listeners here and talk about the proper way to build your brand. And I’ve got a link in the show for the build your brand book. And for those of you in Facebook where I promised that there would be cursing on the show. Build your book, build your brand like you give a shit; that’s your curse word, folks, that I’ve given you free of charge.

Bobby G: Yeah, that’s yeah, shit is one of the oldest consistently use curse words in any language.

Marvin Bee: Is it? I mean, I guess it should be. We’ve been shitting ever since we were walking the earth.

Bobby G: It has a long history with humans, right?

Marvin Bee: So, Well, folks, thank you very much next week. Let’s see what’s happening next week. I am going to be in Orlando, Sunday through Tuesday, for the exchange conference, but I will be back with a show next Wednesday night. We are going to have another of the finalists from last year’s connect-wise pitch it shows. So you’ll want to come and listen to that, humanize it, or humanize it is going to be the company featured next week. So same time, same channel will be here. And on behalf of my good friend Bobby G. Thanks for hanging out. And we’ll see you next time. And until then, Allah.

Bobby Gillespie


With 24 years of creative experience in leadership, planning, and executing performance-based branding and web design strategies, Propr and I help small and medium-sized companies and organizations grow revenue, attract new customers, manage and scale their brands, and improve marketing performance.

I’m also the author of Build Your Brand Like You Give a Shit.
Connect and follow me on LinkedIn.

Schedule a call to learn how we can help you transform your brand for consistent and better performance.

About Propr

Propr Branding and Web Design Best of Maryland Awards

Propr is a boutique brand strategy and creative agency. We help companies and organizations grow through high-performing brand strategy, graphic & identity design, messaging & custom WordPress website design & development. Performance and results drive our passion for service. Let’s do great things for your brand together.

Ready to transform your brand for consistent and better performance? Contact us today!

The Business Power Hour Guest Appearance

By: Bobby G    02/2023

The Business Power Hour Guest Appearance

By: Bobby G


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