Key Takeaways:

[1:05] Introduction Instagram Activity

[4:26] Business Writers Learning

[6:08] Power of Collaboration

[9:59] Ahava’s History and Services

[12:49] Importance of Clear language

[14:47] Ahava Brand Content Marketing Strategy

[15:23] Trust Worthy Advisor

[20:23] Focus on Audience, not Brand

[32:20] Ahava’s Biggest Win

[36:28] Art and Writer’s Relationship

[39:32] Remote Team and Project Management

[47:43] Ahava’s Weird Goal

Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that content is vital to the success of any marketing campaign. In fact, businesses of all sizes are leveraging custom content to reach, engage, and convert their audiences.

According to a report by CMI, 92% of businesses are committed to content marketing. Even so, as many as 62% of businesses don’t have an actual content marketing strategy.

But, you should definitely have one.

Ahava Leibtag, my guest on this podcast episode, is an expert content strategist and the President of Aha Media Group. She is a true content ninja, who has joined us to help marketers like you to elevate your content game.

Ahava emphasizes that all businesses should formulate an effective content marketing strategy. It is crucial to the success of your business.

Here is how a content marketing strategy can help you elevate your content game.

Why You Need a Content Marketing Strategy

Brands that have a content marketing strategy are more likely to be successful. 72% of marketers also admitted that a well-planned content strategy contributed to the increased success of their marketing campaigns.

A well-formulated and documented content strategy can guide your marketing team to meet or exceed business goals. Without one, your marketing initiatives can get lost in the abyss.

An effective content strategy can help you:

  • Create meaningful, engaging, high-quality content that attracts your target audience.
  • Convey the right messages to the right consumers at the right times.
  • Identify the best-performing content types and distribution channels for your audience.
  • Build trust and credibility so that consumers remember and engage with your brand.
  • Increase your brand’s visibility, authority, and overall growth.
  • Identify and overcome major challenges.

Investing in a content strategy can get you where you want to go quicker, with less effort, and with far better results. That’s why both Ahava and I advise marketers to take the time to create a content marketing strategy for their brands.

Points to Remember When Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

During the podcast episode, Ahava Leibtag and I discussed a few key points that you should remember when creating a content strategy.

#1. Audience-First Approach

Ahava emphasizes that you should put your audience first.

After all, what’s the real motive behind any marketing initiative? It is to get your audience to trust and engage with your brand or products.

Your content strategy should focus on:

  • What will your audience say about it?
  • What are they looking for?
  • What are the major issues they face?
  • What is important to them?
  • How can you help your prospects?

The majority of marketers would agree with Ahava, when she says that everything is about the audience, and not about the brand anymore.

In such a scenario, you should leverage audience insights to create a content strategy that can meet the evolving needs of both new and existing target audiences.

Ahava also mentioned that it is not just marketing that should be audience-centric. You should also design your products thinking about what the consumers want.

Everything from your products to marketing, brand values, and messaging should follow an audience-first approach.

#2. It’s All About Building a Good Reputation

Ahava wanted to tell brands and marketers that building a good reputation is essential for any business that wants to grow.

Regardless of the industry, you are in or the size of your business, you need to get people to see your brand as a reliable one.

You may have the best product in the industry or you may be providing the most quality customer service. But it won’t matter if people don’t trust you as a brand. So the idea is to build relationships with your target audience through great content.

You should create content that is useful to your audience. For instance, create free ebooks that provide your audience with valuable information.

With all of her experience, Ahava Leibtag said that the most effective way to market your brand is to make yourself available to answer your audience’s questions. If you are available to listen to their issues and provide them with effective solutions, it is likely to help you become a trusted advisor.

Once people trust your brand, they will be more likely to buy from you or hire you. That’s what makes a good brand reputation count.

#3. Storytelling is the Key

Stories are indeed the best way to connect people emotionally and personally.

Consumers today tend to engage with emotions more than reasons. You need to leverage compelling stories to create and nurture relationships. Tell your brand’s story in a way that it will help your audience experience and feel your story.

Ahava believes that, as a marketer, you should stay curious to learn more about the brand you are going to promote. You should discuss what the client wants, what their story is, what they want to achieve, and what makes them stand out from their competitors.

You should always stay hungry for more information and ideas. This will help you tell more stories and encourage the brand’s target audience to engage with them.

#4. Content as a Product

Content strategist, Ahava Leibtag, asks marketers to see content as a product and focus on delivering good customer experiences.

Successful content marketing is not only about great content, it is also about phenomenal content project management. It is essential to get your content team organized to ensure that they contribute to meeting your marketing goals.

Similarly, you need to streamline your content creation and distribution process. This includes all steps from strategizing, writing, and editing to approvals, publishing, and distribution.

Ahava also emphasized that you retain top talent by providing them with a meaningful life along with meaningful work. This will help you manage content projects more efficiently.

#5. Smart Marketing

Today, everyone prefers smart work over hard work.

As marketers, you should educate yourself about the latest technology and tools that can help you become more efficient. You should leverage data, analytics, and proven tactics to shape an effective content strategy for your brand.

Get Started!

I know it takes a lot of time and effort to develop a successful content marketing strategy. But the points that we discussed above will definitely help you build a solid foundation for your content plan.

Now that we have talked so much about why it is important to formulate a content strategy and the focus points, it’s your turn.

In case you need help or have any questions about how to proceed further, please feel free to connect with me to discuss.

Full TranscriptExpand to view full transcript

Shane: Welcome to the podcast. I'm Shane Barker, your host of Shane Barker’s Marketing Madness Podcast. Welcome to this podcast.

Today, we will discuss techniques to develop a successful content marketing strategy and I have with me, Ahava Leibtag, an expert content strategist and president of Aha Media Group.

She's a true content Ninja who will help you elevate your content game. So listen as she reveals the content tools in her armoire and discusses the importance of having an effective content marketing strategy and ways to develop it. Listen to the end to find out tips to leverage content to grow your brand.

Welcome to Shane Barker’s Marketing Madness Podcast.

We are here with Ahava Leibtag and we'll be talking about content marketing. And we'll be talking about building your brand from scratch with an effective content marketing strategy.

But I think before we jump into that, I'm going to have to tell you I'm a little bit of a fan of your Instagram in regards to what you got going on in there.

The things you do on Wednesdays and you got the kids; I saw that today that you were shooting the kids with fake guns, I might add. There were no real guns that were involved. But I did like to see that you were a little ruthless probably when it comes to writing content for your clients, but also when it comes to your kids.

Tell me a little bit about your Instagram and some of the fun things you got going on there.

Ahava: So every Wednesday I released something called, “Writing Wednesday.” I just kind of started doing it as like a way to answer some questions that I kept seeing coming up and sort of as just something fun to experiment with video.

Andrew Davis, who's a good friend of mine is always talking about video and I thought like, oh, I'll try this. And the funniest part to me is that it seems that the thing people react to the most is my red lipstick and my red glasses...

Shane: Right. That's the whole point of it.  

Ahava: No. But a lot of people really have given me some great feedback and are super excited about the things that they learn.

And it's 60 seconds so if you can't pay attention for 60 seconds, then you probably don't really want to learn to be a better writer.

And then the other thing is that in November we're releasing a writing challenge, where we're going to give people a calendar and every day we're going to challenge them to write for about five minutes. So I'm excited about that too. And I'll probably do a couple of Lives so you get to watch me knocking my teeth against the keyboard also so that's really fun.

And then the Instagram account is my personal account and my team is not so happy about that. They want me to transfer Writing Wednesdays over to the Aha Media Group account but I have sort of mixed feelings about that.

So you'll see my kids and things that I cook and all kinds of different things. And I think I'm a pretty open person and I invite people into my life up until a certain point. And yeah, that's just who I am.

Shane: Yeah, that's kind of awesome. I think, especially with social media, it's awesome to be able to bring people into your life and I think you've kind of touched on it a little bit.

Most things that are going on, you don't necessarily want to tell everybody everything about everything. But I do think it is kind of nicer if people kind of get a peek into your life and things you got going on.

And once again, I did like that video with you and the little one and revenge and they probably felt pretty good at the end of the day.

Ahava: Yeah. I think also I do a pretty big responsibility towards working women and the attitude of working women and having kids and being successful and building things. I think it's important.

People can look at somebody like Sara Blakely who built Spanx; most people aren't going to be Sara Blakely who built Spanx.

But I run a nice business and I have a reputation as a thought leader, which is really a very privileged position and I think it's good for people to know that you can do those things and still raise a happy, healthy family and allow them to hit each other with Nerf balls while they're jumping on a trampoline.

Shane: Highly recommended. I would highly recommend, maybe they should wear a helmet or something because it did look a little bit dangerous. For me, something bad would have happened; when it comes to trampolines and Shane, they don't seem to mix too well, but that's probably a whole other podcast.

Ahava: There is a lot of controversy about the trampoline.

Shane: There is. I can imagine that it's a hot topic these days. So tell me a little bit, you were just in Content Marketing World, you were down there and I was really interested in one of the topics you were speaking on, which was the. “seven writing secrets of hit-making songwriters.”

The title of that, I'm like, man, you gotta be kidding me. I don't claim to be a songwriter because I would be terrible at singing, I probably wouldn't make it too far, but definitely, that was a session that intrigued me. Tell me a little bit more about that.

Ahava: So that session was really successful. I mean, I got the best reviews I've ever gotten in my career. I mean, there was not one negative comment. There was one negative comment where she's like, some of the music clips were too long, which I kind of didn't feel was really negative at all.

I think what I was trying to do was, I was trying to say that writers, even business writers, can learn from all kinds of writers. And songwriters have mastered two really important things that business writers should master as well, which is learning to tell a story, building images and pictures and learning to follow the melody of language.

And so a lot of the things that I talked about, were about how we need to follow some of the things that musicians do in our own writing and that's how we can become better writers.

Shane: Well, it was awesome because it's funny when reading that title. As I said, it kind of intrigued me a little bit. Like I was like, okay so what do we got going here?

Because I can't imagine there being a thousand songwriters are like, finally, there's a session I was looking for it. I mean, maybe it was like a music conference or something but I do like that. So it tied into how you can apply just writing in general to business and to everything like that and it kind of how it all ties in together.

Ahava: Yeah. I'll give just two examples that I think are valuable examples. So when we started off the session, I made everybody stand up and sing, “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.

And that song has a really great example of the storytelling formula, which is exposition, conflict resolution. And so we went through it and looked at those different parts and then I explained how, as writers, we really should be trying to mix each of those three elements into the three-part story that we're taught how to write.

And so then we looked at “Billy Jean” for Michael Jackson and how he interweaves that conflict and resolution together.

Another thing that I talk about is that I think what we're too siloed, when we think about writing and editing. It's very often that there is the writer and then the writer passes the copy on to the editor and there is sort of maybe a turf war around that.

And I think we should strive to be more collaborative in our environments. So I talked about the story about how Glenn Frey lived above Jackson Browne and Jackson Browne was composing “Take it Easy.”

And Glenn Frey came downstairs and said, “You really have something there. That's a great song.” And then Jackson Browne just couldn't finish it; he couldn't figure out how to go. He had the first verse and the chorus and he just couldn't get into the second verse and Glenn Frey ended up finishing it for him.

And so I talked about, imagine if those two men haven't lived in the same apartment building and if Jackson Brown hadn't let Glenn Frey finish that song. I mean, that was huge, the first big hit the Eagles had.

And so that's sort of where I think we need to move towards a peer writing paradigm, which is very popular and user experience design where everybody gets in a room and sort of figure out what those labels should say together.

So those are just two examples of where I kind of tried to pull together these things that you see them doing in the music industry that I think we can learn from in the business writing industry.

Shane: That's funny; I never knew about that, about the Eagles song. It's kind of interesting how it's like just somebody listening to something not on purpose or maybe on purpose, but like hearing something and saying, “Hey listen, let me help you elaborate on that a little bit,” and being open to that.

I think that's the hard part is that, as creators, you go, oh no, I think I've got it or something. But there's so much more value that I've seen over the years in collaboration and working together, you see that.

I remember back in the day when I started my blogging, this was I don't know how many years, seven or eight years ago, when I would write about just everything that I was doing the good, the bad and the ugly.

Like how we're doing separate clients and stuff. I remember the marketers and companies are, you're like giving up a lot of different good information, why are you doing that?

So for me, it was more of like, well, because I was looking for people to collaborate with. I mean, I was putting up this information and people go, “Hey, I really liked the way that you do things, maybe we should work on something together or.”

Also to work on… clients to say, hey, if you read my blog post and you get enough information, you got enough information to go be dangerous and do this and hey, go do it but if you need some help here we are.

But it really helped me I think in the thought leadership space of where people see, obviously, writing and you're putting yourself out there.

In talking about UCLA; the reason I got the job at UCLA was not that I applied for a job, but it was because of my content, what I was putting out there.

And they were looking for a practitioner and said, hey, we've read your stuff and really think that you would be a good fit here. And that collaboration would not have happened if I wasn't writing this content or I wasn't out there talking about things that were going on.

So I think collaboration is mixed. Some people are nervous about it; to me, I can't get enough of it. This is why I have these types of conversations because to me, it's all about collaboration; I think it's very underused.

Ahava: Yeah. I mean, I think also writing is considered a lonely art, but we're not writers like novelists, we're nonfiction books.

I mean, we're writers who are writing for a very specific purpose. And so getting together in a room of our colleagues, that's the way it's done in almost every industry. Engineers collaborate with each other and lawyers collaborate with each other and doctors certainly collaborate with each other so why shouldn't writers?

Shane: Yeah, I do agree. It has been kind of an isolated, usually, isolation is like, you go to your private cabin and nothing's out there. It's just you and the wild animals and you write your book.

And it's like part of me says that sounds really awesome and another part of me says it sounds really lonely. It's like I enjoy that; like I said, working with people and having that energy, I play off that energy very well and being by myself, I don't know.

I would probably watch sad movies and cry a lot or something. Like, I just don't know if that's from you. I'm a writer but not a writer in the sense that...

Ahava: I don't know, everybody is a writer. As Ann Handley said, everybody writes.

Shane: I write in... it's a little bit of a different deal but yeah. So tell me a little bit about like how did you jump into like content marketing?

And obviously I've seen your site, you've got an awesome site. The colors you guys use and all that kind of stuff, it's awesome.

But like how did you get into like content marketing? Like where did you come from and then realize that hey, I want to be a content marketer?

Ahava: So what happened to me was that I was writing for the government. And I had a boss who sent me to learn how to write with a woman name Ginny Redish. She was considered like the Godmother of web writing and using your experience in terms of web writing.

And I was really hooked after I took that class and I really wanted to learn as much as possible. Then I moved on to become a freelance writer for hospitals and healthcare systems.

Twitter was like this new thing and I got on it and all of a sudden I found all these people who are doing the same thing I was doing. And I remember when Christina Halverson talked about how her book had come in the mail. I ordered it immediately on Amazon and when I read it, I was like, oh, this is what I do.

Like I thought when I did talk about lonely like I thought I was the only person who was having these problems. And yet every single thing that she talked about in the book was something that I was having an issue within my career as a freelance writer and trying to start a business and in trying to get more clients.

So I reached out to her and we developed a friendship. And then, at the same time, I saw Joe Pulizzi writing about stuff and I think he invited me to come to speak at the first Content Marketing World.

And I've spoken there every year since, which has been a real privilege. And I think for me it appealed to me, the idea of building relationships with people through content.

I think that we really help people make very important decisions, most of us, with what we're doing, particularly, we're in heavy jargon fields like healthcare insurance, financial services, which is what we mainly do at Aha media group.

And so I just liked the idea of sort of building those relationships with people and trying to sort of say to them, we're here to help you when you actually really need the help.

Shane: Yeah, it's interesting. So you guys mainly work in like a government contracts type deal, is that what you guys do a lot of?

Ahava: That that might be next. So if there are any government contractors listening who are looking for a writing partner, let us know.

What we mostly do is we help those three industries and companies and those three industries write content to explain to their customers what services they provide and what products they have for them so that they can understand decisions to make.

So for example, when Medicare open enrollment starts, you have to educate people about what does that mean and how do they sign up and when did they turn 65 and then they're responsible to do so and there's a three-month window before and a three-month window after.

And so that kind of thing is the kind of thing that we write about. You know, you're looking for cancer care for one of your parents and you're trying to figure out where the best place to take them locally or should you go nationally, how complicated is the case in financial services.

We do blogs about saving money for this and figuring out how to prepare better for your financial future. So things that people really need help understanding.

And one of the things that we know about when people are needing things that are hard to understand at first, they leave their frontal cortex, which is where we make executive decisions and they go into their Amygdala, which is like a fight or flight reaction.

So one of the things that we talk about that's really important for writers is that they have a ton of empathy for their audience and they understand how to use plain language.

And I think plain language gets a really bad rap because people think it's dumbing down things, but it's not at all. It's really about writing in a clear way so that people can understand what they're learning and then sort of elevating the conversation as they move through the content flow.

Shane: Yeah, it's making us think that connection can happen because especially in the industries, somebody you can talk about healthcare and stuff like that. I mean, when you read it, it's heavy jargon. It's like you read this and you're not sure what that says or how

Ahava:  It's supraventricular tachycardia.  

Shane: Yeah, exactly. One of those...

Ahava: Your heart is beating too fast, you can say it the same exact way. So absolutely.  

Shane: Second part is a lot better than the first one. Even though my wife's a nurse so I'd have to ask her, but something happened... that makes sense and that's probably from coffee or you're talking too fast or both.

So tell me a little bit, do you own Aha media by yourself and you have a partner or..?

Ahava:  All by myself.

Shane: There we go. That's awesome. So how long have you been doing that for? Aha Media, how long have you had that for?

Ahava: So I have had it since 2005 although I wasn't really like incorporated, quote unquote, until 2006 because I just kinda thought I was hanging out a shingle for a few projects. And then I sort of worked on my own until about 2011 where I really started to build the staff and get people in place. So sort of two phases of this career in this entrepreneurial journey.

Shane: Yeah. How do you guys market? I mean that's your thing, obviously, you do speaking engagements, what else do you do? Like what have you found that works?  

Ahava: So we do a ton of ebooks on thought leadership; we've got a ton of downloads that way. And then we also have inbound leads that just come in because people see me speak or we have a reputation in the industry.

We do social media. I think that it's always a tough nut to crack because content is a long sales cycle or it's a really short sales cycle. Right?

It's like either people like really need it right now or they are kinda like, no, they need it, but they don't know exactly what they need and so it just depends on where they are in the sales cycle.

What I found is that the most effective way to market is to make yourself available to people to answer their questions. And so that means people coming over to me at conferences and means people emailing me and asking me some questions.

It means having these ebooks available for them to download on things like SEO and content governance.

And we did one, “18 Healthcare Experts Predicted 18 Trends for 2018 Healthcare Marketing Trends.”

We're getting ready to do one about Instagram and healthcare. So it's just those types of things that really help people sort of make decisions better at their jobs.

I think then they come to see us as a trusted advisor and then they want to use us or they don't. They still value what we do, but it may not fit into their budget or they have a web design firm who does content for them and it's just dependent on those kinds of things.  

Shane: Yeah but I think that's the key to the whole things. And you're offering great insight, right? And people can go and they can either take it in and say, hey, we want to hire you guys or they can go and use it.

And that's the whole point; is you offer value and then people can take that in and take it however they want. But it's okay.

Ahava:  Right. Exactly. I really feel that it's very important to have as good a reputation as you can in any industry that you're in and so I bridge a few different ones.

I do content strategy, content marketing, and healthcare marketing. And from my perspective, hopefully everybody in those industries, I mean not everybody, obviously you can't please all the people all the time, but a lot of people just think like, oh, Ahava is available to answer questions and she thinks things through in a thoughtful way and tries to figure out what's going on in the marketplace.

It's interesting, I was just on the phone with one of my account managers this morning and we were talking about a call that we were going to have at noon and she said to me, do you already know what you think we should do?

And I said, yeah, but I still want to stay curious longer, which is one of our values because I do have this feeling like, oh, I've seen it all and that's a very arrogant approach.

You have to be really humble still and think, okay, well I gotta flex for this client because this client is trying to do something different than client A, B, C, and D. And so that's the other important thing is that you always got to be a little bit hungry and stay humble.

Shane: I think that's important. I think that's probably what a lot of people missing, they shouldn't be working the same industry all the time.

Because if I was a client I would say like how am I going to break out of the box? Like healthcare can be monotonous at times. You can't be super, super creative but I think you can definitely break out of a box, I think that's the goal.

I did some stuff for government work actually and I work within the healthcare industry and it was just interesting to pace. And this is California stuff and once again I love California, I won't go into heavy detail on the government side on California.

But what we did do, the process was kind of a slow process and trying to break out of that box at times was a little difficult because there's a lot of red tape and stuff, but you're able to do that for clients depending, I guess, on the industry. You're able to break out of that box.

I mean I think that's what, well, in theory, I would hope most clients would want that because like I said, you don't want to be just like everybody else. Like what can you do to be different? I think that's kind of a goal.

Ahava: Yeah. So I would challenge that assumption that healthcare is boring because I actually don't think that it is. And it may be in government contracting and healthcare, you weren't allowed to be as creative as you'd like.

But clients ask us all the time like how can you write for the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins and Stanford and UCLA, like how do you do all those different institutions and keep it fresh?

But if you're smart about content, you know that the number one thing you have to do is align it with your business objectives and help your users accomplish their tasks.

And so each of those institutions has completely different business objectives, completely different strategic alignment amongst their executives about what to get done.

And also there are really different stories to tell. You know, some places are really great at acts and those are the stories that we want to tell about that and some places are really great at why and those are the stories that deserve attention.

So from me, from my perspective, everybody is completely different. You could take writing from just like mine that produces the same kinds of content mine produces and that set up the same way and it's a completely different story about how we go about dealing with our clients and what our values are and how we perceive ourselves in the marketplace, what the product is that we're trying to create.

So I just think everybody has a great story to tell and I think that it takes a good marketer and a good writer and a good content strategist to sort of pull that out and tease that out and figure it out how to approach it from a business perspective.

Shane: So we deal with some of the same kind of the same parallels in the sense that, there's always a story for us.

Cause between myself and my team, we write for about 120 different websites and for us there's always, when we want to pull the story out of a client or a potential client, it's like we have to figure out where we want to put that in that content where it's going to fit best.

Every website kinda has its own quirks and the way the editors work and stuff like that. So, obviously, it's kind of interesting when you talk about that when they understand that when you get a story or something that a client gives you, you really have to be creative on where you're going to be able to place that. And where it's going to make sense. And where you're going to have the editor or whoever just say, hey, this is the kind of content that we accept and this is the kind of content that we like and it's great for our audience.

But I think you touched on a point of you have to think about creating a piece of content that's going to be great for your audience so that your audience comes back to you because you're answering their questions.

Ahava: Yeah, I mean I think that's really, at the end of the day, I mean there's a lot of political and turf wars around that kind of thing.

And from my perspective, I always say to clients, what's your audience is going to say about this? Like, what are they looking for? What's really important to them? What do the data and metrics show us?

So yeah, I think we saw in that B2B report that Content Marketing and Marketing Process just released, 91% of marketers are saying that they're focused on their audience and not on the brand anymore.

That's unbelievably encouraging. I mean when I first came into the industry was the exact opposite, 10 years ago or whatever, 13 years ago, so it's huge

Shane: Yeah, it is. You do have to think about what's in producing that with your audience in mind. And I think the last few years, I think it's probably become a lot more popular where I've seen more people that are willing to do, they're thinking about doing that now, which is awesome. So I see that transition.

Ahava: Yeah. I also think what we're also seeing, which is really remarkable, is that more and more we're thinking about designing our products around what our audience wants and not just thinking about where's the opportunity in the marketplace.

Which, obviously, [we] still have to think about, but really sort of bringing user experience people into the conversation about, well, what should the products even look like and what would serve our audiences best to our customers best?

So I think we're starting to approach this exciting time where we're really seeing the synergy between customer experience and business strategy.

Shane: Yeah. Yup. That's exciting times for sure. There's definitely some good...

Ahava: And totally weird times also. Shane, what is going on?

Shane: I feel like everyday, I go to watch the news for a second, I go, okay, well that's enough of that. Or I'll go to look at something on Twitter or something and I just, we don't need to go into heavy detail. Like I try to keep the political stuff out of it.

Ahava: I don't even mean it politically. I meant it all to just like [22:12 crosstalk]  

Shane: I guess, I'm the one being political but yeah it's an interesting time. I mean it is exciting like I said, from a business standpoint, I think you've been doing this for almost 15 years plus, it sounds like.

I've been in the industry about, well not just writing but just you're doing digital marketing for almost 20 years and I guess one of the reasons I enjoy it is just because it's always so unique and the things that it brings to you to get the clients and stuff like that and work and we just got heavy into the writing side of things.

My team in the last probably five or six years before, it was on the SEO side of things and doing like a lot of optimization stuff.

So that journey has been really fun for me. As I said, I don't claim to be a writer and I write for websites, but I don't claim to be like if you ask me to do some kind of writing that you guys do?

That's just not my expertise.

But like I said, I have teammates that do it now, but it's definitely interesting. It's been fun to kind of watch that transition of like how my agency's grown and like sounds like your agency the same way. It's kind of like, I mean, how many people do you have here?

Ahava: A little over 40.

Shane: Wow! 40, that's crazy and  I'm at 31 and I thought I was crazy. So you're right above crazy though. So you got 40.

Ahava: Yeah,  I'm getting close to really crazy.  

Shane: That's good. No, that's when things really get fun is when you get really, really crazy, like on any levels. But it becomes business or just like once it gets really too silly, you know, and then you're really having some fun.

Ahava:  Yeah, I mean, I think for us, the problem with scale hasn't been about quality, it's been more about strategy.

And I think that that's a really interesting thing to think about as an agency. I mean, anybody who works for me knows that quality is number one.

Like I always say to people like every single thing that goes out here, it goes out here with my name on it. And if it's not perfect or close to perfect, we've got problems and I don't expect it to be perfect on the first shot.

So everyone has issues and everyone has things they have to work out with their clients but I do think that we're in a place where marketers are more educated than ever about what they need to be doing for their customers.

And so I used to do a lot more education and I don't feel that I'm doing that much education. I'm talking more about voice and voice-activated search and technological improvements to things. I think that's what I'm still educating people about.

But like I remember when social media first started and people needed to be educated about it. And it was so frustrating to me as a content strategist that they were thinking about their social media strategy before their content strategy.

And I don't see people making those kinds of mistakes anymore. I think they're just getting smarter about how they approach projects and thinking about what really makes sense.

On the other hand, I do see them pressured by executives to just get stuff done and not think it through strategically. But I just feel like marketers are smarter than they used to be.

Or maybe I should say they've always been smart, but they're really educated now and they care about data and they care about analytics and they want to know the ROI.

Shane: I think it's because I think there's some bad information. There's a lot of good information. I mean there's just so much education you can get online.

Once again, I always use the analogy of the water hose and trying to drink from it. So there is a lot of stuff, but there are all these great programs you can go on and really learn some things.

Listen, I never knew about this. I can literally sit down on a Saturday, take a six-hour course and now know at least have a good foundation on how to do that.

I think it's the education side of things is big. I remember when you talk about the social media side of things, my clients, how about, well hey, want to do share stuff on social media?

I'm like, but what are you going to share if you don't have content? Like… that’s very basic. Like what are we going to share? Like you're competitive, like who are we going to promote?

I'm like, well I don't know. We want to promote this. I'm like, well he's not on your team. Like you're making him... well, that was the biggest transition for me.

It was like, hey, okay, I'll educate you on how to do social media, but you really should be producing your own content.

You should be doing your own blog posts, your own video, your own podcast, whatever that is. You know, I don't remember the exact quote, but it was something like, are you consuming content or creating content?

Ahava:  I agree 100% and there's room for both, right? I mean, I think that that's the other thing that we have to remember, there's totally room for both. But at the end of the day, yeah, I mean, listen, people are trying to do the best they can and I admire them for that. And I do think that there's a ton of training out there.

I also think that sometimes I listen to people talk, and I think they do need more education around this, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to be able, even if we provided it doesn't mean that they're free to make the decision that that training would provide.

And I think that's someplace where we really have to show a lot of patience and empathy for the clients that we serve. That like I said, sometimes they just have these executive mandates to do things that just don't always make sense.

Shane: Yeah, no, and unfortunately when that kind of stuff happens, it is frustrating. Because it's like one of those like, you know what, I'm supposed to consult with you, I'm suppose to tell you the best things to do.

But at the end of the day, if you want to put your hand on the stove..

Ahava: That's it, you gonna lead the horse to the water.

Shane: You go ahead, put your hand on the stove when you get burnt and then I can just say, well, as I say, I told you so. Because it's never a great company, but I think I did talk about this before.

It's always difficult to do because you always feel like, you know, you want to obviously meet the ideas. Is there… for a reason to help send them in the right direction when they have to force things or do things that are outside of the usual process of doing things correctly.

It is hard for us as consultants to like let that happen, you know? I mean when I was younger, it didn't matter. Like I would just sell. That's fine, that's fine.

And now I get older, I'm like, listen, you guys, you have been here for a reason. You know, and I'm telling you, you guys shouldn't do that.

And if you guys want to, you still can because you're grown adults and that your check just cleared. So life is good on our side, but you know, we at least another 30 days together. But you've got to kind of figure that out.

Ahava: That's really fascinating because I had the exact opposite evolution. When I was younger. I used to be like, yeah, this is how you do this.

And now I'm kind of like, okay. And I do feel like we educate people and then we tell them that they have to do what they want to do and maybe it's the delivery that's changed the most.

But at the end of the day, I've been in enough situations to know now that as a consultant you can't influence as much as you hoped you could.

I come in, there's a great book called 'the art of consulting' that Jared Spool actually suggested I read at the beginning of my consulting career. And he says, “You really only can move the needle 10%.”

Now, I don't think that's really 100% true. I think you can move it a lot more than that if you get into the right situation, with the right client.

But I sort of changed my approach of, okay, what am I really here to accomplish for people and how can I be most useful to them? And then it's interesting to hear you say that, that's really fascinating.

Shane: Yeah. Well, for me it depends on the client obviously. I mean, I won't say any names, but I had a client that was like added on what she wanted to do and I was like, listen...

Ahava:  Oh, say the name, Shane.

Shane: Yeah, I know, I'll cover my mouth. I still do a lot for her, so I don't want to say her name, but she really was like doing some selling.

She had gone and did selling and she was selling ebooks and she was crushing it and making like way too much money for her age.

And then she wanted to go open a gym and she's like, hey, I really want to open this gym. And I'm like, yeah, but you know when you open a gym you're going to have like overhead.

And she was in Florida, it was in a nice area in Florida. And she goes, yeah, but that's what I want to do. And I'm like, yeah, but you're selling ebooks and you're making thousands of dollars a day. Like I feel like you're back a little bit.

She was, no, I want to do this. And she went and opened the gym and she literally had no clients. She was trying to charge $75 an hour to bring these clients and it was literally her in the gym.

Everything was with her name was everywhere, it was just her. And I really wanted her and she went and got into a five-year lease. Like crazy, like, and she had the money.

It wasn't like she was broke, but then the idea of it was like, I think you're kind of going backward. Like most people will do the gym thing and say, oh now I can make more money online because that's what she wanted to do.

So at a certain point, I supported her in that and I even helped her close the gym down five years later, just like I told her.

But anyway, it happens. It's one of those deals.

Ahava: Hey, can you teach me how to write ebooks and make thousands of dollars a day?  

Shane: I'll tell you, that was a crazy deal. I never forget, I did a call with her and she was talking about these ebooks, fitness ebooks.

Ahava: I remember that craze, I remember when that was going on. You can't do that anymore.  

Shane: No, not like she did. The thing is she just had the perfect audience. I mean the story behind her is she was a runner and so she like didn't have a bootie because that's part of her programs.

And she like literally worked out for two years and then I call it her inner JoLo popped out like her Jennifer Lopez.

And then she gets big bootie and then all the girls followed her on Instagram and they lost their marbles. Because they were like, here it goes x, y person here and now x, y, z person here.

Like no booty in ambiguity. And then so it was like this big thing and the girls went crazy. They lost it because they all saw themselves as person one. And then we want to be person two. And so she absolutely crushed it.

And when I did the consultation call with her, I remember us saying how fitness industry ebooks and like I have ebooks on my website that I can't even get like a free email address or a name.

And so I did the call with her and she was like, yeah. At the end of the call, she's pretty much saying she did $400,000 and she was like, yeah, but I'm really, I guess I just don't think that's that good.

I'm like, you're 22 years old and your overhead is like a gym membership. I'm like, sign me up. I would not look good in a woman's bathing suit, not that I've tried, I'm just saying it just would not be recommended. But yeah, it was crazy, crazy deal.

So anyway, that was one; the right client, right time, you know, Instagram was doing all of her stuff and things did awesome for her.

But that was one of those deals where you get down the road and she wants to do some other stuff. I'm like, oh, it just, you know, she was just a young entrepreneur and so she wanted to try these things.

And I want to give her my expertise and say, listen, I've done that. Like you don't really want to go backward, maybe this would be a better way to do it, but you know, she did it and it was fine. It did fine for what it was.

So I've got a question for you, so when you guys talk about content marketing and your marketing efforts, what is like when you guys talk to clients, like what is a win for you guys?

When you guys talk to your clients, how do you look at your KPIs or again, when you're writing content, especially with the industry that you're in, I guess it's really up to the client, what's a win for you guys?

Ahava: When is the case studies that we'd provide? You know, we wrote a blog once we... we've got 16 media pickups for a hospital system.

We've raised traffic on blogs in the hundredth percentile, one blog, 800%. We rewrote some content on a website and they got $1,000 donation. Totally unsolicited just because they love the content on the site.

I mean we have some really cool stories about the things that we've been able to help our clients do.

For me, the biggest wins are when I get on the phone with clients and they say this could have been the biggest nightmare of our lives. And you made it easy or easier.

And that to me is really part of what our secret sauce is. Because it's not just about great quality content, it's also about a phenomenal account and project management.

And that's really what makes the difference in content projects. It's a product, it's not just words on a page so to speak. And so a product has to be run according to a project life cycle and that I think is where we really excel.

So to me, the wins are obviously in the results, but I think every agency should be able to prove results. Like, I think that to me that's table stakes.

To me, what's really important is sort of the feeling, the experience that people have when they work with us. These people really cared about us and they went above and beyond every single time to provide the best possible content as well as the best possible account project management.

So to me, the client has a set of wins that are metric based, but they also don't recognize all the time how much they're going to get it out of the experience and so we have an unbelievable retention rate with our clients.

And I think one of the reasons for that is, is that they really are so happy with what we're able to give them in terms of that experience. Like I just said, the word experience like 17 times. You'll have a great experience when you work with us.

Shane: Really great experience, by the way. I remember one of the things, this was back in the day, they talked about Starbucks and one of the reasons Starbucks was so successful in the beginning is because of their experience.

Like when you would walk in, there was a reason why there were certain things in the smell and this and there are certain machines and they have it all set up to where you go through this thing when you come in there.

So it wasn't just, hey I'm buying a $5 coffee that you know, seven eleven's down the street offers for a dollar.

But it was you willing to pay more because of that experience of going through that whole thing. I think experience is a big part of this whole thing.

Because there are people that can put out great content or you can find those people that have that experience on the retention side. I think that is extremely valuable because you want people to feel like they're having a good experience, right?

That they're going through this process and they know that when you guys go and you can say you're going to do something that you guys are going to do it.

And I think that's almost as important if not more important than the content potentially. I mean the content is extremely important but it's definitely up there with that.

Like, hey, you got to make sure you're on both levels because you can have great content but if your customer experience isn't good and if you're not, you know, these people are like, you do a great job at content but like I don't really know what's going on.

I'm not being up to date and kind of what we have going on. Do you guys have an all remote team?

Ahava: Yeah. Completely distributed.

Shane: You too. Whoa, remote line. That's awesome.

Ahava: The taxes get to be a nightmare. Like how many different states can you have tax reporting in?

Shane: I almost passed out when you said taxes. Anytime,  I'll just call my guy and say, hey, can you help me here? Because any stuff like that that's like mind-numbing activities. Like I would rather fight a wild wolf or something.

Ahava: Boar?

Shane: Oh, yeah. I feel like I can beat a boar.

Ahava: Are you a Game of Throners?

Shane: No, I'm not. Here's the thing, I don't watch a lot of TV.

Ahava: Here's the thing about watching television shows, so I'll say one thing about that that I actually think is similar to the songwriting thing.

I have a friend, Amy Kramer, who's like really into pop culture and she challenged me to watch “The Wire” and “Breaking Bad.”

And so I went ahead and I did it. I got to say that I learned a tremendous amount about storytelling, about character development, about how to really sort of think through narrative test storytelling and how to switch chronology up and things like that.

And so I understand people who say, you know, I don't watch a lot of TV or I don't watch a ton of movies and I get that.

But I think the whole point of art is to connect us to each other. And I think that a lot of people think, oh, business writing or being in marketing or being in customer experience is an art.

But actually, that's what we're doing. We connect people to each other and we connect people to ideas. And so I think it's really valuable to pay attention to what's going on in pop culture because I do think that it helps you become a better storyteller and a better writer and a better creative person.

So, Shane, it's time to let start watching TV.

Shane: I am. I will. I'll make a valid effort. I'm going to start watching TV, but I think I do have a question about “Breaking Bad” for you though. Did you learn how to make meth? Don't worry, it's only being recorded. It's not a big deal listener. I'm not going to send this to the cops.

Ahava: I did not learn how to make meth. And I also learned that the world is terrifying.

Shane: Yeah, yeah. I think especially in the meth world, I've never been in the meth world, but just being from the outside looking in, it never looked like a fun place to visit.

Ahava: No, it really doesn't. It's not, it doesn't look that fun at all.

Actually, what's interesting is that right around the time I finished watching it, my ninth grader had to write a paper on Macbeth and I had never read Macbeth, which is a hard thing for me to admit on a recorded podcast because I'm an English major, but it was just one of the Shakespearean plays I had never gone to.

And so I didn't read the entire play, but I read enough of it and I read enough on Wikipedia, quite frankly to I understand the story.

And I said to her, you know, you really should compare it to Walter White from breaking bad because that's the story. And she was like, Mommy, I cannot compare Macbeth to a meth king, she didn't even know who Walter White is.

But you know, like she had heard me talk about this show and so that was a really fascinating experience for me because one of the things I always talk about when I teach writing is, they say Hollywood has seven plots, it's really true.

The same stories are told over and over and over again. And when you study them and you compare them, you can really see the way the society has changed in terms of thinking about those issues.

So that was sort of a nice segue for me to talk about how much I really paid attention to “Breaking Bad.”

Shane: Yeah, absolutely. You never really did answer the question if you can make meth.

Ahava:  I cannot make meth.

Shane: Okay that's good.

Ahava: I mean the hardest drugs I do is Percocet after a really bad dental procedure. I'm a suburban mom. Sorry.

Shane: That's good. Start talking about myths and all that.

Ahava:  I'm pretty boring, I gotta be honest.

Shane: That's okay. All of our challenges, it's all good.

So tell me about your remote teams. So this is funny, I love the remote thing. So like your project management, stuff like that, and then obviously you have a team that sounds like they're all over the US, potentially the world.

How do you guys keep those things together?

Ahava: Yeah, so we have a daily huddle every day between the executive team, so everybody, all the account managers and junior project managers and the CFO and everybody gets on and we go in alphabetical order.

When we talk about what we did yesterday and what we're doing today and where we're stuck. So it's a huddle, it's like an agile huddle and then people who are on different projects have either biweekly or weekly meetings.

We use Basecamp really strenuously. We have Slack.

I mean all the stuff that all distributed workforces used. I think that one of the things that I worry about is retaining talent because I do think that being in an office with other people does create those relationships that then you don't really want to leave your job. And I do think sometimes people are lonely.

On the other hand, part of the reason that this company exists is that I really felt passionate about giving working parents a place to have a meaningful life with meaningful work.

And so I think that it lasts for three or four years. And then I think people do want to move on because they do want a more cohesive environment. But I just hope they learn a lot while they're here.

And it's interesting some people working from home, it's just not for them. I really, eventually I'm going to have to go back to an office because I just assume I will at one point in my life.

But like to sell Aha Media Group at one point when I feel like I've done as much as I can do with her, because I do think she's a girl, she's a woman and I really like working from home.

I like being able to throw a load of laundry in and I liked being able to like take a 20-minute walk around my neighborhood. I like the idea of sort of setting my own schedule and I think that that's important. But for some people it's just a no go.

Shane: Yeah. I think sometimes it can be challenging. It's funny where I'm at now, I actually have an office, I actually have two offices in...

But this is like where I produced all my content so this is what I do. The podcast, this is where I do video stuff and it's just kind of the office that I set up and it literally looks like, I'll show you, it literally looks like a home. Like I just set it up to be like at home. My dogs and stuff like that.

So I don't even do laundry here but I just put it on the floor because it just feels more comfortable that way because I don't want to burn it up when I'm obviously,

Ahava: You have a lot of dirty laundry everywhere everybody. It was pretty neat. I got to say, Shane, I'm impressed.

Shane: Ryan and I filled that thing up, this can be a really bad situation. You know… so I felt pretty secure about that, but I'm glad we made a few.

Ahava: I like that circle bookshelf that you have behind you. You got some nice succulence going there. That's nice.  

Shane: That's my wife, she's awesome. So she's the one that put a lot of that stuff together.

These books, I'll be honest, I've never read them at all. It's like I can't read. I don't tell a lot of people that, but now that we're being recorded, I think it's probably best not to tell everybody.

Yeah… the succulents; now the issue with the succulents is that they, I guess, need water and I didn't know that.  

Ahava: So only a tablespoon a month.  

Shane: Yeah, yeah. I'll have to do is remember between everything else.

Ahava: I think you could just put it on your calendar dude.

Shane: Yeah, I probably could and I appreciate you called me a dude.That's awesome. Yeah, I really do.

My wife and I literally had a long conversation about we need to water the plants. It's nothing to do with content, but it does have to deal with keeping the wife happy, which is very important, which is probably a whole other podcast or like a lesson.

Ahava:  Yeah, I'd be happy to jump on that one.

Shane:  Yeah. Yeah.  

Ahava: I got a lot of thoughts about that.

Shane: Ride that train. Hey, well, I'll let you know. Maybe you and my wife can like start a support group and me and your husband come hang out and we can just try to make it to the conversation.

So I've got a little bit about the remote team, all that kind of fun stuff. Tell me a little bit about your personal life. So I know you like to bake.

Ahava: Well, I'm a Jewish homemaker on some level. So I have this Apple challah thing that I made that people really love.

So that's something that I'm very proud of. In fact, Ann Handley saw the trampoline video and she goes, I need to come to your house for two reasons; one to eat and two, to jump on the trampoline.

Shane: Yeah, trampoline.

Ahava: I know, I make this trifle that she's like obsessed with every time she sees that she's like, I'm coming down from Boston, save it for me.

So I do like to bake, I just made bread today. Actually, I'm making the kids' grilled cheese and soup so that's exciting and I wanted to make them like whole wheat. I don't even know why your audience will be interested in this, but okay, we'll go with it.

I love to read. I'm a huge reader. I'm not happy unless I have a good book to look forward to getting into bed with at night.

Yeah, I do like to watch TV and my 10-year-old son and I are going through all the Marvel movies together. So we just finished the Incredible Hulk. Now we're on to Iron Man 2.

We are rating them all. He gave Iron Man 1 a 9.7, I gave it like a seven. So clearly we have to align our ratings a little bit better.

He is a 10-year-old boy though. I gotta say they are very different than 10-year-old girls because I have a 13-year-old girl and an almost 16-year-old girl and wow boys are different.  

Shane: They are, kind of a different breed, you know and it can be a good or bad thing. It just depends on what we're doing.

Ahava: Yeah, it's always good, it's not a good or bad thing, it's just different, a different way of seeing the world. At least that's been my experience so far and I like to watch the great British Baking Show. I'm super into that show right now, I love it.

And what else do I like to do? I'm into Pilates and Pure Bar; those are things I like to do to keep in shape. I have a ridiculous amount of fabulous friends that I enjoy hanging out with.

So I mean like I don't fence or like do Viking reenactments or like dress up as like furry animal. Like I don't do that, my life is like very classic, standard. One of my friends once called me basic, which I thought it was like really insulting, but I guess I am, but that's it.

Shane: I guess there's something about being basic. I can understand how basic, if somebody called you basic, I mean, I would take her off my MySpace space top [five] or something like that. Honestly, that's what I would do. I'm like listen, basic! Like I'll show you basic, you'll drop down to number nine and never make it to number eight.

Ahava: I wish I had something that I really I'm passionate about and I did all the time, but I guess that's worked for me.

That's the thing, I'm passionate about our family and I'm passionate about my work and I don't think that at this point in my life, there's really room for a lot else.

I hope that one day when I'm older, I should be lucky and get to live a long time, I will have a lot of time to do something that really takes up my time and energy.

I am pretty passionate about hunger, children's hunger in the United States. That's something that I really feel very strongly about, that we need to really fix, especially in a country as rich and powerful as ours.

And then, I'm really worried about the environment; like I think we got to get on that.

Shane: I think we might be going the opposite direction, but I'm with you on that.

Ahava: Yeah. Yeah. It's a little scary. A little scary, a lot scary.

Shane: Yeah, it is. I donate time and money to certain organizations, but the child hunger, the hunger thing; like I just don't understand how we can let any kids be hungry.

Like this is nothing new to content, but it is something that I just don't understand how anybody can see that and say, hey, that's okay. You're like, what can we not do to help? I mean, they don't have a chance, but they're not 25-year-old adult where you'll say, go get a job or...

Ahava: Yeah. No, it's a by-product of poverty, there's no question about it. I'll tell you something, and this is political and you can edit this out if you want. But there are 1.1 million abortions in this country every year and 60 million American children go hungry.

And we spend so much of our time talking about whether or not there should be legal abortion in this country and we spend no time talking about the fact that these children are all going hungry every night and that to me, is just ludicrous.

Shane: Yeah, it is. And I'm with you on that.

Ahava: We're risking it.

Shane:  We're going on them. We've talked about meth and hungry kids and this is really what I want to talk about, the content. It's like... more interested in kids and meth and dressing up as furry animals. Which I think you said was a goal or that was something you said?

Ahava: It's not a goal. I was just thinking about that scene from, what was that show called with the guys in Hollywood on HBO? Your listeners will know which TV show I'm talking about.

So one time he like did this Craigslist thing where he dressed up like that. So that was like the most obscure reference that I could think of something that I would do that would be like super weird.

Shane: That's something not super weird but it's weird enough. I actually did dress up in an animal suit one time. This is a funny story. This was a long time ago, was a company called, 500 I don't know.

Anyway, it's like an incubator-type program and this was in San Francisco and I'm in Sacramento right now. But when I was in San Francisco, there was somebody that reached out to me. I don't even know how it happened and I wasn't speaking at the events at that point.

They're like, hey, would you want to come to our event? Like get in this random thing? And I'm like, yeah, that sounds good. They're like, would you be willing to dress up? And it's like a squirrel outfit or a raccoon or something. Like literally this is like a lifetime ago.

Ahava: Are you telling me the truth right now?

Shane: I swear, I'm going to have to find a picture. I'll find the picture. I'm a send it to you and you'd be like, this is..

Ahava: You should put it in the podcast notes.

Shane: Absolutely. I'm going to put like make meth and then I'm going to put the thing about furry animals. I started my career as a furry animal.

I mean it was only a weekend type deal and I don't know how and why they reached out to me, I don't know why I'm saying this, but literally I ended up dressing as this and my wife went with me and I dressed up in this like a raccoon or something and the activity took a few pictures of me and I shook hands and kiss babies and walked around and then they let me go to the event for free and it was I have $2,000 or something.

I remember thinking this is awesome... jump in a squirrel outfit or a raccoon or whatever. And nobody knew that it was me except now that I just told the whole world that I was the raccoon.

Ahava: And I bet you, every single person at that party is listening to this podcast.

Shane: All six of them.

Ahava: And now they're going to know.

Shane: I could just tell by the way that you put your arm around me that that was you. And I'm like, yeah, that's exactly it.

Ahava: That's one of the weirdest stories I'm going to hear all week Shane and it's just...

Shane: And it's all year cuz I'm really looking to get first place and if you have somebody that has a weirder story, offline when we're not going to..

Ahava: Oh, I have some weirder stories, unfortunately.

Shane: I'll take the Pepsi Challenge if you ever want to get story-weird on me just let me know.

Ahava: Yeah, I will. Maybe that's a great idea for a podcast. I liked working weird.

Shane: Yeah, some of that stuff's gotta be like, you see like the FBI saying like have to be your face. You'd have to be like this way. Okay, you can't really tell who..

Ahava: This voice changing software.

Shane: I mean I have that on my computer. I won't take one cause that's a long story, anyway.

Ahava: Three or Met-Life.

Shane: Exactly. It's from when I transferred the funds and we will let your kids go. No, just kidding. Sorry.

Ahava: Wow, this is going downhill fast.

Shane: I know it does. Sometimes I think it's because you get kind of loosey and goosey in the games, all politics..

Ahava: Yeah, it's strictly conversation.

Shane: As it should be. Tell me about places that you've traveled to because you've obviously traveled, I saw a little bit on your Instagram so give me some fun places that you've been to?

Ahava: I've been to Australia, which I would recommend to anybody, bucket list number one. Next bucket list item is New Zealand.

I'd love to hit South Africa. I love Paris. I took my father on a heritage tour to Budapest, that was amazing. Beautiful, beautiful city.

Singapore; I'd love to hit Singapore. I've been to some very lovely places in Canada. Do you speak Canadian in Canada?

So I love to travel, that's something I enjoy. I really want to hit the top and the bottom. So I'd love to go to Antarctica and I'd love to hit like Iceland and Alaska.

Shane: So I've got, I'm actually going to, and I've never been there and what's crazy about it was just really cool is what they're actually doing is they're flying me out there a week early and I'm going on a trip for a week.

So it's the government and its Cinnamon hotels and resorts, cinnamon, which is totally different than Cinnamon. Yeah, it's really weird. So we're going out there and I'm only speaking for like a half an hour. They're bringing me up there with like 60 bloggers and they're taking us on this trip.

Ahava: Oh my gosh. I got to get me a trip to Sri Lanka next time, Shane.

Shane: I was looking when we were talking, I was looking at it like my bags and seeing if I could put you in one of my bags because then you'd have to be right next to my wife in the bag.

And so they have to be big and then it would get all weird because they would say, you have two women in your bag and I'm like, no.

Ahava:  Yeah, that may set you up for trafficking, so now you're on the hook for meth and trafficking. That's scary, Shane.

Shane: 1990 all over again.

Ahava: Everybody is not going to want me to be on their podcast because they're going to think I'm a really bad criminal influence.

Shane: Awesome. See this is your natural environment.

Ahava: The career-ending podcast.

Shane: That's actually the name of the podcast, I just don't tell people that. I just get them to say really weird stuff and then I just cut it like the media does and they have all these clips and they're like she aids in abortion and meth and they're like this great interview with her, like, oh this is awesome.

Yeah, you're going to be like, no, I'm going to have my attorney call you before we get done with this because this all black mail stuff. That's the only reason why I do it. Just so in the end, I can tell people

Ahava: I don't know what you could blackmail me for. I don't have a lot. I got a trampoline and some challah.

Shane: And that sounds like a party to me. I don't know what you're doing on Saturday. I'll bring my wife.

Ahava: I'll be in Sri Lanka, dude.

Shane: Oh, that's right. That's right. I'm leaving next month.

Ahava:  Alright. Alright. Great Saturday sounds good. I don't make tentative plans. I'm just letting you know now.

Shane: Well, cool. Well, once again, this was awesome.

Ahava: I don't know if I would call it awesome, but it was definitely up there as one of the more fun experiences.

Shane: We're on the outskirts of awesome, I like to flirt with awesome.

Ahava:  Yeah, I think that's where we're at.

Shane: Yeah, I think we're doing good. And like I said, I'm glad that things, I said you were a little awkward, a little weird, and hopefully this week, I'll get first place for that so that's really my goal.

Ahava: Yeah, definitely. You might even get it for the whole month. I mean really, but the year has been nuts.

Shane: Agreed. I wouldn't expect to get that kind of award, but I would expect it if somebody else gets first place that I would get the opportunity to come back and say something.

Ahava: To rebut?

Shane: Yeah.

Ahava: I'm down with that. Totally down with that.

Shane: You're a team player and that's all I can appreciate. So if anybody wants to get in contact with you..

Ahava: Why would anyone want to get in contact with me?

Shane: I mean like law enforcement and law enforcement needs to get in contact with you to come take your kids or something random.

I know you love your kids other than the Nerf ball or the Nerf gun thing. And we saw that was super aggressive and your little guy was crying. But anyway, that's a side note. It's not what we're talking about today. We're talking about content.

Ahava: So they can get in touch with me@ahamediagroup.com or hello@ahamediagroup.com.

Shane: Sounds like a plan. I know. That's it, it's all making sense. All right. Well, you have an awesome rest of your day. Thank you for taking the time to jump on this little video podcast for us today.

Ahava:  Thank you, Shane. This is fine.

Shane: All right, we'll talk soon.

Ahava: Okay, bye.

Shane: Bye.