[3:59] Jon’s Musical Journey
[10:03] Transition from College to Working for Kia & Ford
[17:49] Content Launch’s History
[21:02] Jon’s Books
[25:12] Jon’s Work in Politics
[27:26] Jumping into Speaking
[36:33] B2B Content Marketing Strategy Tips
[42:02] Tools used by Content Launch
[43:45] The Future of Marketing
[47:47] Jon’s Biggest Achievement
[50:57] Jon’s Favorite Artist
About 65% of brands that are successful at B2B content marketing have a well-documented B2B content marketing strategy. On the other hand, only 14% of less-successful brands have a documented strategy. This shows a strong correlation between the success of content marketing and a well-documented strategy.
One of the major benefits of having a documented B2B content marketing strategy is that it aligns teams around common goals. As many as 81% of marketers state that this is the main benefit of a B2B content marketing strategy.
To help you design your B2B content marketing strategy, I have Jon Wuebben with me here. He’s the CEO of Content Launch and has been in the content marketing industry for more than 15 years. A best-selling author of 3 books, he’s here to discuss B2B content marketing strategies and the future of B2B content marketing.
Let’s take a look at how you can create your B2B content marketing strategy.
1. Set Goals for Sustained Success
The first step for creating a B2B content marketing strategy is that of setting a goal. Without a definite goal, it is not possible to create a content strategy. You must decide on the objectives of your strategy based on the results that you desire.
These could be both short-term and long-term goals. Do you want to increase your readership? Generate more leads? Or get more conversions? Whatever your goal may be, it should be well-documented.
You’ll be able to streamline your efforts to attain your goals only when you have them clearly defined. If you don’t have any goals, you won’t have a definite path to follow to reach your marketing objectives.
Having goals also makes it easy to measure the success of your campaigns. You can set benchmarks and see if you’ve hit them or are lagging behind.
2. Don’t Shoot in the Dark
It is necessary to determine who your target customer is. Without knowing your target audience, it can be challenging to create content that is customized to their requirements and interests. You can define it based on demographics, location, and interests.
When you’ve identified your target customer, you can figure out their likes and dislikes. You’ll also know what their problems are and can then create solutions for them through your content. By using free Google tools such as Google Analytics, you can get an idea of who visits your website and further refine your target audience.
3. Get Your Keywords Right
Keyword research is one of the most essential parts of a content marketing strategy. You need to know which words your target audience is using to search for your business. By targeting those keywords, you can rank higher in search results for them.
To conduct keyword research, you can use tools such as KWFinder and the Google Keyword Planner. You’ll be able to see the most popular keywords in your niche and also their competition and search volumes.
Image via Google Keyword Planner
Keyword research can also help you identify new topics that are trending in your niche. You can then create content such as podcasts, videos, and blog posts on those topics to rank for them.
4. Invest in Creating Stellar Content
You may have done your keyword research right, but if you can’t create valuable content, it won’t attract your target audience. Remember, your content should be helpful and relevant to your audience. If you’re not able to provide value to them, they’ll turn away from you.
Your content should also be visually appealing so that it can catch the attention of your audience. You should also consider variations in the type of content that you’re producing. Additionally, you must incorporate keywords into your content wherever they can fit naturally. This will encourage the search engines to rank your content for those keywords.
Make sure that you publish content consistently. The consistency leads to a sense of anticipation among your audience, and this can increase your engagement.
You must also try to create evergreen content which can be relevant to your target audience, even after a long time. Such evergreen content never becomes outdated, and that makes it timeless and extremely valuable.
You should also include a call-to-action at the end of your content to push the audience to take some action.
5. Check Out Your Competition
One of the best ways of improving your B2B content marketing strategy is by looking at your competitors. Keep track of the type of content they are producing and see what is working well for them. You can improvise on it and create your content that can outrank theirs.
Your target audience is also most likely to be the same as theirs. This makes your competitors one of the most valuable sources of information for you. You can take a look at their strategies and see which ones you should use or avoid.
You can also use your competitors as a benchmark to see what’s working in your industry and what isn’t. Lastly, you can find out opportunity gaps using tools such as the Keyword Gap tool from SEMrush. This can give you new evergreen content ideas which can help you catch up with your competitors.
Image via SEMrush
6. Repurpose Content
Repurposing content enables you to make the most out of your content. It can be quite challenging to come up with new content ideas regularly while maintaining consistency as well. By repurposing content, you can breathe new life into your old content and distribute it even further.
For instance, you can create a video out of a blog post. This can help increase the reach of your content as it may get published and shared on other video sharing platforms too. Additionally, those who have already engaged with it before may engage with it again when they see it in a different form.
I know that it can be difficult to create a B2B content marketing strategy when you’re just starting off. However, by setting goals, it is possible to measure your success and even tweak your strategy.
You must create high-quality content and incorporate keywords into it to rank higher up in the SERPs. Lastly, by following your competitors and repurposing content, you can further improve your B2B content marketing strategy.
If you need any help developing your B2B content marketing strategy, you can get in touch with me to discuss.
Shane: Welcome to the podcast. I am Shane Barker your host of Shane Barker's Marketing Madness podcast. Today, we're going to discuss B2B content marketing strategies. My guest John Wuebben is the CEO of Content Launch, a content marketing software. He's been in the content marketing industry for over 15 years and aims to make life easier for content marketers.
The best-selling author of three books, he frequently talks about content marketing and its future. Listen to him as he shares some valuable tips about B2B content marketing. So, hey guys, just going on. We've got to Jon on the podcast today. We’re excited to have them and John once again, thanks for having us today.
Jon: Hey, thanks for having me.
Shane: Absolutely man. Absolutely. So, let’s start off with the basics here. When I do these types of interviews. I want to start off with where you grew up like, let's kind of start off with Little John, before we got to Big John... Why don’t we talk about little John? So, where did you grow up? Give me some background.
Jon: Yeah, you bet. So, I grew up in San Diego County in a very rural area north of the city, about an hour. A town called Vista which back then was about 20,000 people. I grew up on a small ranch, had goats and chickens and the whole thing. So, it was a very idyllic kind of rural setting and I was in the 4-H Club and had two brothers and a sister, so a pretty big family.
And yeah, I was lucky to be in that environment to grow up and had a lot of great friends and family close by. So, I was very, very fortunate.
Shane: So, for 4H, that's kind of like farming, right? Isn't it? I remember that. So, I went to Elk Grove High School here. Well outside of Sacramento and there was a 4H. There were a lot of farmers and stuff. And so that there were the sheep and cattle and stuff. That was interesting. Obviously, with the state fair being here, there was a lot of exposure to that as well. That's interesting.
Jon: What’s cool about the 4-H club is that I really learned how to be a public speaker when I was like 12 or 13 because I was the president of my club. And so, when I'm doing speeches now, keynotes and stuff, I just harken back to that practice, that training I got when I was a kid. It was so invaluable to get that early.
Shane: It's funny when you talk about that because I didn't really start speaking. I had a class in college that I think I tried to skip every day that I had to go. But I went because I thought that I needed to go there. But I think it’s awesome that you did it probably not even knowing that just having to get up in front of people at such a young age is like teaching a child another language at a young age, right?
They soak it up and they remembered a lot longer. I think it's interesting. I would never think of… it’s not like your family put you in there thinking “hey down the road, John will speak one day” but the idea of like being in front of a crowd and the anxiety. I’ve talked about this quite a bit, about the fear of public speaking. Like, people are [afraid of] death.
The public speaking thing is just like… And not say that my first few speeches that I wasn't nervous by any means, even today you get a little nervousness. I think it's always healthy to have a little nervousness. So, you start at a ripe young age of 12 getting out there in front of people. That’s awesome.
Jon: Yeah, yeah, definitely.
Shane: And you said get a pretty big family. How many did you have; four or five brothers and sisters?
Jon: Two brothers and a sister, so the four of us. And we were close and we're all still close today, which is great.
Shane: That's awesome. You guys meet up for Christmas time and all that fun stuff? Everybody gets back for Thanksgiving.
Jon: Yeah, we sure do. In fact, my brother just had a big beach party a couple of nights ago and the whole family was there.
Shane: I must have missed the invite. I was checking my inbox the whole time. So, I guess from here on out, I'll be invited to all the Christmas parties.
Jon: Absolutely. I’d be happy to be a part of that.
Shane: Well, that's cool. Obviously, I think 4 H is an interesting fact about you. Tell us something else that maybe our audience, that's familiar with you that they don't know about you. Give me an interesting fact of, I don't know, in the past, we've had some pretty crazy stuff. One of the gentlemen that I interviewed, he was like; he was a fireman for a year and a half, and you would have no idea that he was a fireman. He doesn't really come off as a fireman type. Suddenly, he goes “yeah, I was a fireman for a year and a half.”
I’m like “why did you do that?” He's like, “I don't know. I just want to see if I could do it.” He was a content marketer gone fireman and then back to content marketer. So, do you have any fun facts, anything growing up that's interesting?
Jon: Not really growing up but in my 20s, late 20s, I started suddenly writing pop music for no explainable reason. I bought a beat-up old piano and I just started writing music and I've been doing that now for 15 years. and I've got maybe three hundred songs. I've written and when I was a kid, there was nothing to show that I'd be doing that in my future. So, it's been a fun outlet, a fun hobby and this is something I do on the side. But that's kind of a little fun fact.
Shane: So how does that even work like that? I'm just trying to think of… obviously, it's like anything else. You just started doing it and then you get better and better and better and you start understanding how to format songs. I wouldn't even know where to start.
Jon: Well, I've always been a creative person. When you start a company, it's a creative endeavor, right? You're creating something that never existed. So, creativity is really the kernel of it. Whether I'm writing a book, which is creating something or a business or a song. So that's the heart and soul of it. Then for me, I've always been a big fan of the Beach Boys. My mom was a big Beach Boys fan in the 60s and 70s.
And I found out that Brian Wilson who was the founder and songwriter for the Beach Boys was this genius guy. He wrote hundreds of songs and they're all beautiful songs. And so, I really tore his music apart. I started getting interested in how he constructed the melodies. Germany. And I basically taught myself how to do it just by looking at his scores and the Beatles. So, I did that for three or four years and finally, I put all the pieces together and sat down at the piano and started writing some Melodies.
Shane: Did you just start playing the piano or did you have lessons or was it just like...
Jon: I taught myself. I taught myself how to do it.
Shane: Okay. So, you’re the next level. I don't have the attention span to learn the piano. I could probably, I don't know. That would be difficult for me and they would have to probably medicate me... I love it. The guitar. I've always wanted to play the guitar or something like that or the piano. Something to be a little creative on that side. Maybe one day. Maybe the next time we talk I might be playing. Maybe around Christmas. Maybe I'll play guitar at your place.
Jon: I love it. I love that. Let’s do that.
Shane: It's a good plan. I saw a movie on Brian Wilson. I can't remember the name of the movie. I was traveling somewhere. And I didn't know a lot about the beach boys. Obviously, my mom was a hippie and loved the Beach Boys and I grew up in California as well.
But that movie really blew me away. It’s sort of that same story. You become famous and always get somebody next to your side that steals your, not really your money but kind of does this stuff and pulls you in here and trying to… it's kind of an interesting story of... and I can only imagine this is kind of off topic.
But it's like being a celebrity and doing those types of things and then you don't know who's there to help you and who's there to take advantage of you. And it's like, who do you keep on your team? And I just saw Bohemian Rhapsody. It's the same deal, right?
Jon: It's a great movie. Yeah and get her a little bit.
Shane: I don't know. Is that one of the things? Did you know a lot about Brian Wilson before that? Did you see the movie?
Jon: I did. I knew all about him and I'd met him at the Grammys back in 2003. It kind of a long story, but I met him, and it was fantastic. So, the movie was good. The movie you're talking about is ‘Love and Mercy’ and it came out three or four years ago.
And, with him, I think the music was a refuge for him because his father beat him, and he came from a troubled background. And so, he basically lost himself in the music and just created these masterpieces of pop music because he was trying to medicate his pain, his personal pain. So that is a strong driver for him.
Shane: That’s interesting. Yeah. I watch that movie and it just was one of those…, I think we're going to see obviously a lot more of those types of movies of The Beatles or whatever they come out with talking about this old school music. That's all classic music.
I was intrigued by that story as well. As I said before I just was interested in the music. When I saw that I thought” wow that was just…” I was on a flight somewhere and it was like I don't watch a lot of movies, but when I'm stuck in a plane with no Wi-Fi, then it's my way of getting other stuff done or focusing So, are you still in the San Diego area?
Jon: Yeah. I'm in Carlsbad, which is about 45 minutes north of San Diego. It's a nice little Beach Community and I’ve been there for a long time.
Shane: I've got a family member in Carlsbad. It's beautiful out there. It's a beautiful area. And did you go to college or where did you go to college? Give me a little background.
Jon: Yeah, I went to Chico State and near Sacramento. Well, you know Chico, right? And then I went to Thunderbird, which is a graduate business school in Arizona for my Master's.
Shane: This is too funny. So, I do know Chico because I used to own a bar in Chico.
Jon: Which one?
Shane: It’s called PF 126. It used to be right next to Pizza face. I knew the owner there, Peter and we partnered up. So, I opened up Chevy, so it wasn't my restaurant but Chevy's. I opened up a longtime, I don’t know how many years ago now. I opened Chevy’s, I flew in and I was from Sacramento, but I worked for, this is another life. But I worked at that Chevy's I came in and opened and trained all the employees and managers and everything.
And then, I was like “I’m going to finish up school here”, met Peter who was opening up Pizza face, small world and then all of a sudden, he wanted to add a bar onto what used to be ‘Hey 1’s’ back in the day And so anyways, long story short. And the crazier part is. I love Chico State my thing was I went there because I went there a little later in life down in my 20s, I always told him that if my son or daughter, whoever is going to happen in the future, I'm not going to let them go to Chico.
I love Chico. It’s a little crazy now so I thought they kind of have to get through some stuff and life to go there. And I'm not kidding you, so my son went to Jesuit High School in Sacramento.
He comes to me. “I want to go to Chico State” out the gate. I'm like, “oh my golly”. So, I just feel like it was this thing of,” I'm not going to tell him no” and he wanted to go to Arizona and there are some other colleges that were on the line. But he wanted to go to Chico and so he's in his second year right now.
So, he's really enjoying Chico. That's funny. Thunderbird, right? So, Jessica, who is my niece. She went to Thunderbird. And she graduated maybe two years ago, yes. She went down to... What's the big college right there in Malibu?
Jon: Oh Pepperdine
Shane: Yeah, she went to Pepperdine and then Thunderbird. That's interesting.
Jon: Okay. So, this is where we got some tie-ins here for sure.
Shane: Yeah. Well, that's cool. So, let's talk a little bit as we kind of go through this thing. You've worked for several big companies and there’s a number on the standout. But I think Kia and Ford are the two, not the biggest ones, but they're big ones for sure.
Jon: They were the biggest.
Shane: How did that work out? How did you get a job? Obviously, you get out of college and then what did you do out of college? Just talk about that. And then how you transition to working for Kia and Ford?
Jon: Yeah. So, I got an MBA from Thunderbird in International Marketing and I wanted to basically be the Chief Marketing Officer for Ford. That was my goal. I want to go all the way to the top of the organization and Ford hired me out of Thunderbird. And for the first year, it was great. I really enjoyed working for Ford. It's a big company. I learned a lot; their training program was good. But after about a year into about a year and a half, I realized I started hearing a little voice in my head. “Maybe this isn't for me.”
All the meetings, all the politics, the big corporate organization, the hierarchy. It just wasn't a good fit for me, and I was getting passed over on a couple of promotions and I wasn't sure about that. So, I started thinking “man, maybe I should start a company, but what would it be?” So, I left forward and then I went to Kia and I was at Kia for five years. And when I was at Kia is when I finally started the company and that was in 2004.
Shane: Got you. And you said there's a little voice in your head, like a Brian Wilson voice in your head? No, I'm just kidding. Sorry. Terrible joke.
Cool. So, you transition from Ford. So, for you, how do you know… I want to ask you something about goal setting because you obviously seem like somebody that you're like “hey, I want to go play the piano so I go and learn” And I'm thinking there was probably a lot of YouTube and stuff like that. So, what do you do? Do you do yearly goals?
Because it sounds like you have your vision board or whatever it is and you're like, “Hey, I want to be the CMO for Ford” or is it just something you think about and you're like “that's where I want to end up”? Tell me a little bit about that process.
Jon: I've always been goal driven. I've always written down. Since I was 10 years old, I've always had a little to-do list in my pocket. Literally in my pocket, in my wallet since I was 10 years old on what I have to accomplish that day and I have one in my wallet right now. So, when you get used to that, it becomes a habit. So short term, goals long-term goals.
And so, I've always been wired that way and I've always been sort of into achievement and leaving a legacy and maximizing my talents and my abilities. And as you get older, you really learn what those are, and you also learn what you're not good at. And I think the biggest secret that I could pass on, not really a secret, but the biggest tip is that “you should maximize your strengths and not focus on your weaknesses”.
What I saw at Ford & Kia is that they were trying to maximize or bring out, make my weaknesses better and it was a lost cause. So instead of maximizing my strengths, they did the opposite. And so, I'm a big believer in whatever you're good at, just do more of that.
Shane: And it's funny because it's when you say that, it's very simplistic in nature, but I think a lot of people don't do that. They go. “Listen. I'm good at these three things and I need to pick up three new things that I'm not good at to become better at it”. And sometimes that works and sometimes that doesn't. It's like either … the way we look at it and I learned this in the last probably 10 years. I’ve been doing the digital thing for 20 years.
But what I've realized is, and I've done this, I made a list of 10 things that I need to do or need to be done? And I look at them and I say what do I enjoy doing? And do I have to be there? If I'm speaking at an event, we're able to clone sheep. We're not able to clone Shane. Thank God not yet. But maybe there'll be a point where somebody goes in as Shane and he's an AI robot. Whatever the deal is. That's kind of freaky. You can't really replace me.
So, I have to be there. But write emails and other things and outreach and this other stuff, I don't have to do that myself. Assuming you have a team. And so, I think that's what's interesting about it is that it comes down to what do you need to do? And what are you good at? And where do you want to spend your time? It's what you're good at where you want to spend your time. If you don't want to just spend your time doing that.
There's plenty of people out there that will want to do what that is and finding those individuals. And I've learned that you know at a hard dose of reality regarding delegation as much. As entrepreneurs, we all start off like “I'm going to hold on to everything. I got to control everything. I've got to do it myself.”
And then over time, you look at your to do list you go. “Wow, this thing just seems to keep growing with more things”. I’ve got to start outsourcing some stuff and delegation. I think that's important where you say “this is what I'm strong at. I’m better at that now. I'm strong in this but this I'm just not strong at and I don't plan on being strong at that. That's not my goal.” Because in what happens if I'm strong at 10 things, you're not strong at ten things, right? And then you're not focusing on what you’re good at.
Jon: Well and I'm a big believer in Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000-hour thing. I think it's from the book outliers. You probably are familiar with it as well. Whether it's a Beethoven or Mozart or the Beatles, Picasso great artists, great intellects.
They put 10,000 hours into one thing and guess what, after 10,000 hours. You get good at it. So, for me, it was writing. I've always loved to write. Ever since I was five years old, I love to write. So, I built a business around that and I've written way more than 10,000 hours. I’ve probably written 20,000 hours. But my point is, focus on that strength and do it a lot and after a while, you get to be a master at it and that's all you got to do. It sounds simple.
Shane: Well it is, but I think what people miss out on, they miss out on the 10,000 hours, right? In the sense of people want to… “I want to get on to get abs but instead of a seven-second ab machine, I want a three-second ab machine.” So, you can skip out on these steps and that's when we kind of joke about AI and stuff earlier. That stuff, in my mind, is never really going to fully replace because, there’s time, there's human interaction.
But there's also this time that you have to put in to be able to get to the level that you're at and I'm at. It's because we're doing it for so long, right? And so, it's like a thing of 'we've learned a lot through that whole process'.
Like I always tell people there were old companies that I would have and. And I would have executive level people who always be worried about giving up our secrets and this and that. Listen, for me to get here was not that easy. You don't just go steal a form from me and go do my business. There’s knowledge or other stuff that goes behind that.
It's that ten thousand plus hours and I think you get to a certain point. It's like, “oh wow. Okay. Now I'm there” And I think another thing that I see too is we go through this is when I do these, speaking engagements and workshops and stuff, you realize how much knowledge you have.
I think you'd like for me; I always know that I did until you go, and you speak and your kind of thought this was basic, but a lot of people knew this, and you realize that they don't. Now you really put in that time and it's hard until you interact with other people you realize “wow. I'm on to something. I really have put in some time here. Ten thousand plus hours.” Right?
Jon: And when you're good at something, I think you naturally assume that everyone else is good at it to a certain extent too. In 2004 when I started my content writing business, I thought “wait a second, people are going to pay me to write for them? Really? “And then I realized “wait a second, a lot of people don't like to write. They don't enjoy it. It takes too much time. They want to outsource it.”
So that was sort of like the light bulb like, “oh my gosh. People going to pay me to write and I'm pretty good at it. So, hey, let's make some money.”
Shane: And that comes down to the writing down your 10 things. And if I hate writing, guess what, John loves writing. That's where we look at that and that stuff. What's awesome... especially with the internet, the world is your oyster. I can find somebody to write, somebody to do a website. No need to go figure out how to do all that.
Back in the day, it was kind of like “you got to do it all” and I always think about when… because I started with my businesses probably 20 years ago. How did I do that without the internet? I'm just trying to think did I call people. And I'm trying to think because it was a supply thing that was, I was importing products. I’m still trying to like rack my brain on how I even made those connections. It's like what did I do.
Jon: It was hard. It was a whole different world.
Shane: It's crazy. Like I talked to my son. We talked about him being at Chico State and he's excited about it. He’s doing business, which I was kind of proud of and excited about, but you know, I look at it I go “man. It's just a different deal.”
He's like, “yeah, companies this, that and the other.” But I’m like “you've got the internet”, I guess just crazy out there. You can make money from 10,000 different ways. And that's what's interesting to me. Of course, it sucks when you have ADHD and there are 10,000 different ways to make money for me, right?
I’ve got to heavily medicate, maybe not heavily, but maybe medicate a little bit to focus on a few things. But it's interesting to have that. I think it's just an interesting time because there are so many options. But once again, focusing on one thing and getting that 10,000 hours is probably going to be highly recommended. So, was it 200 or was it 2004 that you started Content Launch?
Jon: Yeah. Well, I started a company called Custom Copywriting back in 2004. So, that was the first iteration of Content Launch. Content Launch started around 2010. I wanted to rebrand it to Content Launch
Shane: Got you. And so, give us a little rundown? Obviously, it sounds like writing services, but give me a little rundown of what you guys do.
Jon: Yeah. So, for 13 years, we were a content writing agency. So, we wrote content for over 700 companies. And we had a hundred writers on our team, and we wrote blog posts and e-books and white papers all kinds of stuff. And then around 2014, I started thinking “well, what do we want to do here? Do we want to keep growing the agency? Or the other option was building a platform to do content marketing better, faster, easier. So, we decided to build a platform. So, we now have a content marketing platform that helps you plan, create and distribute all your content.
Shane: That’s awesome. And so, you guys obviously develop that yourself. How long ago did you develop the software?
Jon: We started that in 2014. We had an alpha version of the product in 2016, but it wasn't quite ready for prime time. We went into beta and our users told us… we had a lot of negative feedback and we made changes based on that. So, we took down the whole front end, redid the whole front end of it. Redid some of the back end as well. And so now we've got a very vastly improved product currently. It took us about a year and a half to redo a lot of that.
But you know what? That's part of the course. That's kind of what's expected when you're billing software. It’s got to be good. You're competing against other platforms. It's got to be good and do something special. And so, now we have that. But it took a while to get there.
Shane: Yeah. And this just in; no software ever comes out. Perfect ever.
Jon: You're right.
Shane: I think you're like, “oh, this is great. This is awesome.” And you send it out to the wolves, to the sharks. This brutal but I guess you’ve got to make some iteration changes, but that's the whole point, right? Then come back with creative criticism and things that need to be changed and get that done.
So, your platform. Is it accessible if I by myself, was producing content? Is it just for anybody? Do you guys use it internally or is it for the whole world?
Jon: It's for everybody. Yeah, it's contentlaunch.com and we’ll be out for a premium version of it. So, we built it for small agencies, because we have an agency version, but any company can use it. Any company that's doing content really could take advantage of it.
Shane: And is the rumor true that anybody that interviews you for a podcast, they get free access? I've heard that. I don't know if that's true.
Jon: Yeah, certain people. And then you're in that club.
Shane: The reason is that my team was like “who should we interview?” And I was like “Listen. I heard rumors that I can get free access to Content Launch if you interview... They were like “seriously? I was like “Listen. I don't know if the rumors are true, but I'm going to find out and get it done.
Jon: The rumors are true. That's all. I feel like we could just shut the podcast down now. The big dishes are done. I feel like my goal and one goal… we're done. We're done, folks.
Shane: That's awesome. So, tell us a little bit… So, three books. You have three best-selling books. Why don't you tell us a little bit about that? First, you're a huge writer? Right? So, it’s obvious you love doing that. I'm asking partly for the audience but mainly for me. Because I'm been s honestly starting up my book and that's the key word; ‘starting’.
I have some good stuff going. But it's so hard for me to… I don't know what it is. And I'm not a bad writer. I do a lot of writing. But I have a team now. But I’m not a bad writer, but man, how do you pump out three? I don't know, that would take me seven hundred years at this pace. Maybe eight hundred years, potentially
Jon: So, my first book came out 11 years ago now. And the idea there was I'd always wanted to write a book. It was always a dream of mine to write a book. I had gotten some experience in the content marketing space. I've been doing that for a good seven or eight years at that point.
I had a lot of clients with a lot of successful projects. So, I thought “well, I'm going to start teaching this stuff and the best way to do that is to write a book”. So, I didn't know how to write a book. So, I went to a class that a guy named Dan Pointer gave up in LA. Dan Pointer was well known at that point for giving the seminar on how to write a nonfiction book.
So, I took his seminars in Santa Monica over a two-day period and this guy basically wrote the book on how to write a nonfiction book. So, I read his book. I went to a seminar. I met him. He was my coach for about three months while I started writing the book. So, for anyone out there that wants to start a nonfiction or business type book, I would recommend Dan Pointers “the self-publishing guidelines” or self-publishing, something self-publishing. I can’t remember the exact title, but it's a great book. And so, that's how I started it. And then to get it done, I went to different Starbucks locations and over a period of two months got that book done.
And I think the reason being in Starbucks why I did that was because, for me, it was inspiring being around other people who are working and doing creative things in the whir of the coffee machines and espresso machines. “Something smells the coffee”. It was a good atmosphere for me to write. And so, I did that, and it worked. And I just would bounce around from Starbucks to Starbucks and like I said, over a two-month period I got it done.
Shane: That's awesome. That's your first book. So, it took you two months to write it?
Jon: Yeah, it was about 250 pages, but I'm a fast writer. That's something I'm good at. So, once I would get going and drink my coffee, right where I was in the location. I would just go get a coffee. I drink that and I was probably thirty percent more productive with a cup of coffee in me. So, that was also my secret.
Shane: So, did you have a limit of the amount of coffee that you would drink, or would you go 10, 15 cups all in?
Jon: I'd go to about seven or eight? And I was flying at that point. I could literally write for five hours straight if I had lots of caffeine. So, you take the God-given ability plus caffeine and it was magic.
Shane: That's a good combo. Did you ever go to coffees Anonymous or no? I heard rumors about this.
Jon: I could've started that club. I did not. But I could still start that club.
Shane: Just so you know, I would love to join. Because I'm I don't usually need coffee but in the morning, I'm always having coffee. In fact, at my office. My employees are always laughing at me because I do little what I call ‘micro doses.’ I’ll just go in and squeeze just a little bit of coffee. I want to keep it warm. I like to… I usually go until about 2:00 p.m. And that's usually when I have to taper off and try to get keep some water going as well. That way. A little hydration with a little caffeination is never a bad thing.
Jon: There you go.
Shane: So, your first book only took two months, which makes me feel terrible inside because it's taking me like 40 years. But, what about your second book and your third book? And all the books are all about content, right? They're all in that space.
Jon: The first two are about content marketing and how to do it. But the last book that came out two years ago is about the future of marketing. The Future of the marketing practice and that's all forward-thinking. So, the first book sold 5000 copies that sort of the magic number to where you can get a publishing deal and back then, this is 2010-2011. The publisher started calling saying “hey, do you want to do a second edition of your first book?” And so, I took the offer from the largest bidder. I probably had three offers from three different Publishers. And so, my second book ‘content is currency’ came out in 2012 and that's when I started doing the speaking engagements.
It opened the floodgates to everything, and I got voted as a thought leader in various polls and stuff like that. But it was really my second book. My first book was okay. My second book was really what gave me the entree in the industry.
Shane: Awesome. So, I’m kind of looking at this as I was before we started talking. What about the political side? So, it looks like you've worked with it a few different political folks as well. I don't know, you’re kind of blowing me away because there are always more layers to this onion that I've seen with most people I interviewed. You work with John McCain. And I want you to tell me what was it like working with political folks regarding this. You’re obviously a good writer. So, I'm assuming that played in somehow.
Jon: Yeah, I was 18 and I got a call from a buddy of mine. He said “yeah, there's an assembly man or a guy is running for assembly here in San Diego, and we really need help with the campaign” and he knew that I like politics. And so, I volunteered when I was 18 to help the run this campaign. And it was such a great experience at 18 to have that kind of experience.
And the guy ended up losing the election, but it was a great learning thing for me. And so, when I went to grad school in Arizona to get my MBA, I had some free time before I started my program there. And I just basically knocked on the door to John McCain's office, talked to his office manager and said “hey. Are you guys looking for interns?” and they were, and I got hired that day. And so, I end up working for John McCain for about four months, part-time. Just in the mornings for my 8:00 to noon.
But I worked with John and he was the best boss I ever had. Obviously, he just passed recently and just a great guy, a great family man. And obviously, one of the greatest government officials we've had in the last 40 years. So, it's a real honor to work for him. And then that led me to the Republican convention in 96 in San Diego and so that's kind of how that all happened.
Shane: That's awesome. Yeah, it's kind of crazy. I was looking at that as that's what I love about my podcast. We talk about content but it's also the story. I'm always just intrigued by people's stories. Obviously, we don't know each other outside than this podcast today, but it's just interesting to find out your background
And that's why I like hearing those kinds of stories such as how did you start working with John McCain? You hear that from somebody that worked with him that validated that he was an awesome person and that he did good things. So that's kind of cool to hear.
Jon: A lot of politicians have to have that element to the personalities where they're a little bit ‘phony baloney’ and they maybe they put on a good show, but John was sincere and authentic right down to the core. And obviously, a war hero the whole thing. So, it's a really really great opportunity for me at age 26 to have that as a touchstone in my life. A huge honor for sure.
Shane: But everything happens for a reason so that was kind of cool that that happened for sure. So, let's switch gears a little bit. Obviously, you do a lot of speaking at conferences and summits and stuff. I think you talked about it a little bit; how you were raised. You were kind of doing speaking stuff early. But, how did you jump into the conference scene and why did you do that? Was that to talk about your book or what was your reasoning for jumping into the speaking scene?
Jon: Well, I've always enjoyed that part of my career. I've always enjoyed thinking and communicating in front of a large audience. It's just something I've been doing since I was a little kid as I mentioned. So, my first book ten years ago, I had the opportunity to kind of get out there again, really for the first time in maybe 15 years.
And so, I did a lot of local Chamber of Commerce events, local business groups meet ups. I spoke at Denny's for a meetup Group. You start there and you work your way up and. So, I did a lot of free gigs the first couple of years and just honing my chops a little bit getting better in front of a group and really communicating my message.
So that started about 10 years ago. And then I started doing the conference speaking. I started submitting applications to speak at marketing conferences and that really steamrolled and know within a couple of years, I had done like 20 different conferences.
Shane: That's awesome. I think that's the thing that was speaking. I don't know if it's the number one or number two fear. Death is, I think number two and I think public speaking is number one in that category. But it's an interesting thing because speaking, I've done a good amount of it and I'm at the point where I'm going to start doing a lot more.
But it's interesting because it really comes down to... it's like anything the way I look at it, you kind of touched on this, the more opportunities you get, I don't care if it's free. I don't care if it's in front of 10 people. You have to get so many under your belt to feel comfortable.
And so, you get to that point where it's like, really any opportunity, if you want to be a speaker, the way to become better a) there's Toastmasters and there are other programs like that but is literally just to do it. And I can tell you firsthand, I'm sure you can too that when you go to do it. In my first few events, I was like, “what am I doing?” I'm like,” can I drink tequila right now?” How do I loosen up?
I don't think necessarily people see it as much when I'm on stage because I've had people say, “hey great job” and I'm thinking in my head I was out of my mind. I’m like “I can't believe I jumped up there and did what I did”. I'm already a fast talker, right? So, it doesn't help for me to have adrenaline plus fast talking. Then people are like “God, that guys, is he on speed or something?” or like what's his deal?
I've always been a passionate and aggressive type of person, but it's interesting. I like that where it's like, “hey, you speak at Denny's you speak at whatever it is.” Wherever you get that opportunity because you learn something from everything. You get to a point where…. 99% of the people only learn from doing. You become a better speaker by just doing more speaking opportunities.
So, I do the same thing. Any chance I get to get up in front of a group. I've had two. events where they were spontaneous. Literally, people knew me that were there, and somebody didn't show, something happened and said, “hey, can you go do this?”
And I'm like “God, I'm not prepared”. But I'm like, “what does that really mean?” I know my stuff so," hey just get up there and do it". And you know something always goes wrong, something always happens, but I think, in the end, it's just about getting out there and doing it.
Jon: Yeah, and there's a little trick for folks that are getting their feet wet and who are new to speaking. The trick is this, what you want to do is sort of the Jedi mind trick with yourself, which is you tell yourself a couple of hours before you're doing the engagement that “hey I've got something to teach. I've got something important. These people are going to learn from me. They need to hear this”. Right. It's almost like you're talking yourself up and you're prepping yourself. You get yourself psyched up. And, it’s partially true because they are coming there to hear what you have to say in a lot of them don't know anything about the topic. So, you're there to educate them, to teach them, to inspire them.
Shane: And so, knowing that like, I think it takes a little bit of pressure off. Yeah. That's a great point. I had I spoke goes one of the Keynotes over at in Santa Barbara and they just had their last event. They had the reason why I'm telling you that I had a lady that reach out to me through direct message.
“Listen, I'm speaking as well on one of the stages. And she goes “I'm losing my mind. I can't believe I signed up for this” and I said “listen, I said the exact same thing. I said “you have to realize that you have some knowledge that other brands. And you don't realize that you're like, oh my God, what I'm going to tell him?
Everybody's going to know it. You're not going to satisfy all 200 people or thousand people, whatever that is. When I go to presentations or I go to, it’s two events conferences. For me, because I have a good base of knowledge when it comes to marketing. I'm just looking for a few nuggets, like a website. I didn't know about or something. I don't expect to be blown away like Tony Robbins style like where I leave. “Oh my God, I’ve got to change my whole life, right? I'm just looking good nuggets of information.”
In fact, I was telling her it was like you have to realize that they're coming to your session for a reason because they need that knowledge. And you have to understand that you have the expertise” of a year, two years, five years, ten years, and it's personal to you. Nobody's going to be able to say that's not what happened, or you didn't learn that. Because you did, right. So, you have to worry about that. This is your own personal experience. These are things that you've done that have equaled success for you. Nobody's going to stand up and go. “You know what? I think you're lying. I think you're right. Nobody's going to do that. You're going to be fine. And so, she did later on. She thanked me and she was like
“God I couldn't believe the warm welcome at the end.”
Just because you have valuable information. Everybody wants to learn through somebody else's experience. If I can watch John up on stage and I can you know ignore or skip 6, 1 year, 10 years 5 years of knowledge of things that I would need to go figure out on my own. That's the value. And I think that people don't realize that. In the beginning, I used to be that way. I would think God did it. Just recently, I had a workshop. We did in San Francisco for influencer marketing. And I have to admit, I went in there confident, but I was thinking “what happens?”
Amazon was there. We had anthropology. We have purple.com I’ve met some really big brands and for me, I'm thinking “how to Amazon in the house” the Amazon something huge but they probably know everything that I'm going to say. And there's always a little voice in the back of your head.
Jon: I'm telling everybody now, but usually I don't you know, it's like come on man. And then at the end of it, my biggest fan was the guy from Amazon. He like literally came up. “Hey my God, Chris. Absolutely great content. So glad and I'm like it's so funny because I would think once again because they're a big company.
They've got this. I've got money. It's not knowledge that is the problem. Right? It's and then all of a sudden they were at the event and they came up and I was like God, that's just so awesome that it's like once again, that was the one thing I was worried about big company they're going to know everything but they don't yeah and to your point.
So, I think a lot of speakers who are new to it see it as me and them or us and them they build a little bit of wall between themselves and the audience. It's actually us all together and you're going to learn from each other. So, the Amazon guy can actually add value to the keynote or so, whatever you're doing and vice versa so it can be sort of an educational experience for everybody in the room.
Right? And the other thing too is you're trying to bat 300. You're not trying to bat 800,000 you're trying to capture 30 percent of the room. Okay, you're not going to capture 80 or 90% years not going to do it. So, if you're capturing 30%, you're doing well. Yeah, l and that's what's kind of cool about it. It's kind of nice to hear those numbers because I know for us with the workshop that we did see was Hands-on type Workshop.
I was a little nervous because I thought well not actually the guy that I was doing it with came up and he says hey man after lunch time. That's when a lot of people leave and there was only enough room for 30 people in the place that we were. There’s room for 31, 32 because two people are like, “hey, I told my boss I was going to be here. I have to be here. I'll stand right?” Okay, great you'll stand. It’s, after lunch everybody stayed, and it was like God, that's awesome. And once again, you're not going to get that with the bigger events.
Because somebody else's bill right now. If it’s your company, you're paying the bill. You're probably going to stay right? But if it's on somebody else's Bill might have a beer during lunch or whatever. The thing is, you know, it's not quite as serious, but that's awesome. I think 30% adding that's a good number to look at for like hey, you're going to connect with this amount of people and that's great.
You don't have to hit an 800 or 900, right? The idea is that you get a good message, the stuff that you're saying is real because you went through it yourself. That's awesome. I mean, it's some good little Snippets. If I were listening, those would be my good snippets of information well. And, the people that maybe they will asleep for 10, 15 minutes and they realized that they know everything that you're talking about. They can leave the room, right? They don't have to stay.
And so, you'll get that you'll get people to leave and that's fine. So, don't be offended if that happens because that's normal. Yeah. Well, the people that are there to learn and you'll connect with them. If you're sincere and you have some good stuff to say.
Shane: What I do is, if people get up, I'm like comedians that I've seen in the past I call them out like “Hey, where you going? “I can’t believe it. I was just going to drop the bomb of all the information needed and then you disrespected me in front of the whole room.” I don't do that. You can always do that too for a little comic relief. And then people are scared to go to the bathroom and they're like peeing their pants because they don't want to stand up here and change presentation.
So, let's talk a little bit about like B2B guy content strategy. So like if you had a secret now, I know this is obviously years and years and years of knowledge of this but if you had the one secret that you're like “man, I really wish that B2B companies in regards their content strategy would do this” or something that you're saying “Hey, listen. Everybody's missing the boat here, what would that be?
Jon: Kind of piggybacking off what I just said about how speakers can sometimes build a wall between themselves and the audience. I think that happens with a lot of companies, a lot of brands. Big brands and small companies who sort of inadvertently build a little bit of a wall between themselves and the customer and see it as “us and them” when you’re all together in this and it's a relationship. You're trying to grow together.
And so, how do you build a relationship with your friends and family? You need to take some of those ideas and apply them to the way you connect with customers. And so, if you're doing that, you take some of those tactics when you're connecting with your friends, you’re conversational, you're casual, you’re sincere. You're trying to find out what they need from you and vice versa.
And a lot of times companies, we all kind of fall in love with our products and services and think we're great and everything. And, you know what? We're not always that great. So, we need to kind of bring that wall down too. So, I think it's about a sincere and authentic connection and we do that in many ways, right?
It's not just sending emails out. It's picking up the phone and calling people. It's meeting them at their level on a trade show or at a customer event. It’s all kinds of ways. It could be a focus group that could be a customer Summit or something like that. So, I think it's sincere and authentic regular touches with your customer and constantly asking them questions about how you can improve and making it a very two-way conversation. Not one way. So, all those, I know I just unloaded a lot of stuff right there, but in my 15 years of experience. That's kind of how it crystallized it down to the five or six important things.
Shane: I think another thing which you kind of touched on is also just being genuine and caring. Just care. Because I think sometimes it becomes “oh, they’re just another client”, but you have to think about if you're servicing this client a) there’s a lot of options, right?
So, you got to be careful of that. But if you're not taking care of them because you think your stuff is optimal and nobody's better, that's going to come back to bite you in the ass potentially. And so, I’ll give you small examples. I have a client by the name of Chris Rootness. He was just on the Titan games.
He's an influencer etc. All this fun stuff. Great guys, he’s been a client of mine for a long time. He wheels on the Titan games with his seven fingers. So, he has a prosthetic arm and he's diabetic. The guy has gone through some stuff. The reason I'm telling you this is he’s really getting big into the speaking engagements and I'm helping him get some speaking engagements.
And so, I've had a lady that was part of a speaker's Bureau that that said. “Hey, we have a deal for you guys.” So about two weeks ago in St. Louis he went. He did it. Crushed it. Phenomenal job. And I told him I was like “Hey, listen, you have to realize that they deal with a lot of speakers. What we need to do now is we have to show them how much we care and the fact they brought a speaking gig to us”. So, what we did is we got some gift cards, not all gift cards because that's a total male thing, right? Not knowing any idea like what to get somebody as a gift card. Gift cards got them some makeup.
We got some girls involved and asked like “what would be a good package for them?” We sent them off to them and said, “Hey, we want to thank you so much for picking Chris to be a part of this” because they're the ones who look through the list of speakers.
They’re the ones that say this guy's good, this guy is not good. So, guess what, we want to be top of mind. So, I told Chris “Hey man spend 30, 40 bucks. Whatever the number is. Send it to the coordinator and the sales lady. The lady was in the middle of the thing. So, he sends it out to him yesterday. We get this message from them. “Oh my God, thank you so much. Nobody's ever done this for us. You are our favorites. We're going to be looking for more events for you.”
So, we're looking at a $30, $40 $50 investment, shipping, and everything. Equals, in this situation, it was a $5,000 speaking event, and we could have one two, three four more of those. And I think it's that human side of it. We just think of this as a business. But if you pull yourself back for a second and say, “this is a human being and how much effort would it really take to do a handwritten letter, write a little card?” but people don't do, and you send this out. Crazy powerful. So, she got a hold of Chris. The other lady got a hold of me through text message. Her name's Katie.
Shane thank you so much. That was so cool. I was not at the office, but somebody else grabbed it for me. Can we talk again? Because we want to talk about some other events.” From two different angles. So now I have two ladies in the office that are going to break their neck to put Chris on another event because he did well. We had great communication, once again, we were on top of our stuff. And I just thought, that's going that extra mile.
Because you want to treat people how you would want to be treated. And I don't think we always think about that when it comes to client stuff. As you said, there's a little bit of a wall. It's like, “oh they're the client. I'm all educating. I'm all like omnipotent or something,”
But the idea is how do we work together? How do we make it so that there's that good synergy and we got things going in and treat them like a human? I think it’s an important part of that thing and I think we miss that a lot of times not just with content strategy and business to business, but just being a human in business in general.
Jon: Yeah, and the other thing too is just taking a minute and stop trying to sell all the time. We're always trying to sell, sell, sell. Buy this, buy that. It’s like “just relax. Calm down the selling stuff for at least a bit.” You can go back in on the fourth or fifth or sixth touch to do that and there are ways of doing that but let's not always be selling first. So that's another one of my pet peeves.
Shane: Yeah, it is. Because, the thing is, there's plenty of people just selling, selling, selling. If you build that relationship because really what they want to know is, they want to know your experience. They want to feel that you're human and that you're going to be able to help them. And it's not throwing out numbers and throwing packages at them. So, you’re giving me some good stuff.
So, what are some good, like apps to us or tools or software? What do you use as an individual or maybe your company? What are some tools that people are already using but maybe other stuff that people would know about? Are there any tools you guys leverage?
Jon: Yeah. So, I think one of the big mistakes a lot of companies make is they have too many tools [that they’re] using and they're spending too much money on them. You don't have to have 10, 20 different tools to connect with your customers. We've been using MailChimp for a long time and it works. It’s an affordable tool and I like it.
So, MailChimp is one of the things we use. We use our own software Content Launch, for content marketing, planning, and creation. We’ve used HubSpot in the past for marketing automation. We're now using Sharp Spring for a lot of marketing automation. It's a great tool as well. So, email, for social media, we use Hootsuite.
Again, very affordable. It does a lot. We've used Google Docs in the past. That's a free tool. We don't use it as much anymore. For project management, we've used Base Camp as another affordable tool. We also use Asana which is a little more expensive but good. So those are some of the ones we use on a regular basis.
Shane: That’s awesome. I know the guys over there. I know Rick over there at Short Spring.
Jon: Worked with Carlson, a great guy.
Shane: He's a good guy. Anyways, I know quite a few of those people but it's kind of awesome. We use some of those tools. We use slack. We’re heavy on Slack.
Jon: Slack is great too.
Shane: Yep Communications cut down some of my emails which is always a good thing because we know we get enough emails these days.
Jon: By the way, the cost for all those tools on a monthly basis; Probably a hundred fifty bucks. So, Hootsuite, I know those guys run like $19 bucks $29. They built this out. At this point in the years now, they're just building great features because they have such a good base of people and so you can start at a nominal rate.
Shane: So, what do you think about the marketing technology landscape, how do you think it's going to transform for 2019 and moving forward? How do you think that Landscapes going to change? Obviously, everything's always changing. What do you think? What actions can we take for that?
Jon: Yeah. So, in my book future marketing, I talk about the rise of AI which we're seeing now. AI in marketing and virtual reality content is coming on strong, right?
So, we're going to see a lot of stuff in AI and VR are the next few years in terms of them are Tech stack. So, we're going to have VR platforms that manage all your VR for you, help you plan, manage and distribute all of that. AI is really going to take over all the Automation and take time out of the equation for you.
I think there's been a fear that AI is going to take over your job and stuff like that. No, that's not right. It’s going to take the mundane tasks that you don't like doing and do them for you. So, it's sort of like having an assistant. That's how people tend to see AI.
So, all that's going to be just a super-fast ramp up over the next few years and then terms of Mar Tech. I mean if anyone has seen the MarTech stack from Chief MarTech Scott, we're in this team that we have put that together over the last few years. There's like 8,000 MarTech platforms from social SEO. etc
Around content marketing, it's overwhelming. But the good news is there's something for everybody. Every industry, every budget, every need. So, it's a question of looking at that and seeing, in terms of your stack, your MarTech stack, what tools do you need that will address your budget, your customer needs, your team's needs. So, says take some time. I would say, four to six weeks of really studying platforms getting demos; looking at what would be appropriate and how many do you need in your stack?
Well, you have email, you have social, you have CRM, you have your content management. You have your content marketing so; you know probably between 8 and 12 Platforms in your stack and you got to make sure they all can speak to each other and most of them can so for folks are just getting started.
Maybe they're just using MailChimp right now and WordPress and one other. Maybe they haven't thought in terms of a stack. But if you really want to capitalize on the efficiency of these things got to have a few that are using that you can work in conjunction with each other. So, kind of long answer your question, but that's kind of where I would start.
Shane: Yeah, it's always fun of that delicate balance, right? Because some stuff does this some stuff does that. We've kind of seen that as we used to use Basecamp, used Asauna. We use trillo now. There's always something there's a new one that we just start using called Griffin, which is kind of cool kind of ties in a lot of the stuff but there's always…
I love seven things out of 10 here or this “one has all these other four things here and it's like there's never an esophagus.” Everybody has different needs, right? So that's the hard part is like how do you take care of everything? It makes it extremely confusing. So that's the thing with the important part is to go and figure out like hey this works here.
“This works great. They tied them together. Okay, great. Communication going on there so that it's not you know, I guess discombobulated or it's not connected.
Jon: And the other thing I always mention after you determine your MarTech stack and you sign up and got your accounts and you know how to use them then really, I think the first order of business is looking at your database, customer database and segmenting that. Cleansing the list, segmenting it and then building your workflows for all your email, your email campaigns and making sure that you do that right because you need to add some personalization, customizations value-added on the blows.
A lot of companies still aren't doing that correctly all the auto emails and drip emails and what are they sending? A lot of companies sending the same email to everybody right? And that just doesn't work anymore.
Shane: So yeah, the segmentation I think is going to be obviously a big thing moving forward. Most of the companies we work with or that you know, before we start working with them. With the segmentation is like “no, we send the same email to 10,000 people. How's that working for you?
Jon: Not very well. That’s the reason you hired us.
Shane: So, tell us about like I mean, obviously you've got a lot of cool things in your life. But you're only halfway there. I would say what about your projects are accomplishments that you consider most significant like in your career. What would you say? I think meeting John McCain and working for him is a big thing but like not coming out of my mouth, what would you say, hey, this is like the one thing and it doesn't necessarily have to be business.
It could be my first child or maybe it's not, I don't know. What would you say is that accomplishment that you can look back and you can go? “wow”, that's going to, maybe not bring a legacy but it's like “man. That's the one thing that really stood out”.
Jon: Well, I think my answer that is going to be kind of different than what we expected, which is, I think I've really parlayed my creativity, my skills, and creativity across many different things. That's really what I brought to the table. I've written books. I've written songs. I've produced albums. I've created companies I've spoken. But what underlies all of that is my need to be creative. To create something that never existed before.
So, a lot of creative people, people pigeon hold them. They’re just musicians or just artists or just painters, but I think there's a lot of creative people out there in business too. And I think a good place to be a good place to live, that creative place? Because that's something that cannot be offshored. That's something that cannot be outsourced. Your creativity and what you bring to the table from a creative point of view is yours and yours alone.
And I think as business people, those who are maybe very left brained and not so much right brained. I would challenge them to really sit down and try and find that inner child, to use an overused phrase. And remember when we were back in first grade and second grade. Everyone had finger painted, right? We all created something when we were little. So why can't we do that now as business people? So I think that creativity thing is really been something that I've leaned on and done well with in a variety of different ways my life and so that's I think that's what my answer is I'm proud of the way that I’ve been able to do that across many different disciplines.
Shane: Yeah, that is cool. That is nice because it is the core of everything you've done right? It's like being created which is I think because it has to do whether it's on the political side of things and whether it has you writing a book, it's like your superpower but it is your superpower, right?
There’s that common line of creativity. Also, I think ambitious and wanting to take on a challenge which is kind of the thing too and being creative in addition to that. How are you pursuing that? I think the other piece of that is I was raised to really be in the service of others my parents there to look at the job of always, you know emphasizing that you be kind and be considerate and find how you can help and be of service to other people.
And so that's the other piece of it too. Leading with that and I think eventually if you do that enough and you come from an authentic place, the money will come right, and your success will come. It's just we need to always remain focused on that.
Shane: I'm a firm believer in that too. For me, I just pay it forward. Like always, just do things and good things will come back your way. In fact, I was just talking about this. For me when I was younger. It was about money; I fashion forward a donkey. I got to do this. I’ve got to make X amount. For me, it’s like the opposite. I don't even look at it. I look at money for projects, but it's not the number one thing. It's not the number one factor. For me, am I going to enjoy it?
And then also the other side of it is “are we going to have a good working relationship?”, right? I don't know. I just think that's interesting to look at because it's an important thing. As I said, I’m thinking our parents are getting older, myself, that's a point of something interesting. Getting several over the last few years or less probably. 10-15 years for me.
Let's switch gears a little bit here. So, we're going to dig deep into John the individual and it's a Friday. So, this is exciting stuff. I do know you're very creative and I do know that you potentially maybe working on some stuff that we can't talk about. What I will ask you who is your favorite artist? Who's your favorite? Like I would say your favorite band or artist? You have just one or because you're on the creative side. So, you're like, "I like the country. I love this. I love that."
Jon: Yeah, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys is my Guiding Light, not only for music but just being creative and unique General and coming from if your person that came from pain, personal pain in your past, Brian Wilson lived it, breathed it. He took that pain right and he turned into something freaking beautiful.
I think that's why he's revered quite honestly, it's not just the songs and the music. The fact is this guy's a Survivor, right? He was supposed to die 30 years ago from drug overdoses, but this guy is still up there still performing. And so, there's a lot of inspiration I've drawn from him over the years.
Shane: That's awesome. That's awesome. All right, so the last question of the day here, so if you were to win ten million dollars, and I'm assuming I know you're in Southern California is that probably only last for a few years but, 10 million dollars. Something happens, you win a lottery ticket something happens.
Hopefully, nobody dies, but someone gets you something brings you a briefcase of money. It's 10 million dollars. What would change? How would your life change?
Jon: Yeah, so I’d keep a million for my own personal expenses over the next few years and then I take nine of it and I would start my nonprofit. I've been talking about this nonprofit idea for years and I just haven't had the time. The nonprofit is called Urban entrepreneurs. And so, I taught entrepreneurship for three years at a community college here in San Diego.
And my idea was “hey, let's go into the inner city in San Diego and start a group, an organization, a nonprofit that only mission is to help inner-city men and women start businesses.” With the idea that we eventually want to go out of business as an organization. We would train so many people and helps so many people with building a business that we wouldn’t need to be around anymore. So, I think there's a real need for that and I would take that 9 million and go nationwide with it. Every city and just build it out.
Shane: Alright, so if anybody's listening that has got 9 million dollars, we have a taker. Jon is going to educate urban folks of America, which I think is an awesome cause. The only problem with that answer is I thought for sure you'd give me some money. I thought maybe even a hundred thousand. I kind of feel like we're close now, right? But I kind of like maybe I'm part of the will or something.
Jon: So that millions and millions that I was going to take. There's a percentage there. I think we could talk.
Shane: Now I feel better because I was going to have to bring this up when we were off the podcast. I guess. I'm not part of it. I just gained ten million dollars for god's sake. I thought for sure I'd get a small percentage. I’m not greedy by any means but. Awesome, Jon. This was a great interview. Thank you so much for taking the time. And if anybody needs to get in contact with you, how can they do that?
Jon: Jon@contentlaunch.com? So, j-o-n@contentlaunch, like you’re launching a rocket.com.
Shane: It sounds like a plan. Jon, thank you so much. Have an awesome day. We'll talk soon.
Jon: Thanks, Shane.