[2:21] Fun Facts About Kevan
[6:08] Kevan’s Journey Into Digital Marketing
[12:05] Importance of Visual Content
[17:46] Tools Used for Remote Team Coordination
[21:45] Metrics Buffer Uses to Measure the Effectiveness of Visual Content
[28:30] Future of Visual Content
[35:36] Kevan’s Podcast
[42:48] Kevan’s Hobbies
[45:27] Kevan’s Views on Traveling
Did you know that about 65% of the most successful content marketing brands had a documented content marketing strategy? It helps teams align their efforts towards reaching a common goal.
While content comes in many forms, visual content, in particular, has caught the fancy of marketers recently. As many as 64% of marketers increased their audiovisual content, while 56% of them increased their images and infographics.
The main reason for this is the high level of engagement that you can get with such content. For instance, videos can generate 1200% more shares compared to images and text.
To help you craft your very own visual content marketing strategy, I have with me, Kevan Lee. He is the VP of Marketing at Buffer, a powerful social media management tool used by 3 million agencies, brands, publishers, and individuals. He also serves as an advisor at Leap Studios.
Visual content strategy has three major elements that need to be addressed. They are branding, distribution platform, and the content type.
Here’s how you can craft the perfect visual marketing strategy through them:
Branding is crucial for marketing your business, and it cannot be achieved without the use of visual content. It incorporates all of the factors related to your brand’s colors, name, font, logo, etc. Whenever you create a visual content strategy, you need to define each of these factors.
You should consider creating a small manual that elaborates the various visual elements associated with your brand. These include the colors, font, logo, and more. When it’s outlined clearly, it will help you keep your branding consistent across all channels.
When there’s consistency in your visual content, people will recognize your brand even if your brand’s name isn’t mentioned.
For instance, Help Scout has got their visual content strategy bang-on. If you visit their blog, you’ll notice the consistency in all of their images. They’ve ensured that their logo is clearly visible to their followers on social media as it’s their display picture.
Image via Facebook
Similarly, whenever they share a blog post on their social media account, they allow the link preview to load, which then shows the featured image.
The featured images have a fixed set of colors and type of graphics in them to make the brand easily recognizable.
When you’re coming up with unique and informative content, you need to have a distribution plan ready for it. Without distributing it, you won’t be able to get it in front of many eyeballs. For this, you need to select the right visual content distribution platforms.
While we have a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to social media platforms, there are some that fare better than others.
For instance, Pinterest is solely dedicated to images, and Instagram features both images and videos. This makes them prime choices for the distribution of your images. However, if you’re creating videos, perhaps YouTube is the way ahead.
However, social media channels aren’t the only modes of distribution. You can also distribute content through blogs, newsletters, forums, and more.
Analyze the kind of visuals you’re developing and then decide whether they fit the context of the distribution channel. Based on this, you can then zero in on one or two distribution channels where you can put impetus to promote your brand.
For example, Diageo came up with an innovative way to promote their Scottish whiskey. They partnered with Nick Offerman and came up with numerous videos related to the whiskey. Out of these, one of the most famous ones was his “Yule Log” which managed to get over 3.6 million views on YouTube.
Image via YouTube
3. Visual Content Type
The type of visual content that you use to promote your brand matters just as much as your brand and the distribution channel. To decide on the type of visual content, you need to first ask yourself what you want to get your viewers to do after that. For example, if you have an infographic, you may want them to share it or embed it on their websites.
Be specific about what you want to accomplish with the visual content. This will help you decide upon the type of visual content that you should create.
It is also important to determine the frequency of coming up with visual content. This is because videos and infographics may take a longer time to prepare compared to images.
However, this still doesn’t get you to the final answer. Remember, you’re creating the visual content for your audience and not for yourself. Think about their likes and dislikes.
Find out what type of content they like to consume and create exactly what they want. Some of them may want to watch educational videos, while others may prefer simple images. In the end, you need to catch their attention.
For instance, Moz comes up with informative Whiteboard Friday videos. These are perfectly targeted to their audience, who loves to learn about everything related to SEO.
Image via YouTube
In these videos, Rand Fishkin explains different strategies step-by-step and educates his target audience. This is perhaps the reason why these videos are so popular and earn him thousands of views.
In addition to these factors, you need to also have a clear goal in mind. Without an objective, you won’t be able to focus on reaching it. The goal can be anything such as increasing engagement, website visits, or even getting more sales.
It is also necessary to measure the success of your campaign with respect to your goal. This will help you figure out what is working for you and what isn’t. Based on this, you’ll be able to optimize your strategy.
A visual content marketing strategy is critical to the success of your brand. Without visuals, your blog posts would be dry, and so would your social media profiles. You must get your branding right and have it planned clearly. But it is also necessary to decide upon the type of content that you want to create and its distribution channels.
What are the other factors that you think need to be considered while developing a visual content strategy? Let me know in the comments.
Shane Barker: Welcome to the podcast. I am Shane Barker, your host of “Shane Barker's Marketing Madness Podcast. We're going to discuss visual content strategy. My guests, Kevan Lee is the VP of marketing at Buffer, a powerful social media management tool used by 3 million agencies, brand publishers and individuals. He also serves as an advisor at Leap Studios.
Listen as he shares some insights about visual content marketing, social media marketing and more. So Kevan Lee, thank you so much for being on the podcast. They were really, really excited about having you. So why don't you tell the audience a little bit like where did you grow up? Give us a little background on where did Kevan start off here?
Kevan Lee: Yeah, for sure. So I grew up in Nampa, Idaho, which is a very small town in a very unpopular state. And yeah, I spent my whole life growing up there. Didn't leave until college and I went to college in Seattle and met my wife there, got a degree in journalism and we stayed there for a year or so and then moved back to Idaho and has been there ever since. So I haven't really gotten too far from where I grew up.
Shane: You were in Idaho and then you went up to Seattle and grabbed a degree in a wife and then brought her back to the hometown.
Kevan: Exactly. Yup.
Shane: Awesome. So then growing up, how big was your family in Idaho?
Kevan: Yeah, so mom and dad and then a younger brother, so the four of us.
Shane: That was it. Okay. For some reason I thought it would be like a bigger family. Not that two's not good. I had two in my family too. Not here to judge.
Kevan: It was great. We were on the smaller side for Idaho. There are lots of big families out here.
Shane: Yeah, that's what I'm used to, because I used to live in Idaho and it's usually four or five, six. It's like how many can we produce? Like that's kind of a thing, which is not a bad thing.
Kevan: Exactly. Yeah. Then my wife and I, we have the one kid and we feel like outsiders, that our family’s so small, we have one car and we feel like we're not doing it right in Idaho or something.
Shane: That is too funny. So, okay. Gotcha. So you get a little bit of a, I mean normal sized family right. I think in the US was like 2.6 which I've always been in question about the 0.6 like we have to figure that out numbers wise but cool. So that’s your family and that you on your currently in Ohio, you were in Seattle, and then you moved. So tell us an interesting fact about you when you were growing up. Was there anything you can say like, people would never believe this but this happened to me or this was my family or we were the only people with two kids. Everybody else had 10 or whatever. What are some good fun facts?
Kevan: Yeah, that's a great question. So I mean people who know me, I'm pretty mild mannered, on the quieter side, introverted side, I was kind of a wild person on the football field. So football was my game and I put on a different face when the ball was snapped. So I played center and linebackers. I played both ways and had a blast. It was fun. Maybe cathartic. I'm not sure why I switched gears when I was on the field, but it was a lot of fun. Good memories.
Shane: So you were calm Kevan off the field but once you hit that field and somebody said, “Hike”, you'd lose your marbles.
Kevan: Exactly. Yeah. I don't know if that's what the waterboy is like, I can't remember that movie, but something maybe similar to that.
Shane: Yeah. Yeah. He loses it right? And then he just keeps going. They're like, no, no. Stop. Stop. Oh, that's interesting. So football, are you still a big football fan?
Kevan: Yeah, I love the strategy of it. I don't know that I love all the pageantry that surrounds it these days and the controversies and stuff. But as a game, as a sport, it's, it's really fun.
Shane: Awesome. So who's your team?
Kevan: I don't know if I should admit this. I'm a Patriots fan.
Shane: What? Hold on. Is that new? Come on now.
Kevan: It goes way back. So I was, I was a fan around the Drew Bledsoe years, which were not the rosiest years. Yeah. And I got lucky that they started winning.
Shane: It's funny. So I'm a 49ers fan and I always have been, but so in the 80s with glorious, right 90s we're like, God, this is great. And now it's the last 10 or 15 years I'm like I have to stick with them. But I obviously haven't been vocal about how big of a Niners fan I am. We did terrible then we did some great and then all of a sudden we're like, well, this head coach were doing too good, so let's get rid of him. That makes total sense. Our off season a few years ago was just so crazy. We lost all of our A1 players and some people got sick and other guys were like, we don’t play football anymore. And it was like, what can happen next? I probably shouldn't have said that out loud because there more things.
Kevan: Can't get worse than this but it always can, can't it?
Shane: Yeah, I was worried that, not worried. I mean we would still be, you and I would still be friends, but if you were in the Seattle area, so not a huge fan of Seahawks, you’d be in the Seahawks. We would still continue the interview and stuff but I wouldn't use that ever again. But that's good. So at least I can take the Patriots. You don't want to like Tom Brady just cause he's just so good looking and he's got like a beautiful wife and probably everything's all perfect in his life. But anyway, shout out to Tom if you’re listening, basically a big fan here and Kevan. So you're currently in Idaho and then, you went to, you said you went to, what college did you go to Seattle?
Kevan: I went to Seattle Pacific. It's in the Queen Anne area of the city.
Shane: Wasn't there a shooting there? I mean this has nothing to do with, I remember hearing that it was, I was there, huh?
Kevan: Yeah. It was a few years after I graduated. But yeah, that was where it occurred.
Shane: Isn’t it crazy? That whole thing, not that it's your college but just any college, the fact that people do anything like that. To me it's just random, like why do that? Anyways, that's a whole other thing, it has nothing to do with the podcast today. But when you said that, I was like, Oh, wait a second. I'm pretty sure that’s where. That’s unfortunate, it's pretty common. It just sucks that that kind of stuff happens.
Kevan: Yeah, absolutely.
Shane: So what did you study in college? You said journalism.
Kevan: Journalism. Yeah, so that was my other fun fact. It is, I'm super into newspapers and media. I started my own high school newspaper, which was me working in Microsoft publisher and then going to the copy room in school and printing off hundreds of copies and dispersing them.
Shane: So you literally did it? This was your newspaper thing and it was for the school or was it just kind of like Kevan's daily?
Kevan: Yeah, it was for this school. So once a week, nothing existed beforehand, so I did it from scratch. When you get to be a junior, senior in high school, sometimes you have some free time on your hands and free periods. So I filled my time doing that and it was fun.
Shane: That's awesome. And so how did you transition to digital marketing? For me there was a huge connect there, of journalism, how to get people to react to stuff and writing that. Some people might not get that connection, but I absolutely do. So for you how was that transition? What did you start off doing and then how did that transition to digital working?
Kevan: While I was getting my degree, I did a lot of internships at newspapers. I wrote for the Seattle post Intelligencer and some other ones in the Northwest and when I was in school that happened to be around that time that the newspaper industry was kind of shriveling up or changing or it just wasn't the same thing I thought I was getting myself into. And so I didn't take any newspaper jobs out of college. I kind of realized, Oh, this degree was nice. I don't know that I like A; the lifestyle of staying up till midnight on deadline every night. And then B; there weren't the same opportunities as I was thinking when I started. So I took a number of random jobs. Then on the side I was doing a lot of content marketing through the guise of a very silly sports blog where I was doing a silly sports bog and happened to learn content marketing through the course of that and just loved it. And I ended up getting a regular marketing job and continued to doing my blog on the side and kind of worked in some more official content stuff into the marketing job and that led me to this type of blogging, writing thing turned into a career. And that's when I found buffer and noticed that, yeah, you can do this as a career. You can also do it remotely which was just like a dream for me. So it lead me down that path. But I think journalism was a key thing that helped teach me how to work on a deadline, how to deliver when you say you're going to deliver, tell a story through writing, how to craft a blog post or an article, how to tell a story from start to finish and the compelling way. And I think that translates really well to blogging and content too.
Shane: So it’s just you guys now, does Buffer have a whole remote team?
Kevan: We do, yeah. We're fully distributed around the world. No headquarters.
Shane: Well that's interesting. I don't know if I knew that. I mean not that I needed to know that, but it’s the same thing with my team. My team is full remote, we're all over the world. Same deal. I have an office here in Sacramento, California, and I have an office here, but I don't have any clients that come here and my employees that have no idea how to find me other than the address on my website, they've never been here. So that's interesting. So how big is Buffer? How big is the company?
Kevan: We’re 80-85 people at the moment.
Shane: That’s cool. We've got about 34 I mean we're no Buffer. I mean it's a nice little business we got going on. So how did you run into Buffer? How that, first of all, working remotely is awesome, right? That's like hello. I mean that way you can get your stuff done. Still be good with timelines because of your journalism background. How did this all happen? Like what were you doing? And then all of a sudden buffer came along, you're like, wait, this is a good opportunity. And then obviously you're the VP of marketing, right?
Kevan: I am. Yeah. Luckily. It's been quite the journey. So I was doing just a regular marketing job, in office space cubicle work and that was in Idaho here and that job taught me a lot of different things. I was able to do very much. I'm very broad digital marketing type role. And in the course of that I also had my blog on the side. So I was learning content marketing there and I just kind of got tired of that type of job. I didn't see a lot of upward mobility from myself and started looking around and one of the tools that we used through if this then that we were connecting social media to a bunch of different stuff and I noticed the Buffer was one of the things there. So that was cool. Buffer does social media planning and things like that. So I gave it a try and then started learning tons about the company and this amazing culture that they had built apps and a company formed on values and remote work and all these different things that really resonated with me. And lo and behold, they had an opening for a content writer and I was like, Oh, that is amazing and wonderful. Like that is what I want to do and who I want to. There was the door. So I stepped right through the door and the door closed on me. I didn't get it when I applied I was thinking, Oh this is going to be great, but I didn't have any really references, no work outside of my silly sports blog and stuff. So it didn't work out that time. But I got a very nice rejection letter from Buffer and it was very hopeful and encouraging and just said, stay in touch and I’ve come to find out that's what they tell everyone. You get rejected. But I took it to heart. I thought it was very personal. So I did stay in touch and I kept in touch over email with the co founders and ended up connecting with some other folks in tech and wrote some different guest posts and things. And then about a year later, the job came open again. Buffer was hiring again and I had written for the buffer blog and that time in between some other tech blogs in Buffer space. And fortunately the door stayed open that time and so I was able to get in and get hired there and yeah, for the first couple of years I was a content writer as the team grew and changed, I was the second or third marketing hire and so I had the chance to just progress as the team grew and yeah, I ended up in the VP role today.
Shane: That's awesome. How many years ago was that?
Kevan: That was five years ago.
Shane: Wow. Five years ago. That's awesome. And Buffer has been around for what, seven years? Eight years?
Kevan: Yeah, seven or eight, I think closer to eight now.
Shane: Awesome. Okay, cool. So you were there in the beginning. I mean it was the beginning of years is when they were kind of grinding this thing. I'm trying to figure this thing out and all of a sudden you've moved up like Georgia wheezy, now you're in the VP of marketing role.
Kevan: Yeah. Hopefully we figured some things out the last five years.
Shane: Yeah, right. I know you guys are definitely on a lot of people's radar. I mean, I know I use Buffer, if not I wouldn't be able to put content out trust me. It'd be a slow process. I have such a small brain and if I can outsource anything to have somebody else go schedule stuff for me I'm all for it.
Kevan: The right tools help, don't they?
Shane: It is. I mean that's the thing. It's like how do you leverage it, right? It's always been incredible for me. If I remember Buffer’s like 10 bucks a month?
Shane: To me, that's like when you look at it like a sass, like any kind of software, every time I paid, I'm like, even if I didn't use that, that's worth it. Like $10 a month is so nominal and Buffer’s not paying me to say this. It was just my opinion. I was like, I can't believe it's only $10. It just seems so cheap for what you guys offer.
Kevan: Yeah, we think the value is really good. We have a really big bottoms up freemium approach, so we have millions of users then that funnels up into 75-80,000 businesses that use it. So it's one of those B to C to B models that we have done in the past where business to consumer to business. And so folks like you and folks like me will love Buffer. We'll get the taste of it and when we go to a company we'll take Buffer with us and it spreads that way. So it's still working out great.
Shane: That's awesome. That's kind of cool to hear that. So we're talking about visual content, right? Obviously the scheduling in Buffer. You can schedule visual content. What do you think the most important factors when it comes to things you should consider when you talk about visual content for your audience, because obviously you have the background with some content marketing and what do you think are the three like important factors?
Kevan: Yeah, there's a few that come to mind. So I mean the first one is always whenever possible, include visuals in the post that you send on social media. Include visuals in your content, marketing your blog posts. Whenever there's a chance to put a visual in that's going to tell a more powerful message is going to resonate stronger with your audience? We've done some studies on this. It shows that posts with photos get more engagement, more likes, more clicks, more comments, things like that. So definitely default to visuals. And then in terms of three tips for when you're choosing and using visuals, number one is to have a consistency to them. So there are a couple of different tools that we use for that. One of them is Canva. You can have some premade templates in there. You can have different colors and fonts. There's a tool called Figman that our design team uses and that helps us, as we've scaled, it helps us stay on brand really well too. I guess it's similar to Photoshop or sketch, but it's all in the cloud. Since we're remote, we can share these files back and forth across continents with each other and just kind of get a gut check for is this visual on brand, does this visual look consistent?
So consistency is a key one. Another one is to be on brand with who you are as a company. So not only are you using the same fonts and colors and things, but you're using the same similar style across everything. So if your style is very meme driven and your memes are similar and consistent across Instagram and Twitter, if your style is very professional and Polish photography, then you have that across every forum, you're not doing a little bit of this, a little bit of that, but you're choosing all the same types and styles of content, types of visual content. And then the third would be to take the single piece of content, single visual, and to repurpose it. So you might start with something on a blog post and Oh, you can either take that piece if you've created it yourself and do it in three or four different sizes. So it's tall and skinny. For Pinterest, its square for Instagram, it's horizontal for Twitter, take that piece and repurpose it. You may start with an infographic where you can cut that into four or five different pieces of visual content that then you can put out on social media. So think of everything as something that you can extend the life of as long as possible and send it in multiple places.
Shane: Yeah, the repurposing of content is important. A lot of people, I think, kind of miss out on that but it's like, Hey, just when you write a blog post, there's so many different things you can do with that. I mean, you can make it into a PDF, you can make it into an infographic. You can slice and dice it. Do you guys get a lot of traffic from Pinterest? I just recently listened to some blogs and they're like, Oh, Pinterest, I haven't really optimized for Pinterest or done anything. We just haven't. I just was curious when you guys do anything with Pinterest or it's not really a big play for you guys?
Kevan: Yeah, we keep up with it because we want to stay up to date with things, but it's not a big source of referral traffic for us, for source of signups. I think it has a really strong potential and power for particular companies and brands, but not so much for us at the moment.
Shane: Yeah, and the same thing with me, a lot of the podcasts that listened to her, like kind of some of them are affiliate driven and stuff like that. We got a good amount of traffic and I just wonder if, I mean for me, obviously it's all digital marketing and content marketing, SEO, all that kind of stuff. Influencer marketing, so I just don't know Pinterest. I would like to hear a company that's saying, yeah, we're crushing at Pinterest or get a million people and this is how we're optimizing for it and this is how we're converting people. But I just didn't know if Buffer was that company. You guys have an eyeball on it, but it's not a number one focus for you.
Kevan: Right, exactly.
Shane: Okay, so talk about Buffer and the type of content that you guys do enjoy putting out. What is your favorite visual content? I mean, is Buffer really big on infographics or do you guys do, I mean obviously there's, you guys have to produce that content for each channel, right? For Instagram or Facebook or Twitter. What's the content, you're like, wow, we've done really well with this type of content. We love to produce it because we get great results.
Kevan: Yeah. I would say our data studies are probably the biggest one for us. And then how that works with visuals is you have some really pretty charts and graphs to share afterward and we found that the data alone can tell a really compelling story in a pie chart or in a bar graph and it's something that is universal, easy to understand. So what we've ended up doing is coming up with a lot of our own data work with that. We might partner with the company to get some data and then send it out together. We might look into Buffer data ourselves to just plot some different tidbits there and yeah. Then when it comes to visuals, make it into a pretty graphic chart and send it out there.
Shane: Do you guys produce that kind of content to obviously A; educate the public about what you got going on? But you guys also do it because obviously there's a good backlink play to that as well, right? Cause when people go and you have this great study that was done, 5,000 bloggers that you interviewed about why blah blah blah. It's so much easier to do this or whatever that is. And then people will go to want a backlink to it. Because I know with my company, we go and we write articles. Obviously we're always looking for those studies and that's something we have smoked tons of original content, like our own specific studies. But we've talked about that because once again, there's a great backlink play of people go in, Hey there's Shane Barker that had this on his website and this is the data that he's seen over this because he interviewed these people and do you guys do that? Is that a backlink play for you or is that just like, Hey, we just want to produce great and be a thought leader in the space?
Kevan: Yeah, you're exactly right. I think it starts with the thing you just mentioned. We want to be a thought leader. We want to produce this because it's going to be helpful. And then yeah, secondary goals off of that, 100% it's tons of backlinks. There are tons of press mentions, notoriety. We'll even look at something. So we do annual state of reports. We do a state of remote work and a state of social media. And when we think about the launches for those, we'll launch them, but we don't really gauge the success of it for several months out because those things pick up traction all year round. Really. Like we're always getting those links back and press mentions and things. So we've really baked that into our process. We've even gone so far as to think about, can we embargo some of this data, can we go to the press outlets and say we're about to release this. Do you want an exclusive on this or that? It turned out it into a new source almost. And then yeah, you see those results throughout the year. It's kind of evergreen content that continues to get linked back and referenced.
Shane: So you guys actually have a study that is coming up like on remote work and where's that? Why did I not know this? Why am I not in the know right now? This bothers me.
Kevan: I don’t know. It's all good. We'll get you all looped into it next year.
Shane: Yeah, because I would love to. So how do you guys keep the team together? What do you guys use software wise I mean for us, I know we use obviously Google drive and we use Slack for communication. What are the tools you couldn't live without being a remote company?
Kevan: Yeah, we have a few ones. So you and I are on zoom right now. That's the biggest one for us with video synchronous calls. So we use that for that. We use Slack for our DMs, chatter, we have rooms for every different area of Buffer. A new tool that we've added recently is called threads and it is an asynchronous tool similar to a maybe a disclose forum type software. It's a replacement for internal email for us. We send a lot of emails, we have transparent emails too. That's one of our values is transparency and it got to be a lot as we scaled. So threads has been a place to put all that asynchronous communication in a place that is searchable and indexable and archivable and doesn't overwhelm you. Isn't like drinking from a fire hose. So that's been key for us. And yeah, you mentioned drive, so we went with more Dropbox. We’re more of a Dropbox company. We use Dropbox paper for our notes and then Dropbox files for file and storage.
Shane: That's interesting because I know that Dropbox obviously, cause they were trying to pitch us on that as well. Right. I mean obviously they want to be able to take some business from Google or from Microsoft. And so you guys use that. Have you guys felt that it's been good for you? I mean how long have you guys used it for?
Kevan: Yeah, for a very long time. We used Hackpad initially, which was a very old and a notes app and then Hackpad got acquired by Dropbox, which kind of became Dropbox paper. So we just kind of stayed with the flow there.
Shane: Natural transition for you guys. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. I've debated whether to try it. I mean we've had good successes with Google drive. I mean the problem is I've got 5 million Google drive documents together. The organization and the titling and having to process those has always been a challenge but we're working on that internally but considering the other software that you guys use to create visual content is Canva. That’s the main software that you use?
Kevan: Yeah, Canva is the main one. Canva is the one that we'll use in a pinch, so we need something quick. Let's go together and Canva. Figma is our Buffer wide design tool. We used to be on sketch. A lot of us still have a fondness for sketch. Those are more of our robust, high-powered ones. We want to do something super fancy. I will say a couple of neat social media ones that we've loved recently is Animoto. They do great videos for social, so super easy video editing and we've also been checking out bikeable and wave and they've been really cool for creating that visual content. But they also have some really neat if brand management systems built in there too. So you can, I think one of them you can put in like your brand colors and your brand fonts and automatically pull those into different video templates that you're making for social.
Shane: It's interesting. So vital. We did an expert Roundup posts with them for is Facebook ads step that we were doing for video that we'd interviewed me and we'd done some stuff together. So, and I haven't actually, this is terrible, but I actually haven't used the platform. My teams were on the visual side of things. We're not bad, but we don't do tons of video, which is unfortunate because we really should be, it's one of those like, I think I tell all my clients got to get into video and they're like, well, how much video you're doing? I'm like, don't you talk back? You're under the microscope right now. Okay. But that video is something that we, I think we definitely needed to do more stuff. We've done some video stuff, but nothing too crazy.
Kevan: yeah, it's made a big difference for us. I mean, you take something like After effects, which is, who even knows where to start with something like that. You think I should do video and it's like, Oh I have to learn after effects. That was a blocker for us for a really long time. So these tools like Animoto and bikeable, they've really made that easier because we're just like you, we know we should be doing video content, but there's always that hurdle to get over and these tools, I think they sensed that.
Shane: Yeah, because it said now it's easy to use right now it's, you can go create a piece of content. It'll take you an hour instead of going and finding somebody that's been 10 years and learning after effect. Because it's just set up, unless you're doing a crazy, crazy video, but there's steps you can do to get the point across on blog posts. Yeah, we've got to. that is a place that we want to improve upon off to look at vitamin because they've already reached out. We already have a good relationship. I think I even have an account. So vitals, listen, I love you guys. We're going to, we'll reconnect here. We'll continue the relationship. And so what do you guys look at like any kind of metrics or anything like when you guys have your visual content, what do you guys look at? Is it like Google analytics and you guys go, Hey, it looks like from these platforms like Instagram, all the pictures we're putting up there is producing in this. Like what are some of the metrics that you guys look at as being Buffer regards to visual content?
Kevan: Yeah, there are a couple of different ones. They kind of vary across the spectrum of hard, measurable ROI and softer brandness kind of thing. So on the softer side, we'll look at follower count as a measure of the quality of the visuals. So let's take Instagram for instance. at the moment we kind of wanted, I guess in the last few months we've shifted our Instagram strategy in a different direction and we're trying to tie a closer connection to Buffer the product and what we post on Instagram. Also trying to do like thematically some different color schemes and just kind of make it look like a really pro Instagram account. Then we're going to measure the success of that by followers. So do people come to our Instagram profile, look at our grid and think, Oh this is someone I want to follow. So that's the assumption there and that's the KPI for that one.
Then the other side of things, we will look at something like referral traffic clicks on social posts and we often end up doing is comparing this text only post to this post with the video or this post with an image or kind of compare different types of posts and see which ones get the most attention. Typically what we'll try to do is end up with a certain ratio on social media. So we'll do four of one type of post for every one have a different type of posts. So if we decide that photos are the big thing, then we'll do four photos for every one, you name it, different types of posts or retweet or at texts only. Tweet or something like that. So that kind of doesn't form the bulk of our strategy is what types of content are doing the best. And we'll measure that based on clicks back to the website.
Shane: Gotcha. And then have you guys seen this or I've seen this and I just wonder if you guys have over the Instagram and Facebook, any kind of video steps seems to outperform not 10 times but a lot better than a picture. A lot better than just a text based thing it doesn't have a picture. Have you guys seen that, the visual side of things from video?
Kevan : Yeah, we've seen a couple of different things. So the first is that a variety of media on your Instagram profile is key. So it's not so much exactly like always post a video because it's going to do the best, but do a variety. The actual content itself is going to speak the loudest. So for instance, we found that a picture of a dog is going to get a lot of likes on Instagram no matter what. And it doesn't have to be a video of a dog. Doesn't have to be a carousel of dogs, just any dog really does the trick. But when we look at it, we step back and look at our Instagram overall. We want to see, Oh cool, we've done, you know, three photos, we did a carousel, there's a video here and there's a variety of different things. That's key for us there. And the other thing that we've noticed is a really big shift towards stories. And that's been interesting from the visual marketing side because stories is totally visual. Like Instagram is totally visible that stories, especially if there's so many different visual components you can add there with the stickers and the background images, the actual the bulk of the stories as well. So with attention shifting then we've really focused on A; how can we get to a high quality bar with stories? B; Do we even need to get to a high quality bar with stories? We've got custom studies that say, you know, polished isn't necessarily best when it comes to Instagram or with stories. So we're kind of playing around with some things there. It feels a bit like the wild West kind of unknown at the moment of what's best for stories. But it's a huge visual platform for us and lots of different things we could be trying.
Shane: Yeah, and I think that's so funny. So my Instagram is pretty, I think we can, and I always think, you're always like really, like you look at your own stuff, you're like, Oh, I've got to improve that every week. I'm saying that's my team on something it's interesting. The Instagram stories has been interesting for me. I don't have a huge following that I've got a good size following there, but it's been kind of fun to produce content because for me, Instagram, I don't post as much cause I don't feel like any single guy really have the saves that Epic for that day. It's like I have no fun in like keynote speaking or something like that. Great. Then I'll do a great picture. But like day to day, I don't feel like it's anything too riveting. Like, Hey, look I’m eat a burrito. They're like, Oh my God, Shane's eating a burrito. Like nobody cares I’m eating a burrito. But stories has been interesting. Then people can kind of follow my day because I do have some interesting stuff that I do. Like when I get up and I go on runs and like yesterday, not kidding you, like I was walking and there was like, when this is in Sacramento, we're a good size city and there's like a coyote that just ran right down in the middle of the street, like right in front of me. And I don't know if I'm on drugs right now or like what? And this other guy looked at me. If somebody goes, “was that a coyote?” And I go, “yeah, I think that was a coyote” and he goes “okay, just making sure” then I’m like “yeah, me too.”
It was just a random cause you don't see coyotes in society. I mean it's right down the middle of the day and just went into the middle of the street, kind of like God. I feel like I hadn’t made a right turn, I should've made a left and just kept going. So that's that kind of stuff. I got a pretty good video of it, but it was just kind of that kind of stuff where you're like, if I told somebody I saw coyote running into the meaning of those stay there like dude, what are you on? I'm like, there's no way. That's not even, that's not true. Then I'm like, no, I've got a video. And so I'll put on my Instagram stories and people are like what else do you see? When I walk I just take pictures of random stuff that I see and it has nothing to do with marketing. It’s just like my journey of what I see. I'm like, you won’t believe the stuff that I see and be like, you don't see that. Something like that. So I started taking pictures. So anyways, and there was no strategy behind that. Literally it's just me like, Oh, I'm just going to post some stuff about like crazy day, I'm getting up at 5:00 AM to walk and it's like you never know what you're going to see in the city.
Kevan: yeah. But it humanizes you, it tells behind the scenes angle, which is really key.
Shane: Yeah, it does. Which is for me is important because I'd like to think that I have somewhat of a, a good sense of humor. Like I said, like this is an example, So this is kind of how things get a little funny. So on my Instagram stories today, there was pictures of condoms, not use, they were just a box. So I took a picture of it and I put ‘be safe people, safe today on a Monday’. I thought it hilarious. Yeah. And people look at and they're like, okay, yeah, I'll be safe. I'll condom right up. So creating that creative guy, for me it's kind of having fun with it. Like people where do you find this stuff? Most of the messages are like, I can't believe you. Like honestly, like pants. Like just like how, who forgets their pants? Like how do you lose your baby? What did I forget? Oh my pants this morning. And I'm like, I think I dropped them on the street. So anyways, that's my Instagram stories. That's my no strategy, just humanizing the fact that I'm out early in the morning running around with people and taking pictures, random pants on the street.
Kevan: No, it's all good. I think brands maybe think of it from the same perspective. Like Oh I sell XYZ product, that's boring. How can I turn that into an Instagram story? And really you can show all the behind the scenes stuff. You can show your marketing team working on things around the warehouse, you can show all these different attributes of your company. It's just a neat, neat way apart from the Instagram feed, which you know you might save for a certain type of visual aesthetic. Yeah. Kind of go wild in stories, which is fun.
Shane: That is kind of fun. It is kind of fun for me because once again it's just random stuff, but I am getting good engagement and then kind of having fun doing it and people are like, like one girl probably should, just you know, every morning just to see like what you'd find on your walks. I can go out. I'm like, I'm okay with that. Like there's no restraining order. I'm cool. Love it.
Kevan: Do you have a branded hashtag for the series?
Shane: I don't, well no. it's like hashtag things I find, things I find when I walk or things nice when I walk or something like that. I mean there's probably like three pictures and it's just all pictures of random stuff. On the visual side of things anyways. So you in your opinion, where do you think that the landscape of visual contents going to go? I mean obviously we've been hearing that Hey, video is going to start being a lot more plays when it comes to video side of things. I'm like, where do you think the visual content or what do you think it's going to go here in the next let's say, I don't know, let's say the next few years.
Kevan: Yeah, I think the video is a good safe call. I think live video could be another safe one there, but for me, and this might be a stretch from visual marketing, but what I see the trends moving toward is more interactive visuals. So if you take a platform like Instagram stories, there are a lot of interactive elements that you can put in their interactive stickers with polls and surveys and all sorts of different things. So I think that's going to be a bit more of the move as we're seeing social media become less of this broadcast platform and more of a one to one or one to few conversations bit more privatized. I think what we're going to see is, people wanting to interact with not only the person but also the content that they're putting out there. And I think visual market is going to play a really key role in that. We're seeing it a little bit with the stickers and things in stories, but I think it'll go even further in the future. I think Instagram had the pinch to zoom feature in the past where you can really interact with the photo even and so then we're going to start to see more and more of that come out.
Shane: It's interesting. Yeah. I play with the stickers every once in a while. Do little polls here and there. And it is interesting because it is more engaging. now you have, I mean so right. How do you engage your audience better and you ask them questions, right? You put some kind of call to action on there or something. So now it's obviously that's now they can have something that you're telling them or asking them something and they’re engaging with your console at a higher level than they would be before the just looking at something. interesting. Yeah. So I think I'm with you on that. I think Instagram's going to be interesting next few years for sure. So you obviously are working at Buffer, but do you have any like side hustle and I don't know if you can even tell us if you do, but I mean do you have any like side projects? Are you the guy that's like, Buffer eight hours a day or is it like, well I've got this kind of little side thing and I'm writing a book or doing something? Is there anything crazy fun that you can disclose since this is being recorded and your bosses will probably see it? I mean, is there anything you can tell us?
Kevan: Oh totally. Yeah. Transparency is a key thing of buffer, so I can tell you anything you want to know.
Shane: Yeah, that’s awesome.
Kevan: I mean in terms of side hustles, I have a family and a child and things, so that takes up with some good hustle time, which is time well spent for sure. On the tech and marketing side, I'm trying to build my own email list and maybe turn that into a thing. So if you want to subscribe you can head over to Kevanlee.com there's the footer there, right? Yeah, that's been a really fun medium. I think being at Buffer, we're into social media so often and we don't do a lot with email and that's always been a passion of mine. So I find a lot of my side projects gravitate more towards that end of the spectrum these days, this kind of building out my expertise there.
Shane: And when you talk about like building your subscriber list, is that going to be maybe the course down the road or is that just to share your content? What’s your goal with that? Is that so, I mean, I know a lot of people because I worked with a lot of influencers and people, Jeff courses. I mean for them it's like bridging money cause I got a 10,000 heavily engaged people want to have a new course come out, everybody, I can have 2% of the people open it or whatever it is the numbers are and I can make five grand, 10 grand from that. Do you have a bigger goal in mind or is it that you're just going to collect emails and then one day you're going to send out the email of like money, what's your plan for one video email?
Kevan: Yeah. I mean of course this thing does appeal to me. I also totally admire all the work that goes into that for folks. It’s a lot of work that goes into that whole side of things. What's been really interesting to me is this like paid newsletter trend and so I'm looking at sub stack is a really cool new tool out there and kind of seeing what the possibilities are there. It's a mix of, you build up the list, you send out a free email maybe once a week, once a month, and then the rest of the time you're sending out paid newsletters to folks who want to subscribe to hear more from you. And so I'm going to explore that model a little bit and what I really like is the intersection of journalism with that trend. I feel like that's something that I might have a couple of different skill sets and then maybe can tie my expertise together. So taking a journalistic lens to tech and marketing and these emerging technologies that are coming out, putting all that expertise and journalistic eye into an email newsletter and then hopefully getting some subscriptions from that.
Shane: Interesting. So in theory the model would be haste once a week you send out a regular email, but if you want to be part of the VIP list, so what would be the difference between the email that you send out for the general public and the private email? Is it like, here goes Kevan's do blog posts that he put out. This one is like, here goes Kevan's BIP. Like look on how he been at this for a certain key words or kind of give me what it is.
Kevan: Yeah, totally. So it would be kind of more around thought leadership. So it looked like, MailChimp had this big rebranding campaign, here's what it means for you. Tick-tock is blowing up. What does it mean for marketers day and you have to pay, you have to subscribe to get access to that kind of content. It might be here are the latest jobs in tech, subscribe to get these. And then the free one would be here's a monthly Roundup of cool links, which is what I send now to my list. So it'd be kind of maintaining that and adding this paid component onto that. Like if you want to hear more opinions, if you want to stay on top of these trends with the target audience being anyone from founders and CEOs of tech companies, VPs, marketers, kind of executives to VCs, perhaps people with an eye toward what's the next hot trend, next investment opportunity.
Shane: Interesting. And can you tell us how big your email list is right now?
Kevan: It's in the thousands and I think the tens of thousands is where I'll need to be to really monetize in a good way.
Shane: Gotcha. And then I'll have to look into that because we send out a newsletter quite often, probably two or three times a week. But just to kind of show people some content and kind of share some of the things we've got going on. I've never thought about monetizing it though. I mean monetize it as in, Hey, you want to see you the VIP content and we are working on a course how to be an influencer, like a course on to train influencers. I teach a class at UCLA. It's a personal branding and how to be an influencer. But really what it is, is how to build a brand. It’s like you're an influencer, you're doing this step and you want to do this, this, this and this. Like how do you get an email address? How do you get a domain name? How do you get this foundational stuff before you're going to go out there and you're going to start pitching Nike from a Gmail account, right? they're going to be like, you don't even know. you got to make put your best foot forward. So we're working on that right now. The courses does take a lot of time. You don't realize how much time it takes. It's a jump in the middle of it. You're like, man, this thing is time consuming, but it's cool. Let's say once it goes live and hopefully there'll be some money to make and hopefully you can educate the masses.
Kevan: Yeah, it's true. I found that I'm more of a starter than a finisher. And so at the start of projects, I'm really excited. I'm like, “Oh, look at this amazing thing we're going to do”. And as the project goes on, I'm like, “Oh wow, this is a lot of work than I signed myself up for”.
Shane: You are preaching the church right now. I know they're listening to this. They're like, man, those guys are the same because I'm like, and this is what we're doing. This is exciting. Look at this. Super pumped. And then two weeks later they're like, so what happened to that? I'm like, well here's the deal. I didn't know I was going to have to do 800 videos and so we should add a little bit. But yeah, the hard part is you trying not to just go after all the shiny things, right? Because when you listen to podcasts you hear stuff like, now in my mind I'm thinking, I can monetize my email list, for me my team's probably going to go, no, we're not going to try and monetize your email this week’, then, who knows? I might try and do it, but it's just kind of interesting when you see that kind of stuff, it's like you always want to try to do some cool stuff and for marketers it's always AB testing and let's see what works. For me it would be less about trying to make that money and more about, Oh what was I able to do there? How I was able to make 1000 bucks. Let me show you how I did that. So it'd be more of like testing for me and having fun. And so if you're listening to this and you get a paid email from me, please click on the link and pay money so I can tell everybody that I was successful through paid emails. Cool. So rumor has it you're starting a podcast. Is that also, I heard it once and I can't say where I got my sources from, are you doing a podcast?
Kevan: That would be fun. Yeah, that was one of my things I wanted to start and then I got into it and realized podcasts are a lot of work. So I have four interviews in the can and now I'm at the point where I need to figure out what to do with them. So yes, I might start a podcast this year too.
Shane: Okay. Podcast, I’m telling you man, it's so funny. So the premise of it seemed very simple, right? You're like, Oh you just interview somebody and then you put it up on a blog and you have one of your people put it up on whatever it is on Amazon aren't on Amazon, on Apple, iTunes and then life's good. Mine has taken, I won't even tell you how long it's taking cause it's like it's let's put it this way or we're going to go live July 15th and my first interview is in October. Now you do the math on that one, my friend. And we've been working on it really. We want to make sure this is right, everything's good and we've got to produce and I probably have 15 under my belt at this point and shout out to my team has done just a phenomenal job. but it is, I mean you don't realize how much work it is until you can, you want to do it the right way and just, it's a lot of moving pieces in it to like get a lot of people moving in the same direction and doing this and producing the content and the interviews. And you know, the cadence of that and you know, it just, it is, it's an ongoing process, but we've got it down to play. The cool part about is we're down to, we've got systems in place now, so now processes, so now we're going to have other companies that I have, like I have a real estate investment company and I'm some other companies that you wouldn't even know that I had, but we're going to start doing a lot of podcast stuff with them and so it's going to be nice cause now we've got that process in place. It's not going to take seven months to get it going. So yeah, I'm excited. Yeah, that'd be cool. Yeah. Well good luck with that podcast if you need a fourth guest.
Kevan: I appreciate it. Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about a podcast like me? Anything you've learned that I need to know at this stage?
Shane: Yeah, don't do it. Like get out of it as soon as you can. No, I'm just kidding. Yeah, it's the easy way out. No, I mean I think it comes down to processes and like really what your goal is with the podcast. For me, my goal is really to just talk with cool people, right? So I enjoy that side of it. If it generates business, I mean Shane Barker's marketing madness podcast, I mean that doesn't really scream lead generation, right? You want people to watch it and enjoy it and have a good time and get some interesting facts. Right. About buffer, whoever the guest is. That's kind of the goal and I want it to be entertaining. Like I want people to, like I said, I mean when lady, I'm not going to say her name, but you'll know once it goes live, but she was in a cult for 21 years. Like who knew that would have happened or just random conversations where unlike that just doesn't seem like, you a brand new year with the company you're with. Like that's what they want. Oh this is what we have; this is what we're going. I'm like, well that's interesting. Why is that? Just kind of finding Intel and you can learn so much from other people that are doing things right. So I think for me that's important, to give some good information but also for it to be fun. I want people to listen to podcast and go, wow, that was kind of cool. Shane's kind of crazy. I think he might be on something because he's seen coyotes right in the middle of the street, which is not too common here in Sacramento. So anyways, I just enjoy that. I enjoy the interactions.
Also it's the networking as well. It's been interesting as well. So, but I would say if you're going to do a podcast, just understand what it's going to take, right?
Because you have the people that you're going to interview, so you got to go find those people and then you've got to get the questions together. Assuming you're going to have some kind of a question and answer thing, then you actually, you can do it on zoom or there's a lot of software, so that's awesome. You've got to record it. And you've got to send it over to somebody else and you got to spice it up in case you sneezed or did whatever you on the podcast, right? So then you've got to get that out. Then you've got to go put that file up some places and you can't just put it up in here. You've got to put it in 10 different places. So building audiences, all of them. Then you gotta be able to go live on the site. You've got to send the guests all the content and the pictures. And say, Hey, we're going live in three days, please share and promote. Then we put it up there and now we've got to distribute all of that. So I mean it's just a lot of moving constituents. You don't realize how much work goes into it because you think I'm just going to reach out to you and you're like, Hey man, let's do this on Tuesday. Sounds good. You put on your microphone, I put on mine and then we did a little interview and then all of a sudden posting goes live. There's just a lot of moving pieces. I think it's going to be worth it. And with the time investment that goes into it because once again it's also cool meeting cool people, right. That I would maybe not meet unless I was at an event or speaking or something like that.
So anyways, it's been fun, but I think we'll know, for me, I don't have any, for me it's just meeting cool people and the networking. If I generate business from it, that would be awesome. But it's not my number one driver. for me is just having good conversations with people.
Kevan: Makes sense. Maybe your next course can be podcast process.
Shane: Maybe we will be like how you can do this quicker than one year, right? I feel like everything can be a course. there's all kinds of stuff that, even the remote working thing. People like, how do you do that then be successful at it and it's taken we've hired hundreds of people over the last whatever, 1520 years. But it's like that whole process. It's what was interested about buffer because of the tools you use and how that interaction and stuff and keeping my team is, I have an awesome team because we obviously our processes to hire people is a lot different than was originally, originally was like, Oh you're a writer. Great, let's just bring you in now you go through a process and make sure that you're, you know, there's certain things that you do and understand our culture and how we do things. And so the process is fine tune it took a while to get there, but it's nice. So it's kind of fun with the remote culture and how to get things done and get things going. It's kind of fun.
Kevan: Absolutely. Yeah. We've done scale shares on social media and we've done scale shares on how to build a company with values so I feel like anything is open for courses these days.
Shane: Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, it is. It's all valuable knowledge, right? It's all the stuff that you gained. In fact, I was just telling my son this, I'm like, it's a different game these days because anything you want to go learn, like you guys could have spent $100,000 on how you guys have tightened up your culture. What are you guys did to be able to get that certain culture and now I can go tap into that for $49 or $97 or whatever the number is, and that's interesting to me because I mean it's like a mentor. I mean you can just go in there and learn how people did things. Like I said, now I listen to more podcasts before I didn’t really listen to that, even when I started my podcast I didn’t listen to podcast, I just wanted to do a podcast. It's just interesting the more that kind of hear how things are put together, that whole process and the opportunity. Once again, I try not to go after the shiny stuff, but just today I'm listening to this, Amazon is white labeling. My team could totally do that, but they would be like, no, we're not going to do that today. You're crazy. You need to be medicated. And I'm like, okay, probably.
Kevan: Yeah, that's the problem for us starters. It's too easy to learn stuff, I think.
Shane: That's it man. And you want to try some cool stuff. That’s what I enjoy. We have our clients or consulting business and my real estate stuff and all of a sudden things, but I'm always looking for some, it's not always money to me. It's like I want to have some fun. Let's kind of learn something new. And so I enjoy that. But I am not a good finisher for the most part. I mean we've done big workshops for brands and all that stuff on the influencer side, but it's still, I am definitely, I need, my partner, he's the guy that makes my dreams come alive. Without him and this is what we're going to do. And I'm like, this is how we need to do, and I'll be up to the whole strategy together and if I don't have somebody to implement it for me, man, it's going to be a lonely day because I'm like nobody else? I'm just like, Oh, this is a great player, this, I've got it all together and let's say printing and arrows and check marks and all kinds of fun stuff looks really great.
Kevan: You surround yourself with the right people. That's it.
Shane: That's it. It's taking awhile to realize that. It's like, listen, I'm a doer, but I'm a doer up to a certain extent where I need to have somebody else take that Baton. Right. So it's like I'm good for one lap, I'm better where it's like we have the three other people that are doing the lap and then that'll be one mile.
Kevan: it makes sense.
Shane: Yeah. It took a while to figure that out. So tell us. Okay, so other than you've got the family obviously that's awesome. You got Buffer. What do you do to unwind? Do you really enjoy writing? Is it reading a book? What do you enjoy?
Kevan: Yeah, thanks for asking. So I do like reading, I read over a hundred books last year and will probably not read that many this year. I might pace myself a bit more, but that is a fun way to unwind. I read a wide variety of things, so a good mix of stuff and I do like writing, so that's another key thing. Often write more creatively when I'm unwinding. Yeah, a nice creative outlet for me. And yeah. Then playing games and playing outside. I like skiing in the winter, so lots of good family outdoor activities.
Shane: Awesome. What is your favorite books? I mean I have 100,000 of them. You probably have a few, but what are the different genres that you like, what is it like? Is it all business is personal development, what is it?
Kevan: Yeah, it used to be a lot of business and personal development. So I think my tastes kind of ebb and flow, so it used to be a lot of that. I've taken a break from that more recently. Now it's a lot of memoirs. It's a lot of historical narrative, nonfiction so stories from the past. Ah, loved reading, writing books, writing books are probably some of my favorite. Just hearing how all these different tips on how to write better. So it's kind of a strange mix. I'd say I skew a bit more toward the nonfiction side of things at the moment.
Shane: It's funny. So I like some personal development, I like some business books, but just in the last year it was motorcycle gangs. That's a random fact for you guys. Don't like all like the hell's angels and the Mongols and like, I don't know what it was, but I'm getting tied into this thing. I guess maybe I was a hell's angel and I got killed in my past or something. Here I am now. I don't know what happened, but I was really into like gangs and how they collide. It’s so weird to say out loud because it went from like personal help. Like Oh like how do you make yourself a better person to like how do I kill the gang member’s leader? And I'm like, yeah, get him. But right now, I don't even understand where this, once again, Shane Barker’s marketing madness podcast. Yeah. I don't know if it has to do with motorcycle gangs, but there was, there's a connection there for me. I don't know what it is, but I've just been listening to those types of books.
Kevan: Yeah. Do you ride a motorcycle?
Shane: No. That’s what I’m saying. There’s no sort of connection. I try a scooter and I'll probably crash. I was raised by hippies. They're like, you are not getting on a bike at all. I mean any kind of motorcycle? No, there's, yeah. So my uncle when I was really young, rode a motorcycle and I think I went on at once or twice so that it might be a picture of me with a helmet. But it's not like I'm like riding my Harley and fighting local bandits or something on the weekends. I mean, I'm pretty low key like that, but I don't know, who knows?
Kevan: Go figure. I read a book recently about Cod fishing, which I have no connection to whatsoever, especially here in Idaho, like very landlocked. So yeah, it's weird the things that catch our attention.
Shane: Yeah, it is. I don't even know how I jumped onto a motorcycle gang thing. I don't know. It obviously must have been a great little intro. I was like, Oh, this is something I'm going to check out. How funny. And you've touched on skiing, so are you a big travel fan? Do you like to travel a lot?
Kevan: I don't, no. I feel bad for saying that because I would like to travel. But no, I'm quite a homebody, so I'm lucky that in Idaho we have some good skiing nearby.
Shane: Well to me, I look at that like you don't have to be like the cool traveler. To me it's like, Hey, you like to be home. And I mean it's perfect for Buffer, right? I mean you're in a remote position, right? You're like, I can just stay at my house and that's how you want to be. To me there's nothing wrong with it. That's kind of cool. So if there was going to be a trip that we would want to go on and you'd say pretty much local and we'd go skiing local area.
Kevan: I'm trying to have a growth mindset with it and understand the value of travel. So I'm trying to set a limit of, or I guess a minimum of traveling once a year somewhere ideally outside of the US so I think I can commit to once a year and the rest can be around the house. So Switzerland would be lovely. They have some wonderful skiing there and some good skiing in Japan and always wanting to visit over there. So I have some options on the table.
Shane: Sure. Alright, cool. You got the list. Got a little international list. It's funny, so my speaking stuff that I do, my keynote speaking, I think I've said this in a podcast in the past, but if somebody reaches out to me that's a country I haven't been to they, I shouldn't even say this out loud, but my speaking fees go down tremendously. I should never say this, because now anybody from international could be like, ah, we can get him. Yeah. For me it's more of like I enjoyed, this is the funny part, I enjoy traveling a lot but then when I'm in the middle of it, I've been gone for like 12 days. I miss my family, I miss this and it's like, God, I don't want to travel as much and then I'll be home for 10, 20 days or whatever it is. And I start to get cabin fever a little bit. I'm like, Oh man, I need to get to somewhere. So then I'll do that. I mean threatened to buy a van, like a big old minivan fact I am going to do this and travel all over the US like all 50 States. Put the marketing podcasts on the road go meet different entrepreneurs or marketers and stuff.
I am going to do that, I’ll probably do it next month and my wife's, she's like, you're crazy. Go ahead and go do your thing. I'll just fly out every week or whatever and come say hi. She’s a nurse. So like she's seven days on, seven days off, seven on, seven off. But anyways, I'm kind of excited about that. Like I do like the journey. I feel like for me I want to feel like I'm not missing out but I want to go, it's fun going to meet people and chat with people and having a good conversation. Like I really enjoy that. That's for me, I think I need that. Which is interesting. I'll let you know when the RV goes by. We'll come to Idaho and come say hi.
Kevan: That's great. Is there anywhere I should put on my bucket list to visit that you've loved?
Shane: So this is not controversial by any means, but I was a huge fan of Sri Lanka now, which is really crazy as is one of the hotels that were bombed was the hotel I spoke at. I was a keynote speaker there. Yeah. So Cinnamon hotel. And it was phenomenal hotel. Great people. I mean the people in Sri Lanka are just great. I mean, I judge a culture, I judge people. Not judge that sounds terrible but I do, in my head, like if I smile at you and if you smile back, I judge how happy people are because I'm 6’2”, big old red beard and I'm really white. I'm kind of scary, not scary, scary, but scary enough. Right. And so I always smile at everybody and that's here in California as well. Like I'll be walking, I'll say, Hey, good morning. And people are going to look at me like, I don't even know that guy. Why’d he you say good morning? I judge people on that, they're like I make people uncomfortable because I say hi to them. And I say good morning cause, not to make them feel uncomfortable but I want them to feel like I want to spread a little joy. You can be having a terrible day and somebody says, Hey, have a good day or whatever. So I'll be on a call with my team and I'm like, Hey have a good day. Hey have a good day. My team is like, what are you doing? Like leave people alone. I enjoy that. I want people to, I don't know. For me it's a, I dunno.
So anyways Sri Lanka and what the reason I was telling you that is, cause if just smiling everybody was always smiling. Everybody was always smiling. So I had a really great experience in Sri Lanka. In India, I had some great times in India as well. My trips are a little different because I was kind of VIP and that's because when I was a keynote speaker there. They checked me on a seven day trip. So everything was paid for. So when I say that I love the country will obviously I was being moved around in private, not private jets but jets. Yeah. So it was different. I would just show up and they were like, Hey come show up and then here's a drink and here goes this. And it was all free. I’m like Oh that's the best price. It's free.99. So anyways, I had good experiences there, but I've been to Thailand. Thailand was fun. I've been to Australia but I've been to a lot of countries and each one you have a different experience in different things you do and each them when it comes to the food and the people. I just haven't really had any bad experiences traveling, you know, little things here and there, but nothing too crazy enough that I go, Oh my God, this is a country that I would never say don't go to any country cause that's just my own experience. Right?
I didn't have a great time when I was in England because it was very expensive. And you know, we were the beginning of a trip that I was going on for about six weeks, but I wouldn't say don't go to England because you could go there and absolutely love it. But for me it just, it wasn't number one. We end up going to Amsterdam for another week. So anyways, it's that kind of stuff where I'm like Spain was awesome. Like just the museums and the culture and the food. My God, the food, like Cinderella, the fun stuff. So it was fun. I'm a kind of, like I said, I want to call myself a major traveler and then two weeks I'm like, God, I want to be home and then I'm home. I'm like, no, I want to go on a trip again.
Kevan: That's great. We went to Singapore for a Buffer retreat last year and loved it. So that part of the world is great.
Shane: So I actually have a client in Singapore. My first time in Singapore was probably three months ago. Blew me away. Absolutely. It blew me away. The culture, how strong of an economy it is and just how beautiful was, did you go to a Marina by the sky, by the sea? The big old, it looked like a boat that was like in the pool. The cram pool. Yeah. I was thoroughly impressed on how clean the city was. I mean there was nothing on the ground, not the gums. I went and asked the guy when I was leaving, I didn't know this. I went up to a little chocolate place and I was like, “Hey, do you guys need to go sell gum?” And he looked at me like, I asked him like “Hey, you got any heroin on you or anything like that?” Because he was like, “gum, we don't have gum here.” And I'm like, Oh. And then I found out later, they don't like it because you could like eat off the street. I was thoroughly impressed with Singapore.
Kevan: Yeah, it was amazing. It was like being at Disneyland for us. It’s such a great experience.
Shane: Yeah the light shows and all that kind of stuff. The food is phenomenal. I mean it's not cheap, but it was just nothing but a good experience. Yeah, we had a great, I had a great time in Singapore. I would definitely go back to Singapore. Malaysia I'd been to, but I'd like to go some other place. So anyways, I, we could, we can talk about another hour on all the different places, but hopefully you get the chance to travel in some ski places maybe in Japan or something like that or obviously Switzerland's a no brainer.
Kevan: Yeah, for sure.
Shane: Well, cool. So if anybody needed to get in contact with you, I mean, just randomly and maybe at Buffer or if you want somebody to join your newsletter, where could they get ahold of you at?
Kevan: Yeah, so I’m @KevanLee on all social channels. So K. E. V. A. N. L. E. E. And my website is Kevanlee.com. And if you want to check out what Buffer does and see what we're about, we're at buffer.com
Shane: Awesome. Kevan, this was an awesome little interview, but I appreciate you taking the time today and I'm sure we're going to be keeping in touch and I'll let you know when we send over all this fun collateral when the interview goes live.
Kevan: Definitely. This is great. Thanks so much, Shane.
Shane: Thank you. We'll talk soon.
Kevan: All right. Bye. Bye.
Shane: Bye bye.