Instantly Creating Connection With Anyone You Want To Know

Last Updated February 25th, 2020

James Carbary, creating connection, content based networking

 


Apple Podcasts / iTunes | Google Podcasts | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify

 

Imagine if creating connection and building relationships translated into business growth and success. Wouldn’t you do everything in your power to make those connections happen?

Of course you would. But it can be an awkward journey if you go about it the wrong way.

It doesn’t have to be, though. And you don’t need to rely on luck, hope, or serendipity.

It can be as simple as identifying the right people, creating connection, and collaborating on good content. And you can find out exactly how to do this in our latest podcast episode, in which we unpack an approach to building relationships called “Content-Based Networking.”

“We knew that we needed to connect with VPs of Marketing at B2B technology companies with 50+ employees,” wrote James Carbary, founder of Sweet Fish Media and host of the B2B Growth podcast, in his book Content-Based Networking: How To Instantly Connect With Anyone You Want To Know.

I was one of those people … a VP of Marketing at a B2B tech company with more than 50 employees.

Now, four years later, James and I are not only content collaborators – we’re friends. He’s a BombBomb customer and his company, Sweet Fish Media, produces The Customer Experience Podcast.

We’ve produced several pieces of content together over the years, like this podcast episode and this blog post and video.

This is what content-based networking is all about: collaborating with specific people on content in order to create a connection with them that could turn into future business.

Listen in as we talk about all things content-based networking with James. We discuss:

What impact content-based networking has on CX
How to create your own luck
Why the process of building relationships is more important than the outcomes
Why you should take a journalistic approach to content creation
How to balance online connection with offline connection

Listen to our entire conversation right here:

 

For the full podcast experience, subscribe, listen, and rate/review on:

 

James Carbary, content based networking

 

Full Transcript: Creating Connection With Content-Based Networking

James Carbary:
Man, I legitimately have goose chills right now. And that was probably the best intro I have ever heard in my life. Thank you so much. That’s incredible.

Ethan Beute:
Sure. And none of it is really about what an awesome person you are, we could’ve gone down that road too. But here we are, it’s so great to have you on the show. It’s a show that your team is kind enough and excellent at producing for me and the team here at BombBomb. It’s a pleasure to be your customer. And so we’ll start with where we always start with everyone, which is your thoughts on customer experience. Like when I say customer experience, what does that mean to you?

James Carbary:
Yeah. So I read a book probably about a year ago called “Never Lose a Customer Again” by Joey Coleman, you’ve had him on the show, we’re both big fans of Joey, and when I think about customer experience, so much of my thinking really comes from what I learned in that book. Joey walks through eight phases that a customer goes through and I think up until reading that book, I thought that … I had been spending the bulk of my time thinking about really before people become customers, right? It’s the sales and marketing, what’s the experience leading up to someone being a customer?

James Carbary:
And in reading Joey’s book and seeing that that’s really only … that’s stage one, but it’s only one of eight stages. And after reading that book, we started really thinking about what are ways that we can be intentional and thoughtful throughout the entire customer experience?

James Carbary:
And another kind of big takeaway for me from that book and it’s just really shaped answering your question, what I think about customer experience is instead of so often in companies, you celebrate when you close a new deal, when that new business … you bring the sales going, you do all the celebratory things there, but what Joey says in the book is you should actually be not celebrating until you get the first result for your customer, because that’s why they signed up was to get an actual result from your product or from your service.

James Carbary:
And so just re-oriented our thinking around that, so it’s probably a much longer answer than I should’ve given. But that’s how I think about it, it’s customer experience is getting the result for your customer, and I think doing that in a way that is thoughtful and intentional is how really I think about customer experience.

Ethan Beute:
It’s awesome. That was a great book, and I was so glad to have him on the show. So actually, that was a great answer as long as it was. Because A, you’ve left people with something they can do, go read “Never Lose a Customer Again,” or check out, I forgot which episode it is, somewhere in the teens on this show to get into that.

Ethan Beute:
And you’re exactly right, there’s so many business models. You and I both have in the businesses that we’re in, you founded yours, I work in mine, it’s recurring revenue. Right? It’s you want that person to stay for three years, five years, eight years, and then, of course, all the other good things, and so it’s especially important to have that mindset of impact and new impact and repeated impact or results is the word you use. So love it, great reference.

Ethan Beute:
So talk about that practically, maybe give one or two things, like what did you do inside Sweet Fish Media specifically toward this effort?

James Carbary:
Yeah, so getting … figuring out … In that book, Never Lose a Customer Again, they talk about this feeling of buyers’ remorse and we sell into larger companies. So these are companies that they’re marketing decision-makers, but in a lot of ways, this is a really big risk for them. So their CMO is going to be looking at this initiative in six months or a year, and they’re going to be held accountable to hey, this podcast idea that you have actually work. And so when a marketer makes a decision to work with us, there are real-life consequences for that, and because of that, there’s common emotion that comes along with making a big purchase decision and it’s buyers’ remorse.

James Carbary:
And so when I read that part of the book, I thought man, what can we do to help alleviate that buyers’ remorse that our customers are inevitably feeling whenever they sign a contract to work with us for six months or a year.

James Carbary:
And I thought man, we have a really fun culture, we’ve got a really friendly team, what if we sent these little videos shortly after someone signed a deal and we got introduced to their producer and started our process, what if we just sent a little video that said, “Hey Sally and the rest of the team XYZ corp, I’m going to be your producer, really looking forward to working with you on this.” And then it pans over to our COO who says hello and it’s a personalized greeting.

James Carbary:
And so we started doing these, and honestly Ethan, it had such a bigger impact that we get more comments on that little two-minute video that we send that shows the faces of six or seven people from our team, than we do from so many other things that we’ve done.

James Carbary:
I mean we’ve done these elaborate paintings for new customers where we put their face next to Oprah and Ellen and Jimmy Fallon, and we had some people that acknowledged that they got it, but most people didn’t really say anything about it. These videos that we send, it blows people away, and you can just tell … like they’re so much more excited about getting started when they’ve seen this little video.

James Carbary:
So that’s one little kind of micro thing that we’ve incorporated into our customer experience.

James Carbary:
In terms of delivering the result, one thing that we did was really tighten up our launch processes so that we could from our side be able to confidently say we are doing everything we can to be able to get your show live within 30 to 45 days, because we know that if we can get your show up and going in a very brief time window, then you’re going to start seeing the results of the relationships you’re forming with your guests, the content that’s coming out of that, that we’re repurposing on LinkedIn for you, those types of things.

James Carbary:
So tightening up that launch process, and then those little videos that we started doing, both have been game-changers from a customer experience standpoint.

Ethan Beute:
You know it warms my heart to hear you say how effective a simple video is. I love the one that I received, because it’s … and we will not have a giftology conversation, that’s a separate episode and you’re a master of it. But it was about me and you have a distributed team, and so I got to see all these different people and if I need to reach out, they’re real people now, they’re not just email signatures or titles or whatever. It’s just such a nice warm touch. Love it. Thanks for those examples.

Ethan Beute:
Let’s switch over to “Content-Based Networking” but stay in the same zone here, when I read “Content-Based Networking,” which was a great read, so fun, super practical, really good stories, tips, tactics, etc., it immediately occurred to me that it flips a couple big pieces of customer experience on its head, especially up in kind of like that prospecting area, that’s kind of like the networking part of it, is like let’s get to know each other.

Ethan Beute:
But how do you think about “Content-Based Networking” relative to customer experience? If I mash those two things together, is that do anything for you? Is that interesting.

James Carbary:
Yeah, yeah, so I think it has a lot to do with it just because so much of customer experience, I mean the title of your book, like “Rehumanize Your Business,” it’s humanizing a mode of communication.

James Carbary:
And when you think about like business development in sales and that stuff that happens on the front-end like the prospecting activity, that’s typically a very … We’ve made it a very inhuman thing, we send out these mass blast emails or we put a token in for their first name and maybe their company name. But you can smell those things from a mile away, as opposed to flipping it a little bit and saying, “Hey, what if I actually tried collaborating with this person to create some content with them, knowing that that’s ultimately going to create a relationship that could actually turn into business?”

James Carbary:
And you alluded to it, I mean that’s how I met you, we were doing a virtual summit, you weren’t even a guest on our podcast for a while after that, you were a guest for our virtual summit that we were doing, and I think it was Content Summit 17 or something, so it was three years ago.

James Carbary:
And through that, we built a meaningful relationship, we talked about podcasting a little bit at the end of that conversation, but it was I think a year or two down the road before we ended up working together.

James Carbary:
And that’s okay, because we created this genuine human connection, and I think when you think about customer experience, it’s so much about humanizing the experience. That’s why I love so much and why we use BombBomb at Sweet Fish, is because it humanizes the interaction in a way that very … that’s really hard to do, but I think content collaboration takes that to even another level of actually like being able to work on a piece of content together with someone that makes the person that you’re wanting to connect with look awesome.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, it’s so good. I actually missed a step, I should’ve asked you to give a … just a definition, like you defined it very nicely and concisely in the book a couple of different times and even a couple different ways, but for folks that are listening right now, what is content-based networking?

James Carbary:
Yeah, so content-based networking essentially is content collaboration with the exact people that you want to know.

James Carbary:
So in a sales context, that’s potentially customers, so if you’re selling to … if you’re selling to be a piece of marketing, a B2B type of company with 50+ employees, go and create content with those people, like we do on our show B2B Growth or we’ve done virtual summits, we’ve done a lot of different things where we can collaborate with them. But it transcends that too, Ethan, because if you’re a college student that just graduated and you really want to work at a particular company in your city that’s won awards like BombBomb has, best place to work, you want to work there, how do you do it?

James Carbary:
Well, what if you came up with a series of videos that you did on YouTube where you interviewed a bunch of hiring managers at all the different best places to work in your city or in your region or whatever, creating content with those hiring managers, you create enough of those relationships, there’s a pretty good chance you’re probably going to have … your resume is going to go to the top of the stack whenever those companies start hiring for a position that you’re interested in.

James Carbary:
It can work in politics, and one of the stories in the book, if you’re an aspiring actor connecting with casting directors in your city, and creating content with casting directors about what it takes to be a sucsessful casting director, naturally you’re creating friendships with the people that are going to hire hopefully your next role.

James Carbary:
And so it applies well outside of a sales context. It’s also incredible for marketers, because you’re getting insight into the minds and the brains of your potential and existing customers, understanding what makes them tick, and what are their challenges … what their challenges are because of the content that’s coming out of it.

James Carbary:
So there’s a lot of different use cases, but at the end of the day, it’s content collaboration with the exact people that you want to know.

Ethan Beute:
Great. And one of the chapters ends with a really nice, it’s almost … it’s a full page of examples like you just offered there, it’s like it’s so useful in a variety of ways. And one of my favorite things came toward the end, which was this is a can’t lose situation, the very worst case scenario is if you pursue this and pursue it for a little bit, you’re going to wind up with some new relationships, you’re going to wind up with some content. That’s the worst-case scenario. It’s still good.

Ethan Beute:
Good, I just wanted to lay that out for folks who are listening like I just … read the book, loved the book and so I’m all steeped in it, needed to back out there to make sure everyone knew what we were talking about before we move on, because what I would like to do with this conversation is there are like four … like high level themes that I loved in the book, and so I’m just going to kind of walk through each of those, and maybe just a little bit of reaction from you or elaborate or whatever.

Ethan Beute:
And the first one is something, the first two are what I call … this theme is what I call you make your own luck. And so here’s a quote from Oprah just to illustrate, you lean on Oprah a little bit in the book, “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” Ray Kroc from McDonald’s, “Luck is a dividend of sweat, the more you sweat, the luckier you get.”

Ethan Beute:
Ralph Waldo Emerson, great thinker, “Shallow people believe in luck or circumstance, strong people believe in cause and effect.” Right?

Ethan Beute:
And so all of that stuff just really spoke to me, because you really draw this line between serendipity, luck and hope, versus intention, action and working backward.

Ethan Beute:
Talk about why that’s so important for you personally and then also of course what that means in this context of Content-Based Networking.

James Carbary:
Yeah, I love that you brought this up, even it’s super important to me, again, I’ve got goose chills thinking about this content. This is our third core value in our business, so we have three core values, love people well, never stop learning, and the third one is own the result.

James Carbary:
And that’s really what this is about. So in our context, it has to do with owning customer results and owning the results of different facets within the business. But this concept is really owning the result of your life.

James Carbary:
One of our core values for our family is write your story. I think we have a lot more to say about the path that we go down in life than oftentimes a lot of people give themselves credit for, and instead of letting life happen to you, I believe that you can be a more active participant in your own life, and that you can make decisions and choices much more intentionally and thoughtfully about what you want to be doing.

James Carbary:
There’s these two stats that boggle my mind that we spend 90,000 hours of our life at work, but 87% of Americans have no passion for what they do. And I think, “Man, 90,000 hours, that is a lot of time!” And so many people just let their career happen to them. Let this thing they do from nine to five happen to them, because they happen to get this degree in accounting and then they got this internship out of college and they just stuck around at the company for 12 years, because it was easy. But they hate going to work every day, they hate doing what they do.

James Carbary:
So in the book, I really wanted to open people’s minds to thinking everyone says that relationships are so important, that your net worth is defined by your network, and all these different tropes around when you know the right person, things happen. But I don’t feel like there’s anybody saying that well, how do you actually create those right relationships, everybody’s saying that relationships are really important and that we should all know people, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, well, how do I know who I want to know?

James Carbary:
And this strategy, this approach, methodology, whatever you want to call it, allows you to take that into your own hands, because you’re not waiting on the person that you want to know to happen to run into them in an in-person event, at a conference, a chamber of commerce meeting, whatever, you’re proactively putting the onus on you, to say, “Man, what content can I go out and create with this person.”

James Carbary:
Is everybody going to say yes to why if you’re trying to collaborate with Bill Gates on a content project, the likelihood of Bill Gates says yes to you? Unless you’re someone as cool as Ethan, probably not going to happen.

James Carbary:
But there’s so much opportunity here, putting the responsibility on yourself, as opposed to making excuses or giving someone else the ownership of your life and your story and what you want to accomplish. So that’s what I love so much about that, I’m glad you brought that up.

Ethan Beute:
Good, yeah, it’s a really powerful theme start to finish, I mean even just the way I opened this podcast, the level of intention of first you started reaching out to salespeople and then you’re like, “Oh, wait, no, they’re referring me to marketers, so let’s go talk to CMOs.” Like Oh, wait, this decision isn’t being made in a CMO seat, it’s VPs of marketing is where this is going to happen. Just like that level of intention, you make your own luck, good one.

Ethan Beute:
Number two, this is what I call be a value and abundance will follow. That’s a mantra or philosophy or a mission statement of our marketing team here at BombBomb that we generated I don’t know maybe a year and a half ago. But I felt like in the book, there’s this really strong theme of focusing on the process, not on the outcome, focusing on the relationship, not on the transaction.

Ethan Beute:
And again, that worst-case scenario deal where it’s like you get a relationship and you get content, that’s the worst thing that’s going to happen.

Ethan Beute:
So this idea of I feel like we spent so much time focused on … like you were talking about even in defining customer experience, is like we’re so focused on getting the sale and what that meant was we were losing sight of the rest of the relationship. Talk a little bit about focusing on the process more so than the outcome.

Ethan Beute:
Like I feel like if you invest in relationships, good things are going to happen, especially if you do it at this level of intention.

James Carbary:
Yeah, it’s one of those things … I put my phone number in the back of the book and it’s been really-

Ethan Beute:
You put it in there twice.

James Carbary:
Yeah. It’s been really fun just getting text messages from people that are reading it. And this weekend I got a text from a guy, I’d never met him before, he read the book, and he asked me, he said, “James, how long should I expect it to take before I close a deal from one of these relationships?”

James Carbary:
And as soon as he said it, I get it, I empathize with it, right? Like you’re doing a strategy, because you want to get results from it. But as soon as he asked, I thought, “Oh, I hope he doesn’t miss it. I hope he doesn’t miss the macro reason why you’re doing this.”

James Carbary:
And he ended up circling back, and he was like, “I know it’s all about the relationships, I just kind of want to mentally kind of have an idea of what I should expect or what a benchmark would be.”

James Carbary:
But I think focusing on the process of like a systematic approach of creating relationship after relationship after relationship, that if you’re approaching relationships with the right people, with people that can actually make a decision for your product or service, you’re naturally either going to either create a piece of content that attracts that person that maybe you didn’t even have them on your show, but the content you created attract that person, which happens, or you end up talking to someone that can work with you.

James Carbary:
And sometimes that takes six days, like a story that I shared in the book, sometimes it takes a year and a half, like our situation that you and I had.

James Carbary:
But the thing I’ll say about focusing on the process is people can smell inauthenticity from a mile away. Again, I don’t want this to be a BombBomb infomercial, but the reason that like your videos, when you send a BombBomb video to me and anyone else that you’re sending them to, your authenticity shines through in such a powerful way that it covers up so many other things that can be misunderstood.

James Carbary:
When you’re on a podcast interview or whether you’re doing a virtual summit or a blog or an Instagram series with somebody, if you’re collaborating with somebody in content, and they can sniff like oh, you just asked me to do this because you want to sell me your widget, or you want to sell me on your coaching program or whatever? They’re not going to want to work with you again. They might be nice to you and like oh yeah, that’s … we’ll think about it, but they’re going to have a bad taste in their mouth, and it’s ultimately going to damage your reputation long-term.

James Carbary:
Where if you are genuinely going into it with the intent of creating really good content that’s going to be super helpful to the persona that you’re trying to serve and you’re trying to make them look great in the process, when that’s your focus, exactly what you said, Ethan, the natural byproduct is that people will want to work with you.

James Carbary:
And so if you’re looking at this and you’re coming out of it going, “Okay, we can test this and we’ve got x number of months until we have to produce a deal out of it.” That’s going to produce the wrong kind of behavior.

James Carbary:
And if you start doing this and you’re saying, “Hey, we’re going to have our sales team be cohost of the show.” And really all you’re doing is a veiled attempt at getting on a discovery call. People are going to see it, and it’s just not … it’s not going to work long-term.

James Carbary:
So I appreciate you bringing that up, because that’s honestly a fear of mine, and why … there’s very few reasons that I don’t like talking about this, because I think it can be … it’s transformative obviously, I wrote a book about it, I’m super passionate about it. But the one thing that scares me is this methodology or this approach, in the hands of someone that is not authentic or doesn’t actually care about relationships with people, can go very very wrong, and it can actually be very damaging.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, I like that you offer that caution. I actually see the same thing with video, the text you got where I’m glad the guy came around a little bit, but this … So how long is this going to take to turn this into money, right? I get to … Like when someone’s followup question for me about sending these simple casual conversational videos through BombBomb when they’re like can I make it seem like it’s just for that person by faking something in the beginning of the video, but it’s actually for everybody? I’m like you’re doing it wrong, man.

Ethan Beute:
And there’s some videos that should be never green, and it’s okay, but just don’t act like there’s something else. Really good caution there.

Ethan Beute:
So that was number two. Number three, journalism and journalistic work. You use this language a lot and I really like it. I mean A, I used to work with journalists running marketing inside local TV stations. I guess some people might roll their eyes or ask questions about how journalistic that is. But I worked with some legitimate awesome journalists in my career. And I really liked the way that translates into content creation and distribution in all the various forms you talk about in this book. So talk a little bit about journalism and like why do you like that language, how did you adapt it, and you had a couple of great examples in there too.

James Carbary:
This piggybacks really well off what we were just talking about. I think the more journalistic your approach is to the content collaboration that you’re doing with the folks that you want to connect with, the more journalistic, the more it warms the other person to you. When they see that you are taking the content very seriously, obviously you don’t want to take it so serious that it makes somebody uncomfortable, but when they see that you’ve done your homework, like you do this masterfully well, Ethan. We talked to other customers about how well you do this, but the amount of research that you do on the person that you’re about to talk to, you’re referencing things from earlier in their career or from content that they’ve created elsewhere.

James Carbary:
That sub-communicates something to the guest that oh, this is the real deal, this person really cares about the content that’s being created here. One, it kind of set … it up-levels the bar, like oh man, I really need to deliver here, because this is really good stuff, the host has done their work, now I need to show up and do the work for me.

James Carbary:
So it’s creating trust on a different level, when you approach this from a journalistic standpoint. Like when you’re really caring about the content, that translates to how the guest then sees you. Which if they’re trusting you during the creation of the content, then the aftereffect, and what happens in the post-interview conversation or the second or third time that you guys end up talking, because now you’re friends, because you’ve created this content, it’s going to translate there, because they see you as a journalist and not somebody just trying to sell something or somebody trying to get a job or somebody that … whatever it is that your ultimate dream is and the thing that you want to accomplish, you want them to not see you as somebody just trying to reach, but somebody that’s truly trying to create exceptional content.

James Carbary:
And so when you look at this from a journalistic, really trying to hone in on your journalistic skill, just curiosity, asking great questions, knowing how to do some research. This applies both on the front end and during the interview.

James Carbary:
So the front end work of even asking them to be on the show, we found that if you can do just a little bit of personalization and say, “Hey, I read this chapter in your book that was fascinating to me, I’d love to bring you on the Customer Experience podcast to talk to you about this idea and how it relates to customer experience.” That ask is so much more likely that the person is going to say yes than if you just said, “Hey, I want to have you on my podcast.”

James Carbary:
Now, I want to have you on my podcast is a much more likely way to engage somebody than hey, I want to get you on a 20-minute demo of my software product. So you’re still doing it better than most by just asking them to be on your show. But man, when you take it to that next level and you say, “Hey, I saw that article you put on LinkedIn three months ago, and you’ve said something about duh, duh, duh, that man, I just think our listeners would get a ton of value out of that, or our audience would get a ton of value out of that. Would you mind … Would you be up for doing a 15-minute conversation about it?”

James Carbary:
That’s being a journalist. And that’s being somebody of value, because the value that you bring as a journalist is that you can bring awareness to somebody’s thoughts, ideas, passions. And there’s very few people that don’t want exposure for their ideas.

Ethan Beute:
Right. So good. I’m just going to read you a line from your book. This is just a nice little button on it, curiosity, passion and a focus on great content or what makes a journalist a journalist not fancy equipment. I think a lot of people hang themselves up.

Ethan Beute:
The other thing I was thinking about reading through that section, a couple sections that really focused on this, what you just offered is I feel like the imposture syndrome, right? I remember when we first started selling our software, I was going into communities and specific industries, and teaching video in their language, and I was like, “I’m a little bit of an imposture here.” So you just interview some customers and get to know it like honestly, I did not know a ton about customer experience, but I was very very curious and I knew that it was very important.

Ethan Beute:
And so I felt a little bit like an imposture, I mean when you get a guy like Joey Coleman on the show, you’re like, “Man, this guy’s has been teaching and training customer experience for years,” but then you realize, my only job is to use your language from the book is to shine spotlight on him, unlock his expertise, unlock his unique perspective, and just make him the superstar, and I’m just the vehicle for that, and I learned the process it’s excellent.

Ethan Beute:
Which also reminds me of another thing that’s great about the book is this idea of when you hang around experts, you come to be seen as an expert. It’s such a fought idea.

Ethan Beute:
And it’s true, like it called into conversations on LinkedIn now, specifically because people know that this is what I do all the time is talk to people about creating and delivering better experiences. So good.

Ethan Beute:
Hey, last one, and you’re a master at this, it is how we got to meet in person the very first time. Talk about the relationship between online and offline. You do a great job in the book of … I mean first of all, the chapter on email writing was just spot on, as someone who’s written a mountain of emails and taught about email. That’s a great chapter.

Ethan Beute:
But you talk about some online activity and some offline activity to generate these conversations and of course to do the content itself, talk about the relationship between online and offline.

James Carbary:
Yeah, so I think there’s definitely something to be said about the intimacy that comes whenever you’re meeting with somebody in person. I don’t know if you’re a [inaudible 00:31:32] languages guy, I’m a physical touch guy. So whenever I meet in person, I’m a hugger, so like complete stranger. So it’s especially pertinent for me because so much of my personality, it’s just impossible to come through in a digital channel like this, because I can’t hug you and like be genuine to myself in that way through a digital platform.

James Carbary:
Now, what we’ve obviously done, I think B2B Growth, we’ve done over 1300 interviews now. And the lion share of those, probably 99.9% of those have been done digitally. So I’m a fan and I love the flexibility and the ability to not make excuses, so we can talk to anybody, we’ve had people on the show from Australia, we’ve had people on the other side of the country. And the only thing stopping you there is time zone stuff, and that’s a really easy hurdle to overcome, but I think it was the year before last, we started doing these B2B Growth dinners, where I was popping in to different cities all over the country where I knew we had guests.

James Carbary:
And I’m pretty sure that was the first time you and I got to meet up. And man, there was just something special about it, being able to be in the same with somebody. So there’s different folks … There are people in different industries where I think in-person contact is the absolutely way to go. Financial advisors being one, folks in the insurance space, maybe even like local marketing agencies, folks that serve a local client base.

James Carbary:
If you serve customers locally, like finance, insurance, those types of roles, doing a show about sucsessful people in your city, and you can name it a variety of different ways, but doing some sort of content where you’re highlighting the success stories in your city, and then being able to go up to their office or meet with them in person to create content with them, I can guarantee you that the relationship is going to expedite in its depthness so much faster than it would if you’re doing these digitally.

James Carbary:
Now, because we’ve done them digitally so much, there are things we’ve learned about like hey, getting to the second collaboration or the second reason to talk to someone that’s not hey, I want to buy my product is a really important step, because when someone’s talked to you more than once, I’ve noticed after that second interaction is really when someone would consider you to be a friend. Just having a one-off interaction with them, people have a lot of one-off interactions, you have the one-off interaction with the guy that works at the car wash booth that you go to on …

James Carbary:
But actually connecting with somebody a second time, whether it’s a second content collaboration or it’s something else that you’re working on is really powerful.

James Carbary:
But if you’re in person, you get that all in one. It’s in that first trip, because of the power of being in-person. So that’s how I think about offline/online. I love doing both. Obviously the scale of offline is enormous. The opportunity of being able to … You’re in Colorado Springs, I’m in Orlando, we can still do this content collaboration. Otherwise, it wouldn’t happen very often if we had to wait till we were in person. So that’s how I think about it.

Ethan Beute:
It’s great. I knew your my people / our people, when you were like hey, just committing to get on airplane and go to these cities where I know I know people that I’ve collaborated with just to meet them in person. It was great. And we produced a piece of content while you’re here.

James Carbary:
Yeah, it was fantastic.

Ethan Beute:
I’ll link that up. By the way, for folks who are listening, I write all of these up at BombBomb.com/podcast. And so if you want to … it links obviously to the book and some of these other things. But also to probably our third or fourth content collaboration. I’ll drop that in there.

Ethan Beute:
So your core values are obviously very important to you, I know how thoughtful you were about them, they point to just being a really awesome human. But something that I didn’t know you had articulated just as clearly was your mission. So I’m just going to read it and I’d love for you just to share some thoughts on it.

Ethan Beute:
Our dream at Sweet Fish is to educate one million leaders every single day, because when leaders learn, the world gets better.

James Carbary:
Yes, so this is something we’re super passionate about, and it’s a relatively new kind of turn for us as a company for the past several years, we’ve been focused on really being a service provider. So we know podcasting really well, and we produced podcasts for companies like BombBomb and a lot of other different folks. But really being the execution of the actual service. And what we’re starting to do more and more of is really we’re transforming into a media company. And what that looks like I think is transforming into an education company.

James Carbary:
So as we start to own more of our own shows and built audiences for these owned properties in different industries, we’ve got a show called the Manufacturing Show, we’ve got the B2B Sales show, obviously our flagship show B2B Growth for B2B Marketers, we’re about to launch of CIO Show.

James Carbary:
So we’ve got all these different shows, a show for HR and CEOs called Crafting Culture. it’s all about company culture, it’s a show I’m really super excited about.

James Carbary:
So as we start to start our own shows, we’re really thinking, trying to press into why are we doing this and what’s the end goal here, and the why really coming back to what I was saying, those two stats, those two stats that I shared earlier, I want to inspire people to own their career because 90,000 hours of your life shouldn’t suck.

James Carbary:
And if I want to inspire you to own your career, then I think we can educate you with the type of content we’re creating on these shows, and so how do we clarify that, make that a tangible kind of how do we educate more people, well, we want to educate a million people every single day.

James Carbary:
And that’s an audacious goal from where we’re at right now. B2B Growth is getting just over 100,000 downloads a month, so it’s nothing to sneeze at by any means, and I’m super grateful for the audience we already have, but I think when people are actively investing in personal and professional development, and they’re trying to learn and they’re trying to grow, and they’re trying to get better, I think the natural byproduct of that is this feeling of what we talked about earlier in the interview of like they take ownership of their life, and they no longer feel captive to their situation or their circumstance. But they take control and they start making actions and decision that point them in the direction they actually want to go, as opposed to just being dragged along in life wherever life takes them. And I think education is a big way to do that. So that’s the context there.

Ethan Beute:
It’s awesome. It’s increasingly difficult to work here at BombBomb, because I’m surrounded by people who read a ton of books and listen to a ton of podcasts, which is what I do anyway, but now it’s like no, joke, I’m like six books deep, and depending if it’s written by an upcoming guest, I have to like re-stack, I’ve got really good ones sitting in spot number five that’s like this phase there.

Ethan Beute:
And texting each other on the weekends like hey, you got to hear this episode or this show, and you’re going to love when this lady shares this thing about that other thing, and it’s just really good. It makes everything so much more fun. And I love that you have this education and leadership blend. I’m really excited for you.

James Carbary:
Thank you so much.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, I mean we could go on and on. Honestly, before we hit record, we could’ve just had that conversation for an hour, like instantly.

Ethan Beute:
But we’re going to start winding it down here, and so I’m going to wind down with your opportunity to think or mention someone who’s had a positive impact on your life or career, and to give a shout out to a company that you really appreciate or respect for the way they’re delivering for you as a customer.

James Carbary:
Yeah. So I think giving a shout out to someone who’s had an impact on me, I would have to say … now this might be divisive and I know not everybody loves this guy, but man, Gary Vaynerchuk has added a level of value to my life around just helping think about things in a different way than … I mean to say he’s been the largest influence on my entrepreneurial tendency or approach would be the understatement of the century, just the idea that patience is everything, that life is really long, why am I trying to like make these decisions, like I’m only going to live for two more years, it’s like man, the likelihood is I’m going to be around here for a long time so slow down a bit, be patient, and start building for the long-term as opposed to being rushed and just making decisions that are in my short-term best interest, but not necessarily my long-term best interest.

James Carbary:
And so Gary V is probably who I would shout out there, because man, that guy, as you can see up here, I’ve got like all of his books right up there, and I just consume his YouTube content and the stuff he’s putting out on social like an animal. So he is who I would give credit to there.

Ethan Beute:
Great one. How about a company that you really appreciate for the way they deliver for you when you’re on the customer side of the deal?

James Carbary:
Yeah, so there is a pizza shop by my old house, it’s Joe’s Pizza, a local shop, I think they have two shops now. And they know … I was fascinated by how this worked out, but there’s a girl that works there, her name is Jasmine, and I don’t know if this is necessarily trained or if they just got a gem in Jas whenever they hired her, but I come in and I don’t even have to tell her my order, she’s like got it queued up, and she’s like, “All right, it’s going to be 9.88.” And I’m like, “Jas, like how on earth.”

James Carbary:
And I’ve seen her do it for other people, so it’s not like I do go there a lot, so that’s probably an indictment on my pizza eating habits, but the fact that she knows like … She’s like don’t forget your cup for your diet Coke, I’m like man, like, just the thoughtfulness of she knows her customers really really well.

James Carbary:
And I know that’s not profound, and I know I listen to your show and I hear people talk about kind of the local … a lot of local mom and pap shops that are delivering on this experience, but I think the simplicity of it is what makes it so powerful. So we don’t need to over-complicate how to create an incredible customer experience for someone, it’s be thoughtful, like be interested, know your customer really well.

James Carbary:
And that’s something that Jas has done exceptionally well for me at Joe’s Pizza.

Ethan Beute:
That’s so good. It reminds me of those stats that you offered here that are just so sad, it’s like if you’re disengaged in your work, then you’re not going to show up in a way where you’re caring. And just the idea of being in this, I can’t imagine living in a state where I don’t care about what’s going on around me and the people who are around me, and the positive consequences of the work that I do. Like I can’t imagine being in a place of not caring.

Ethan Beute:
And so when you’re working at a pizza shop, you might have in the back of your mind this is just for now until I finish my degree or until I complete the training or whatever, but just that respect for yourself and for the customer to show up and care. And what it does for you, I think, I’m theorizing, I think what’s going on for you there is she’s saying through her behavior I see you, I recognize you, I appreciate you, I know something about you, and so we can skip through all the transactional stuff, and I’m just going to take you straight there, and not just … again, you did a great job of talking about kind of like the message under the message or the message under the behavior.

Ethan Beute:
It just says, “Hey James, welcome back, let’s do this.”

James Carbary:
Yeah, I go through seasons where I’m like really good on my diet and then I’m not so good on my diet, and so she knows like, hey, is it diet James today or is it non-diet because I do the Greek salad when I’m diet James and I do the two slices of this awesome pizza that they do whenever I’m non-diet James. And so like even just her understanding the nuances of kind of the rollercoaster of my discipline for my diet, that kind of thing, it’s a level more than her just knowing my name, although I think just knowing a name would probably be a pretty good step to aspire to.

James Carbary:
But she goes much further past that, and it’s just, I don’t know, I just want to do business with friends. I don’t think we use the term friendship enough in business. And it’s really a big part of my mission as an entrepreneur is to build businesses where these collaborations are happening and friendships are forming.

James Carbary:
I would consider you Ethan to be a close friend of mine. It feels weird to even say like, “Oh yeah, they’re a customer of ours.” No, Ethan’s a friend. And man, I think if we as companies can aspire to build cultures where that is encouraged, what would you do with a friend, like how would you get to know a friend better, let’s apply that to how you’re working with this particular customer, because the result is likely going to end up being very similar.

Ethan Beute:
It’s so good. It reminds me of the end of your mission statement or your goal statement or dream statement, which is the world gets better, it is a better world to live in, work in, when we approach our work that way.

Ethan Beute:
This has been great, I appreciate you so much. I consider you a close friend as well, I appreciate the work that you do, and most importantly, the way you go about it. I love what you’ve built, I love the sense of community around what you’re doing.

Ethan Beute:
So if people enjoyed this conversation, and they made it to the end, it was not a short episode. So I assumed they’re pretty into it, if people want to take another step, how do they connect with you on LinkedIn, how do they check out Sweet Fish, how do they check out B2B Growth, “Content-Based Networking”? Where would you send people?

James Carbary:
Yeah. Yeah, so you can go to SweetFishMedia.com and learn about what we do on the business side. I’m super active on LinkedIn. So just finding me on LinkedIn, my last name is spelled C-A-R-B-A-R-Y. I think I’m the only James Carbary that pops up, but you’ll see the picture of me and then the tagline is we produce the podcast for B2B Brand, so if there is another James Carbary out there, I would just look for the thing that says something about podcast in the tagline-

Ethan Beute:
And you need to go meet him.

James Carbary:
Yeah, right. And then the book is on Audible and Amazon. So just search “Content-Based Networking” or again just search my name either on Amazon or Audible if you want to listen to it. I read the book similar to what you and Steve did for “Rehumanize Your Business.” So you can hear me read the book to you or you can read it yourself, but would love to get your feedback on it.

James Carbary:
Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve put my phone number in the back of the book, and so if you want to shoot me a text when you’re done, I would love having conversations about what people are taking away from it and if they got any value out of it, which I hope they did. I would love to have a conversation with you about it.

Ethan Beute:
Awesome. I’d be shocked if someone picked it up, spent 45 minutes with it, and said not say that was 45 minutes well spent.

James Carbary:
I appreciate that.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah. Thank you so much for your time, thanks for the insights, thanks for the way you view the world and inspiring other people to view it the same way.

James Carbary:
Awesome Ethan, thank you so much man, this has been incredible, I’m honored to have been asked to be a guest.

 

 

Video Highlights For Creating Connecting Through Content

Check out the top five video highlights from the whole conversation with James on content-based networking below…

 

1. Content-Based Networking and CX

 

 

2. Making Your Own Luck

 

 

3. Process Over Outcome

 

 

4. A Journalistic Approach to Content

 

 

5. Balancing Online and Offline Connections

 

 

More Content with James Carbary

 

Similar Episodes You’ll Enjoy

 

Subscribe to The Customer Experience Podcast

 

Creating Connection Through Video

Make sure the people in your network and in your customer base feel seen, heard, and appreciated. Get you and your team face to face more often through simple, personal videos.

The bestselling book Rehumanize Your Business breaks down the what, why, who, when, and how of creating connection through casual, conversational, and unscripted videos.

Here’s what James says about Rehumanize Your Business

Rehumanize Your Business, video tips, business book, James Carbary

 

 

Ethan Beute

Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, co-author of Rehumanize Your Business, and host of The Customer Experience Podcast, Ethan collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion with simple, personal videos. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Fresh air & clean water.