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Inbound Success Podcast

What do the most successful inbound marketers do to get great results?

You’ve heard the stories about companies using inbound marketing to dramatically increase sales, grow their business, and transform their customer relationships, but not everyone who practices inbound marketing knocks it out of the park.

If you want to know what goes into building a world class inbound marketing campaign that gets real, measurable results, check out the Inbound Success podcast. Every week, host Kathleen Booth interviews marketing folks who are rolling up their sleeves, doing the work, and getting the kinds of results we all hope to achieve.

The goal is to “peel back the onion” and learn what works, what doesn’t and what you need to do to really move the needle with your inbound marketing efforts. This isn’t just about big picture strategy – it’s about getting actionable tips and insights that you can use immediately in your own marketing.

Jan 27, 2020

How does a marketer charged with helping tech companies and the blockchain industry simplify messaging and help his clients reach their audience?

This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Dennis Lewis of Greenlight Digital talks about the strategies he uses to market one of the most complex and misunderstood products in existence - cryptocurrency.

The lessons that Dennis has learned as a marketer and cryptopreneur can help any marketer understand how to translate industry jargon or complex products and services into language and messaging that anyone can understand.

In this interview, he shares his thoughts on customer research, storytelling, and striking the right balance between technical content and simple messaging.

Highlights from my conversation with Dennis include:

  • Dennis describes himself as a marketer and cryptopreneur. He says the blockchain is a decentralized bookkeeping system located all around the world, and being maintained by literally thousands and thousands of computers working synchronized.
  • His company, Greenlight Digital, provides marketing services for technology and blockchain companies.
  • He got into marketing blockchain when a friend of his did an initial coin offering (ICO) and asked him for marketing help.
  • Dennis says that all marketing needs to start with the problem that a product or service solves for the customer.
  • Unfortunately, entrepreneurs tend to fall in love with their products, and put that before understanding the customer.
  • Dennis's mantra is "listen, think, and do" and he says that marketers should heed those three words.
  • One of the more impactful books he's read is The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille. The book talks about the three brains that every human being has: the reptilian brain, the limbic brain, and the cerebral cortex. All decisions are made by the reptilian and the limbic brains. The cerebral cortex is used to justify the decision you've already made.
  • Marketing needs to feed the reptilian and limbic brains by forming an emotional connection, and the best way to do this is through effective storytelling.
  • There are many ways that marketers can learn more about their customers, from doing focus groups, to researching what they are saying on online forums, or even inviting a customer to coffee.
  • The most important thing in marketing is to assure your customer that they won't look bad or be embarrassed due to their decision to buy your product.
  • In addition to having strong messaging, your brand needs to stand for something. That is the most effective way to differentiate from the competition.

Resources from this episode:

Listen to the podcast to learn more about simplifying the messaging for complex products and services, and how, if done right, it can help you get better marketing results.


Kathleen Booth (Host): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast.

I'm your host Kathleen Booth and this week my guest is Dennis Lewis, who is a cryptopreneur and blockchain marketing specialist with Greenlight Digital. Welcome Dennis.

Dennis Lewis (Guest): Hey Kathleen. Thank you for having me on.

Dennis Lewis and Kathleen Booth
Dennis and Kathleen recording this episode.

Kathleen: Yeah, I'm excited to have you on because I'm actually weirdly fascinated with cryptocurrency and the blockchain, but I think maybe not everyone is quite as nerdily interested in that as I am, so maybe you could just start by explaining what a cryptopreneur is.

I don't know if I'm going to try to have you explain what the blockchain is because that might be biting off more than we can chew, but give my guests a sense of what it is you're working on.

What is a cryptopreneur?

Dennis: Sure. So, I mean, let's go ahead and try and bite off a little bit here at least so that we can give everybody kind of something to wrap their heads around.

The blockchain isn't really all that complicated as it may seem. Like most technology sectors, the people in the industry tend to really kind of dive into all of the plumbing and the complications of it.

Sure, we could certainly throw out a whole bunch of weird sounding words to make it sound complicated, but it's really just a bookkeeping system. It's just a way of keeping track of transactions that is decentralized. It's all around the world being maintained by literally thousands and thousands of computers working synchronized, but you know, no single point of failure.

That's in a nutshell what a block chain is. It is a decentralized bookkeeping system.

Kathleen: That is a great explanation and it totally ties in to what we're going to talk about today, which is a big challenge I think a lot of marketers have, particularly in these more technical industries, and that is simplifying the complex.

About Dennis Lewis and Greenlight Digital

Kathleen: Now before we do that, maybe you could talk a little bit about your journey. How did you wind up doing this, and what is Greenlight Digital?

Dennis: Okay, sure. Well, it's funny, like all great things in life, I got into this industry just by accident. It wasn't a planned event. It wasn't enormously prepared either.

A friend of mine called me up one day and said, "Hey, we're going to do this thing called an ICO where we're going to try and raise some money. We don't know anything about marketing. Can you help us?"

And I knew absolutely nothing about cryptocurrency at the time or blockchain and I didn't even know what an ICO was, And like the brave soul that I am, I just rolled up my sleeves and said, "sure, let's do it."

That's where the journey began with blockchain.

Rolling back farther, because there's some gray hairs on my head, a long time ago I worked for IBM. I spent my whole career sort of trying to make things that most people think are complicated, make them easy to understand.

And I realized that that isn't a skill that is very common. A lot of people are really good at making simple things complicated, but going the other way around it seems to be less frequent. That's why I'm excited today to talk to you about making the complex simple.

As far as Greenlight Digital, that's my company. We are a boutique marketing agency. We do everything from content marketing, to social media, to working with companies on their branding and their messaging, full suite sort of marketing, mostly for tech companies and blockchain companies, although we do work with some traditional companies as well just to kind of keep us on our toes.

That's pretty much what I do. I like to tell stories.

Kathleen: I love it. And you really, I think, hit the nail on the head with marketing, which is that a lot of us, especially trained marketers, and this is so interesting to me, that tend to make things more complicated than they need to be.

A lot of marketers really, really struggle with boiling things down and expressing the value of that thing they're trying to market in a way that is simple and easy for the audience to understand.

So, this is one of the reasons I was so excited to talk to you, because if you can do it in blockchain, I feel like you could do it in anything.

Dennis: You're probably right there. You know, it's funny, but in our industry, marketing is so hooked recently on all of the plumbing, all of the technical part of marketing, which is awesome and it's interesting and it is important, but I always tell my customers, it all boils down to the words on the page.

If you're not making a connection with the right person, if you're not saying the right thing to the right person, you can have all the bells and whistles that you want, it's not going to work.

I'll take a step back and I'll go back. I remember that when I was back in the day at IBM, I remember going to conferences with big companies that IBM, they had, they were always doing the best, and there were always 50 presentations and they were always about the new version of product X, Y, Z, and these are the new features and these are the new... This is what makes this one better than it was before.

And you could look out in the audience and see people dozing away. They were literally, I think it was the best cure for insomnia that's ever been invented, it's just send them to a tech conference and they'll sleep like babies.

It really got me thinking, and I guess that's sort of where all this came, the problem is that it all boils down to what problem you're solving. If you're not making something better for somebody, then your features and your benefits and your whistles and your bells and your shiny stuff, it just is irrelevant.

I mean, people just don't care. You always start with the problem. You have to start with the problem, and if you don't you'll go wrong.

People just won't, they'll tune out. There's so much information out there right now. Gosh, I mean, how much time do you spend staring at Google Chrome every day? You know? And how many people are competing for that time of your eyeballs? And they're smart people, right? They're there, they're good at it.

And if you want to kind of get your fair share of those moments of those eyeballs, you really have to be interesting. It has to be engaging in that. It has to be, and it has to talk to that problem because otherwise, what's in it for me?

Kathleen: Yeah. Now, I totally agree with you, but I feel like that's much more easily said than done.

Simplifying the messaging for complex topics

Kathleen: So when you think about this challenge of simplifying the complex, and let's use the stuff you're working on now with cryptocurrency and blockchain, if you're working with a new client or something, how do you tackle that? Where do you begin with that process of trying to make it simpler and easier for an audience to understand?

Dennis: Sure. So one of the things I've learned is that entrepreneurs always fall in love with their products. They fall in love with what they're doing. And that's great. That's normal. It's kind of what you have to do if you're going to build something.

But I always tell them, "Look, you've got to fall in love with your customer first. You've got to put yourself in their shoes." Who are you serving? Who is the person on the other side and why would they care about what you're doing?

Because if you think it's going to be everybody out there is going to fall in love with your product because you have, you're mistaken. They just don't care about your product.

And I mean, they'll gladly give you money if you can make the pain go away, but if you can't make the pain go away, they couldn't care less how many hours, how many people, how much sophisticated technology you throw into the basket. That's your problem, that's not theirs.

I always start there. I always say, "Look, you've got to focus on the person on the other side. It's always got to be about how you're making their lives better." And that could be by delivering a pizza quicker or it could be curing cancer.

It's not necessarily that problems have to be big or they can be small, it's, they have to be real. They have to be something that somebody cares about and because otherwise, why are we doing this?

As a marketer, and I know you've undoubtedly come across this as well, people frown on us. They think we're manipulators, they think we're tricking people into buying stuff when it should be all completely the other way around.

If you've got a product that makes things better for your client, you'd be doing them a disservice not to tell them, not to try and get them to use it, not to try and get them to have access to that solution, you'd be a bad person.

Kathleen: It is sort of depressing because I have seen stats that say that people, when they rank how much they trust different types of people, I think marketers ranked down there with used car salesman for how much people trust us, which is really depressing.

I would like to think that we're not quite in that category, but maybe I'm underestimating the value of used car salesman. I don't know.

Dennis: You got to be at the bottom of the list.

Kathleen: Right. Exactly. No, you hit on something that I really agree with that and feel quite strongly about, which is that a lot of times when people talk about marketing, they talk about trying to sell things to people and I really think that marketers are more successful when they have this mindset shift and they think of it as, we need to help people to buy as opposed to try and sell them something.

We are helping them to purchase something and we're doing it because that thing genuinely solves a problem for them. I think if you can shift your mindset in that way, it produces much better marketing.

Understanding your customer's pain

Kathleen: So you talked about needing to understand the pain that the customer is experiencing. How do you do that?

Dennis: Well, I guess that the only way to do that, is like every human being does it, is by being empathetic, it's by listening.

On all my emails, I always start with, I was in the same three words and it's kind of been my slogan for years and years and years and it's, "listen, think and do."

The order of the three words is very important, it always starts with listening, and that's a lesson I learned from my grandma and I could tell you a good story about how I learned that lesson.

Kathleen: I'm now very curious. Is it a quick one? Can we hear it?

Dennis: It's not too long, sure. My grandma was an amazing woman, she died at 101 years old and she was smart as a whip. Up until the very end, she was winning at bridge.

I remember being a little boy, and I was always a talkative little boy, and I remember she sat me down in the kitchen one day, she put this mirror in my hand. She said, "Dennis, look in this mirror and tell me what you see." I said, "Grandma, it's me. I am in the mirror." And she says, "Yeah, but tell me something specific. How many mouths do you see in that mirror?" I said, "Well, I've only got one mouth." And she said, "Now how many ears do you have?" I said, "Well, there's two ears Grandma, of course." And she said, "Well God made you that way on purpose."

Kathleen: I love it. Way to go grandma.

Dennis: Yeah. So yeah, it's all about listening. It's all about putting yourself in the shoes of the person. And sometimes that's easier said than done, but the way I see it is, there was a really a great book, it was called The Culture Code, by this French person, Clotaire Rapaille, I don't know, I can't even pronounce his name, but really good book, the Culture Code.

In the book he talks about the three brains that every human being has. There's a reptilian brain, a limbic brain, and then there's the cerebral cortex, the brain, that kind of gray mass that we all think about when we say "Brains."

In the book he says that all decisions are made by the reptilian and the limbic brains. The cerebral cortex is used to justify the decision you've already made.

So kind of like when you're going to go buy a car, you're going to buy the car that you want. You're going to buy the car that you secretly know that you just want that car, but you're going to sit down and you're going to study it. You're going to look at a kazillion different factors so that you can feel justified that that's the car you're going to buy. But pretty much you've already figured it out, which car you're going to buy beforehand.

He talks about that in the book. And so, you've got to have an emotional connection with your audience. You have to, it can't just be, "We're faster. We're more sophisticated. We do this better. We give you a better ROI. We give you..." All that is great.

You need to do that in your marketing as well because you do need to feed that cerebral brain, but you've got to make the sale down deep. You've got to grab a bit, that's why great marketing always tells great stories.

Kathleen: So you start by listening, I'm assuming, when you say that, you mean listening to customers or prospective customers, is that correct?

Dennis: Yeah, that's right. And that could just be go out and read, go to the forums, look at how they talk, look at what they're talking about.

It doesn't have to be super sophisticated. You don't have to have spend millions doing focus groups and all that stuff, which is great I'm sure. If you've got lots of resources, go ahead and do that, there's no doubt that that's a good idea.

But there's a lot of ways, we have so much information now. Sit down and have a coffee with somebody that's in your target audience and try to figure out what motivates them. Why would they be interested in something that you do?

Most of the time the motivations are often completely different from the answers. You have to read between the lines. If you're selling in a corporate B2B market, you know it.

One of the most important things that you have to do is make sure that people understand that they're not going to look bad by buying your product. That they're not going to be embarrassed. Their boss isn't going to get mad at them later or say, "Look at what a bad decision you made."

And those are objections that are real and they're emotional and that's a big part of B2B sales is developing that security for your customer. And those are the kinds of things you've got to listen to.

Turning customer research into messaging

Kathleen: Yeah. So if you've done this, if you've sat down and listened to customers and you understand some of the pain they're feeling, some of the problems they're trying to solve, how do you then take that and make it actionable?

Dennis: I always take notes, because usually the words that your customers use are the words you ought to be thinking about using, and then you can get creative about it.

But don't, don't try to be, you know, you never want to make it. Yeah, you don't want to, you don't want to fill your head with too much stuff, but make it simple. Try to spell out that pain and then say, "Hey, and I make it go away by doing this." And when you do that, people, if they have the pain, they'll listen. And if they don't, that's okay too.

Part of it is just being willing to hear "no." Go for the no. I mean, I'd much rather have a conversation with somebody who comes out and says, "Nope, I don't need this." I think that's great. That's good. I mean, a no is much better than a maybe.

How Dennis markets crypto

Kathleen: In a technically complex industry like crypto, let's actually use some examples. You've done marketing in this industry, what have you learned as far as what the pain is or the problem is and how have you translated that into a more simplistic way of communicating about it?

Dennis: We talked a little bit about the blockchain being a bookkeeping system and when I talk to people about in the industry they come and they say, "Oh, but our blockchain is faster, it's got a more sophisticated consensus algorithm. It uses better cryptography, it's more secure." And all of this stuff.

And I say, "Yeah, but why don't we talk to them about how you can use it for healthcare. Why don't we talk to the users about how you can use it to make democracy better? Why don't we talk to them about how you can use it to make social media where you're not the product instead of what it is now where we're the product being sold? Okay?"

These are ways of making the technology relevant, making it personal. Of course, I want the blockchain that where, the solution to be robust and fast and better than all the rest. That's great, and you'll get to that point, but that's not how you lead the conversation, because nobody's interested in that really.

I mean, that should be a given, right? I remember Warren Buffet once said that, "The only problem with technology is that pretty soon everybody in the room, all your competitors have the same technology as you." He's really good at metaphors.

He said, "At the beginning you stand up on your chair and you're the tallest person in the room, and then everybody else starts standing on the chair so you've got to go find a ladder."

Kathleen: That's a great metaphor. I love it.

Dennis: I always try to tell customers, you have to frame it in things that are important to the people that are listening.

So sure, if I'm going to be talking to investors, well of course I want to appeal to their desire to pick the winner. It's maybe not a spreadsheet of, this is going to be a 13.8% ROI compared to a 10.4, right? I mean, come on, that's silly.

But if you're talking to a VC company, what do they do? They're looking for the unicorns. They're looking for the projects that have the best possibility to shine, so talk about that, go there.

If you're going to talk about if your product is really good at making micropayments, well talk about how this could be used in Africa to improve the lives of people in Africa.

Make it something that people could visualize, that they can see, that they can feel. Because that's where you get people engaged.

Tell a story. I really believe in stories as stories are really the the oldest part of humanity is telling stories. Yeah. When you sit down with somebody, it doesn't matter how hardheaded they are. If you look them in the eyes and say, "Look, I want to tell you a story." You can just watch people's defenses drop down, because everybody loves stories. So figure out a way to put your product into a story.

Kathleen: That's a great suggestion. And I like that you, I mean I think you've been very clear and the top line messaging needs to lead with the benefits, not the features of the product or the outcomes that the audience will experience or the use cases.

My experience has been that, that that is very effective and especially in grabbing attention. And then at some point in the sale there does come a moment when that buyer may want more technical information, or someone on their team may want more technical information.

Dennis: Oh, definitely.

Balancing the simple and the complex

Kathleen: How do you handle that in terms of the way you do marketing? When is the time and the place for conveying the technical specs, if you will, versus that simplistic top line messaging? How do you strike that balance? Because I think you can also be too simple and frustrate your audience if they're not getting their questions answered when they're at that evaluation stage.

So I'd love to know how you think about that.

Dennis: That's great. I wish I had a golden rule. I'm almost tempted to just ask you, because you probably know a lot more than me.

Kathleen: Don't bet on it.

Dennis: My experience over a long time in this, and it's just that, it's not anything, it's not data-driven really, it's just gut feeling, is that most of the time we dig into the details too soon. That doesn't mean that you can just not dig into the details. There is a time, but you want to know that your customer really wants it before you give it to them.

I think that's the deal because otherwise, how many times have you sent a beautiful proposal with 30 pages of, you've sweated all the details, and it ends in somebody's inbox and then crickets, right? You don't hear anything back. You've given them probably too many excuses to not buy from you.

So, I don't know, there's a dance there. I wish there were a one size fits all solutions, but my gut is, is that people will get the information, that's part of having publishing content and making sure it's out there.

People don't talk to us very soon anymore. It used to be that you would go out and you'd take customers out for lunch and that's where you'd start the process, right?

Nowadays it's completely the other way around. When somebody actually comes to have a conversation with you, they've probably done an awful lot of research about it anyway. They probably know more about you than even you realize.

Kathleen: Yeah, absolutely. I know, I've always thought about that question of like, when do you share technical information?

I've always liked the approach that events and conferences take when they sell you on the notion that you need to be at the conference, and then they have the convince your boss letter, where they just acknowledge.

They're just right up front and they say, "We know you need to convince your boss to spend the money, so here's a letter you can just hand to them, customize it for yourself and go." And it's a very kind of explicit acknowledgement of the dynamic that happens in the purchasing process, and I've always liked the idea of translating that and taking the convince your boss approach and applying it in other ways.

So for example, I've worked with a lot of cybersecurity companies on their marketing and that dynamic exists in that industry too, where you have your less technical buyer, it could be risk officer, it could be somebody at a senior level in the organization who knows they need to keep it secure and they're concerned more from sort of a boardroom level that, "We're a secure company. We're not going to be at risk."

But at some point in the buying process, some sort of analyst that's lower than them in the hierarchy of the company is going to be called in and asked to vet the product, and I've always liked the idea of having a convince your analyst packet where it's like, "Just hand this to your analyst. This is everything they need."

Dennis: That's a really great strategy. I like that.

Kathleen: Being that up front about it. I don't know, I mean I don't have enough proof to know that it works, but it seems to work in the conference and events world, so that's why I've always been intrigued.

Dennis: But I think that comes back to what we were talking about at the beginning, the, what's the problem you're solving there? The problem you're solving for your buyer, who's your champion inside that organization is, they want to look good inside. They want to look good with their boss. They don't want to be called out because they missed something that was a glaring error and they want to feel that they'll be respected and their credibility will increase because of making this deal with you.

What you're doing is you're making it easier for them to do that. You're saying, "Yeah, look, I understand." You know, you're not going to go up to somebody and say, "Hey, I'm going to help you not get fired by buying my product." But you've got to have that in your head right there.

That's what they're thinking. You know, am I going to is this going to help me get my year end bonus? Is it going to make me look good? Am I going to get the next promotion because I did a good job on X, Y or Z?

And by keeping those human aspects in mind and having that preparation where you can say, "Okay, yeah, I know you're going to need to, this is going to have to be bedded here. I've got this whole planned out for you." Show that you've really done your homework to get the vetting materials together. And then I've always thought that making other people look good is a really great strategy, not just for selling, it's just a good strategy in life.

Kathleen: Yeah, make your customer the hero. Absolutely.

Dennis: Yeah, definitely.

Companies that have done a great job of simplifying their messaging

Kathleen: Well, do you have any examples of companies that you think do this really well? And they could be crypto companies or they could be other types of companies.

I'm just curious, like, if somebody wanted to go out into the internet, and I'm springing this question on you right now, so for anyone listening, he has not had a chance to think about this in advance, but I'm just curious like when you think of companies that are really great at simplifying the complex, are there any that spring to mind?

Dennis: A lot that spring to mind that aren't great, but I'm not going to go down that way. Gosh, it's a tough question.

But there are companies that... It was a company that I remember we're using a software that it's a project management software and I remember that really did a pretty good job of explaining and putting the content out in a way that, I believe it was called that LaSeon I they do JIRA and stuff like that, so that kind of comes to the back of my head, but now it's been a long time so I don't know, maybe they've moved on and they do it really poorly now.

Kathleen: Well, I was going to say the one example that I think of immediately, and it's funny because I always ask people on this podcast, is there a company or an individual who's really doing inbound marketing well right now, and the answer I get most commonly is Drift. I'm not sure if you're familiar with them?

Dennis: Yep, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kathleen: Yeah, they're actually a company that I think does this really well. And Dave Gerhardt who has been their VP of marketing who's actually leaving, or by the time this airs will have left Drift to go somewhere else, really brilliantly did this.

Because I'll never forget, I went to their conference, HYPERGROWTH, it was like either last year or a year and a half ago, something like that. What they did that was so smart was they boiled everything they do down into one word and it's fundamentally like a chat bot, live chat tool.

They're now introducing other features. But you know, you could talk about this in terms of chat, right? But instead they boiled everything they do down to one word, which was "now," and they talked about how, as customers, we want our information now, we don't want to have to wait. If we have a question, we want the answer now.

And really that's sort of the essence of what chat bots and live chat solve for. And I just thought it was brilliant. And somebody asked this question the other day, if you had to boil what you do down into one word, what would that one word be? And I'm still trying to figure that out.

Dennis: I'm a storyteller. That would be my word.

Kathleen: It's tough, right? It's tough.

Dennis: It is.

Kathleen: But I think, I just thought that was interesting. So for me, that's the example that I think of when I think of a company that does a really good job of simplifying the complex.

Dennis: Yeah. I mean, sure. As a marketing geek, like you probably are. I just love to, watching the TV, I always liked the commercials better than the programs. Everybody gets up and leaves in the commercials, and that's when I'm sitting there looking at them like yeah, I just love it. And especially get to Christmas and-

Kathleen: Oh my God, at the Super Bowl, I watched the Super Bowl only for the commercials.

Dennis: Yeah, I love the way that some of the brands tell really great stories in a 32 second, or a 60 second spot. And they tell a real story and they kind of, they can reach right in there and grab you in the gut.

And I think that's what, I love watching that. That's more B2C kind of companies, but I think B2B marketing should be just as fun and just as entertaining.

Kathleen: Oh, I totally agree, but it's so not in most cases. And the ones who are able to do it tend to do really, really well.

Stand for something in your marketing

Dennis: Yeah. Because I don't know why it is. I mean, I guess I do. I know that I see this with my clients sometimes too, they're scared. It's scary to be something that not everybody else is. And I tell my customers, "Look, you can be boring, but you have to write big checks. If you can't write big checks, you cannot be boring." Because there's no other way there.

You can't, you can't play it safe and shine at the same time unless you've got... If you've got the budget to pour people into your funnel nonstop and it doesn't matter, you can just keep pouring, go for it. You can be boring and you'll still make sales. But if you don't have that ability, you don't have those resources and you have to be careful, then you can't afford to be boring. You've got to be entertaining. You've got to be funny. You've got to be controversial.

Kathleen: Authentic.

Dennis: Authentic. Got to stand for something. And you know, hey, you, you've got to be willing to, to rub a few people the wrong way sometimes. And that's just the way it is, because otherwise, if you're too nice to everybody, you're nobody to anybody.

Kathleen: And it doesn't mean... I get what you're saying, but it's interesting. I've talked to some people about this who disagree because they read it as you're being offensive or mean, and I don't think that's what this is about. I think this is just being authentically true to who you are and understanding that not everyone's going to agree with you.

Dennis: Exactly.

Kathleen: Instead of like, you don't need to attack anyone or name and shame or call anybody else out. It's just being true to you.

Dennis: Exactly. But you know, it's being willing to be brave enough to say what you think and sometimes you even using language that is brave enough that people will understand like, "Hey, these guys, they really mean it."

You can't fake it though. I mean, if you fake it, you'll get caught because have really good BS radars, right? It's easy to tell when somebody's being aggressive just to call attention to themselves, but when you know that somebody actually believes something, that's what people, they feel it.

We're having this conversation about marketing, I know that people out there understand that we like this. This is fun. It's interesting. We do this for a living because we like it, because it's meaningful.

I'm not ashamed of being a marketer. I like it because I think that I'm doing good. I don't take clients that I don't like, if they don't fit with who I am, then they need to find a different marketer, right?

Kathleen: Oh, totally the same for me. I have to believe in not only the product I'm marketing, but the claims that I'm making as a marketer. I can't make myself do marketing if I think the claims are overinflated or BS or not true, or unsubstantial. Is that a word?

Dennis: Yeah. I think it is.

Kathleen: You have to be able to go to sleep at night and be happy with yourself. So I totally agree with that.

Kathleen's two questions

Kathleen: Well, I can talk about this with you forever, but we don't have forever.

So first I have two questions I always ask all my guests and I'm really curious to know what you're going to say.

Earlier I talked about how one of those questions is, is there a particular company or individual that's really killing it with inbound marketing? Anyone come to mind for you?

Dennis: Yeah, it's probably too simple, but HubSpot is really good at it. I mean their marketing materials are spot on. They really are good at using content to drive people to their solution.

Kathleen: Yeah. And they better be because they invented the term inbound marketing, so they better be.

Dennis: I guess so, right?

Kathleen: And the second question is really with marketing changing so quickly, a lot of it, digital being driven by technology changes, how do you stay up to date on that changing landscape?

Dennis: Oh gosh. I guess probably like everybody, you're always reading, you're always looking at stuff. I try though.

I think for a long time I was suffering from the shiny penny syndrome. I would try everything new that came my way and we would test it out. I would drive my team absolutely crazy doing different stuff. I've tempered a bit that I try not to, you have to do it kind of yourself though.

I learned the lesson that it really isn't that important. It's all about what you're saying and who you're saying it to. So, you know, play around, do it as best as you can, places to read.

I mean, gosh, there's, there's one guy I would definitely recommend any marketers should go check out Ben Settle, he's very irreverent, but he's a great marketer, a very good email marketer. You just get on his emails and listen to them. I guess that's my tip.

How to connect with Dennis

Kathleen: Ooh, I love that. I'm definitely going to check that out. Thank you for sharing that. Well, if someone is listening to this and they have questions or they want to learn more, is there a good way for them to connect with you online?

Dennis: Sure. Dennis H. Lewis on LinkedIn, DennisHLewis on Twitter. Definitely check out my book on Amazon, Behold the Cryptopreneurs, and you can go to and and you can get the first four chapters for free.

Kathleen: Oh, awesome. I love it. All right, well I will put links to all of that in the show notes, so if you're in connecting with Dennis, head to the show notes and check that out, that'll all be in there. But in the meantime, thank you Dennis. This has been great. I've really enjoyed talking with you about simplifying the complex and getting your insights on the best way to do that.

Dennis: I guess the last thing to say is talk to your grandma. She probably has a good idea.

You know what to do next...

Kathleen: Yes. Go to the grandma's for the advice. All right, well that's it for this week.

If you're listening and you learned something new, or you enjoyed this podcast, please head to Apple Podcasts and consider leaving the podcast a five star review, that is how people find us. I would really appreciate it.

And if you know someone else who's doing kick ass inbound marketing work, as always, please tweet me @ workmommywork, because I would love to interview them.

Thanks so much. That's it for this week.