Ryan Cote, Director, Digital Services, Ballantine
Ryan Cote (Cō-tāy) is the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a third-generation, family-owned direct mail and digital marketing company based out of Fairfield, NJ. Ballantine has been serving small-business clients since 1966, when it was founded by Ryan’s great-uncle. Ryan has been with his family’s agency since 2003, and today he manages the growing digital marketing division.
From lead generation to marketing strategy for small businesses, Ryan and his company rise above the get-featured-quick schemes so often attributed to digital marketing. He loves to geek out on technical marketing talk as well as work with real-world business owners about growing their book of business in today’s online world.
AUTOMATED EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
[00:00:01] You're listening to Scaling Up Services where we speak with entrepreneurs authors business experts and thought leaders to give you the knowledge and insights you need to scale your service based business faster and easier. And now here is your host Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt.
[00:00:22] Are you a CEO looking to scale your company faster and easier. Checkout Thrive Roundtable thrive combines a moderated peer group mastermind expert one on one coaching access to proven growth tools and a 24/7 support community created by Inc award winning CEO and certified scaling up business coach Bruce Eckfeldt. Thrive will help you grow your business more quickly and with less drama. For more details about the program, visit eckfeldt.com/thrive . That’s E C K F E L D T. com / thrive
[00:00:58] Welcome, everyone. This is Scaling Up Services , I’m Bruce Eckfeldt. I'm your host and our guest today is Ryan Cote and he is Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, which is a third generation direct mail digital marketing company. We're gonna find out more about him and what they do. This is a great episode. I think sales and marketing and generating leads is a huge challenges challenge for a lot of companies. And we're gonna talk a little bit about some of the strategies and lessons learned so you can grow and scale your business faster with that. Ryan, welcome to the program. Hey, Bruce. Happy to be here. Thanks. So why don't we talk about background first and then we can kind of get into marketing and marketing strategy. So you're a third generation business. I'm Chris to learn about that. I'm curious to learn about what you've learned just as a business owner, as a business leader that's working to scale the company. Tell us a little bit of background and then we'll talk about marketing.
[00:01:46] Yeah, definitely. There's just some great topics. So I'll start off just. Yes. I guess I'm a person that I myself I'm living in Jersey, married for what will soon be 13 years. I've three girls. And like you said, I'm part of Ballantine, which is the third generation company. My great uncle started the company in 1966. So this is our fifty fourth year. Wow. And my father retired in late 2017. And now myself and my two brothers, my uncle, we're partners in the agency. We all have different roles and stuff. And actually, the company really, you know, when I started at the company in 2003, it's complete different the way it is now. We've added a digital division and I use to marketing now a managed digital division. So my roles change in terms of managing people and trying to scale the business up. So yeah, I've definitely seen a lot over the last well really last five years, especially now.
[00:02:37] And I'm sure within this industry, just that with technology changing and marketing strategy and legionaries and strategy changing that, but you've had to really kind of morphin and transform not only the company but yourself as a as a leader in this process definitely transformed myself as a leader.
[00:02:52] Definitely realizing that you can't do it on your own. And, you know, I have my limitations, I my strengths and definitely my limitations. And so it's it's been a process of putting the right people in the right spot and playing to their strengths and building a team. I'm sure we're gonna go over all of those topics. But yeah, it's been it's been really fun these last five years.
[00:03:09] Yeah. Now I'm sure. So let's talk about the business a little bit and where you've chosen to focus from a marketing point of view. And we talk about sort of service based businesses and what you've kind of learned and noticed and go from there. So from a marketing services, digital services point of view, what needs of you carved out or what where do you focus on and who do you focus on working with?
[00:03:28] Yeah, sure. So the company is really it's really two companies. One, we have the direct mail division and that's where we started off with in the mid 60s. You know, I always like to mention that if you remember back in the day, the Columbia House stamps sheet mailers used to get my guys.
[00:03:41] Yes. I'm having flashbacks.
[00:03:42] Yeah. That was Martin that. And then the AOL disk mailers used to get we had a part in that as well.
[00:03:48] He's done millions and millions of those disks for free. I forget what it was.
[00:03:52] But 20, you know, 60 hours is a bit like hundreds of hours, like more than you could ever use. Good to.
[00:03:59] Those are two major clients for us in the 90s before my time. But it was 90s. So we the direct mail division. And for that, we go after a reservist, very large companies that do a lot of direct mail. And thus the campaigns are very complicated and they need someone like us that can just help them manage the process from buying the print to getting it mail to deal with all the stuff that comes up in the middle. And so that's what we do on the digital side, though. And that's what my role here is. It's totally different. It's we work with small businesses, manufacturers, professional services, contractors, you know, small companies, not me, like maybe 10 to 30 employees. They have no marketing people. They have one marketing person. We become an extension of their team or we become their in-house marketing team. And for them, we do everything from search engine optimization to Google ads, social media content, email and all the traditional digital stuff that you're used to seeing. We basically craft together a strategy for them. That's Ballantine and like a two minute nutshell.
[00:04:55] Yeah. I'm curious, what do you see the print side, the direct mail side as still being applicable or relevant, or are you finding ways of integrating these things? What's the connection and where is it showing up for what types of businesses?
[00:05:07] So yeah, it's a question because in the direct mail is dead. It's definitely not dead. We've had three good years and it's you know, it really depends. Also, it's changed a lot. Like if we look back to like the 90s, 2000s, I think there were bigger campaigns and. I would just spray and pray for the most part. Now the campaigns are much more targeted because the data that you have available, but print still a major, major, major part of our business. You know, it's bull, but we you know, we work with a lot of non-profits. We work with a lot of travel, hospitality companies. And so those industries, they need to use direct mail and direct mail works for them. But we're also seeing a resurgence in direct mail because Digital's great, very trackable, but it is very saturated, very noisy changes all the time. It's very complicated. And so we've seen a resurgence in direct mail from companies that you wouldn't think would use digital because they probably have a team of 50 doing digital. And that's probably what they're focused on. But they're starting to realize that direct mail know there's less competition. The mailbox is now channel. It's another way to reach your prospects. We have a lot of these cool startups coming to us, like these food prep companies coming to us for direct mail, just as one example. So it sounds. Yeah, it's just it's just changing and it's changing.
[00:06:13] Are these integrated campaigns a matter or are you kind of looking at this as a multi-pronged strategy, as, you know, what's the kind of integration between some of the stuff you're doing digitally and then with print and direct them and how, how and where are you connecting the dots on these?
[00:06:29] Yes. So we are you know, because we do both services, we do try to blend as much as possible, to be fully candid. It hasn't been huge for us yet because, you know, the audiences that we service on both ends are completely different. Like like I said in direct mail, it's huge companies on a digital, it's small. So it's not like it's not like we're servicing huge companies on both the direct mail on the digital where we can naturally integrate. But we do know that said, we do have fairly regular stream of integrated campaigns where one of our direct mail clients who we might also run Facebook ads for, you know, will take their direct mail list and it will upload to Facebook. So what they're sending out mail. We're also showing Facebook ads that the same audience that match on Facebook. And same thing with email. So we try to look for opportunities to blend. It's in the client's best interests if we can if we can hit their prospects in their mailbox, in their inbox, in their social feeds. You know why? Why wouldn't we? So you try to blend as much as possible and talk to me about Target.
[00:07:23] I mean, you mentioned earlier that the you know, the strategy now or the capabilities now with data and be able to target audiences. How, I guess, how do you approach targeting what's possible at this point with some of these sort of targeting technologies and data sets and what's what's working and what's not? How how can you focus in your audience and really reach the people that you really want to reach?
[00:07:43] Yeah. So like right now with Facebook, they're really removing a lot of their targeting. So what we've done is I'll use dealerships as an example. Auto dealerships is a vertical that we're starting to get bigger and bigger. And they use all our services. So, you know, a typical dealership wants to saturate what they call their PMA. It's like the area that they serve us and they wanted to saturate those people. And so they use us for direct mail, typically postcards. They'll use us for Facebook as Google ads, email, everything, so that the central point is the data. And so if Facebook, we we don't really have as many options as we used to few years ago. And so what we relied on, we have a really good data partner that we work with. And so their business is data. And so will Basic come to them and say, here's our clients audience here so they want hit what data you have? And they have thousands of sources and they put together a plan. So it's us relying on our partner for that, but using the dealership as an example. They have data for people that are in market for a certain vehicle. And then we'll take that. We'll take that mail. It will take that mail file and we'll send direct mail to it, will send email to it. We'll upload to Facebook and Instagram and run ads. And so we're really blanketing the area. It's very targeted. It's people that we know are in-market for either the vehicle of our client or a competitive brand that, you know, if they like, say it's on, they might like Toyota. Now, you know, it's with Facebook taking away the lot of selects. We've we've you know, we've fixed that quote unquote by, you know. Yeah, yeah. We rent the data that we uploaded to Facebook.
[00:09:03] So what we're kind of targeting is possible. I mean, I guess it just as a business owner who is trying to figure out how to do targeting and what are you looking for? Is it just demographic information that you mentioned mentioned kind of competitive people that are interested in X might be interested in what we what are the strategies that you use or that you've seen effective in terms of actually doing the targeting and defining a target?
[00:09:23] It to be honest thing, our data nowadays and our partner, I'm sure our partner is not all that unique. I'm sure there's plenty of data partners that can have it, but they have all sorts of so they have what's called compile data, which is, you know, certain age and demographics and gender and all that. And then they have responsive data. So people that have responded to certain files, they might be a subscriber to Sports Illustrated to Orange or whatever. And so if they're a subscriber to Sports Illustrated, you can you can assume that they might want this product. And then they have other a whole other segment where it's like people that are interested in certain things, behavioral selects. And that's. Yeah. So it's really there's a lot of options.
[00:09:57] It sounds like somebody's navigating that is kind of the challenge of like, well which ones do you use?
[00:10:02] Yeah. I mean it comes down to a lot of testing and the way we do it for the for for the dealership is we just we we give the information to our data partner and then we say, okay, here's your we're looking to reach and they give us our options. Okay. Well, we can do that as we do that. And then we look at our options and we think we put together what we think is gonna work best. And then we test it. We change if we need to.
[00:10:21] So it's it's really I guess what I would say to your audiences is find a good data partner and then come to them with whatever whoever your audience says, who you're looking to reach out and see what options they have. They have to reach those people because it's it's mind-blowing. How many different targeting Slick's are to compile data, responsive demographic data, behavioral interests, selects, and then take that data and do a mail campaign to email it to Facebook, Instagram?
[00:10:47] Just use it to use it to your fullest now and talk to me a little bit about the difference between the sort of organic versus marketing. I mean, how. I mean, there's lots of different kind of online strategies these days. What what are you focused on? What have you seen that works? What's your what's it what have you learned so far?
[00:11:06] Yes. So certain generalization and paid advertising. There are still two really big services services for us on the digital side. Reason being is because someone has a need and then going to Google and I was changing all SVO is definitely not what it used to be because the search results of Google have changed. There are countless algorithm changes, but it's still very viable channel for us. You still want to have a strong presence organically, especially as a local business with Google Maps and then Google com. And so you want to have that organic presence because when someone's doing a search for a keyword, they have they are looking for something and you want to be one of their options. So FCL and pay search is still key for us. But we we do a lot of content and social. So with content, you know, we're sort of looking at that as like a I guess an amplifier. Tessio because we're keyword optimizing all the content. We've even had a lot of success. Just to give you some actual tips here. We've even had some we've had success with. Yeah, we have. OK, so maybe we publish a stream of blog post two years ago. We will get the ones they're doing very well and then we upgrade them. We update them with new content. We refresh them. We still keep the core of the content as is because Google likes it. They're saying traffic, too. But we refresh it with maybe new content and update it. And whenever we do that, it's it always increases organic reach right now.
[00:12:22] And why is that? Because the Google sees it as being a newer page that had a lot of traffic that now has new content. So they're going to push it, rank it even better, I think.
[00:12:31] So I think it's because we're we're picking pieces that are getting a lot of impressions in Google. And you can see that through search console. It's getting our traffic. It's got a lot of impressions. So Google Oris says they're showing you that they like the piece because they're sending traffic to it. And then when you improve a piece of the already like, it's just it gives them more of what they it gives them more of what they already like. But just a word of caution when you do it, don't change your L, don't change the metadata. Keep like the core stuff the same. Just add more content to it and update it if some of the parts of it are not correct anymore. Does that make sense?
[00:13:05] Yeah. Yeah. And I've heard nightmare stories of people that have changed domain names and stuff and then have had not been able to kind of remap their old urinals and, you know, losing thousands of hits a day of traffic because they didn't do it.
[00:13:18] Right. And so, you know, they tried complected a reset site for sure.
[00:13:23] I would say to its social media, we're seeing we have a campaign going on right now for a while. We do it for dealerships, works, works great, but also for we have a amet there, a supplier of iron doors, which is pretty niche. And we're using Facebooks leave form ad, which is basically like running ads. Someone's there, they're opting into something, whether it's a newsletter or it's to get a quote or whatever the case is to come see a car. And Facebook makes it easy because it's just the heavily information you use. You're kicking you're clicking a button. Yes, I'm interested. Your information shows that because Facebook has it. Yes, that's correct. Hit submit. And it's done as like with two clicks. You're basically raising your hand that you're interested in. And we have a campaign running right now for this iron door supplier using this ad. And it's it's gone really well. So it's like you never know. You wouldn't think that would work well, but you test it and it's like, huh? This is actually working very well. So we'll do more of it.
[00:14:14] Well, I think I think that kind of philosophy of, you know, coming up with ideas, testing those ideas and letting data kind of guide, you know, where you where you reinvest, where you continue to innovate, it seems to be kind of the strategies because you don't really know. You have some general guiding principles, but you kind of have to take some action and try some things and then see what kind of results again. That said, it's true. So talk to me. If I'm on professional services or just sort of general service provider, contractor, doctor or lawyer, dentist, you know, agency. What are some of the techniques or strategies that you would suggest a company like that consider or some of the some of the things they do to help start getting some traction from a marketing point of view online?
[00:14:57] Yes. All I would say, you know, definitely SEO and PPC, those are typically the high that generally generators of people that are looking for, you know, for so far typical for our typical client looking for lead solves, you know, like I mentioned, contractors and professional service. So SOCOM PPC typically generate mostly scores and leads of people that are looking for they're showing interest in your services and so deftly recommend looking. Those two were big fans of email sending out a monthly newsletter by month, by biweekly newsletter just to nurture the leads you have or nurture the clients you have or the customers. So definitely we haven't mailchimp, but at the current moment you have plenty of tools out there. So sending out a newsletter. You know, for Jerry Lee's for ourself, if I look at what we do, we do all of that trade shows, of course. You'll get that face to face connection. It can't all be about digital. There needs to be some sort of human connection there. So we're big fans of trade shows. We're actually big fans of cold e-mail, too. Don't you know, we don't rely on it, but it's just it's just another channel for us. We try to you know, we try to attract leads from all different types of channels. And so cold e-mails, you know, identifying the people you want to work with and and sending out cold e-mails.
[00:16:03] Content creation is big for us. So we focus on case studies, keyword optimize content, white papers, things like that, things that are going to A, attract people organically, but also things that like if we produce a case study, I can pass on to my cousin Joshua to sales here and he can use it to help generate more sales. So it's like really repurposing what you're doing. Yeah, I do podcasts like this. And then the last thing I would mention that I think is something that maybe your audience might not be thinking of is strategic partnerships. So we identify for us it can be different based on who you are. But for us it's identify like marketing consultants, maybe they're like freelancers or they're just a one person consultant and they have their clients. And so we reach out, we connect with them to provide execution for their clients. And so we become like a sort of a back like their in-house team to execute on their clients campaigns. So it's like who has your audience and helping you develop a strategic partnership with them. That's going to it's got to obviously a win win for both sides. But that's that's been key for us on the digital side. But even the direct mail side going back to the like 30 years to last 30 years and developing partnerships like that now.
[00:17:08] And in terms of the content people are producing, how. Any tips or suggestions around how to how to make compelling content or make sure the content is going to serve you well and from a marketing and lead generation point of view?
[00:17:20] Yeah, that's a good question. So I would think it will. We do. So we look at what our competitors are doing.
[00:17:26] We look at we have keyword tools for SVO, so we see what we see, what topics are popular because we want to write on topics that people are looking for. There is okay, here's a free tool. There is a tool that it's called Uber. Suggest you can pop in a topic and it will give you it does a whole bunch of things there. They're adding to it all the time. It's by this guy named Neil Patel. He's like a marketer. He is a marketer. And it's called Uber Suggests. And so basically you popping keywords and they'll give you it'll give you recent they'll give you feedback on those keywords, but also give you articles or blogs that are written on that topic and you to see which ones are popular. And so maybe you look for a really popular blog post and then you try to publish something that's similar but better. Yeah. We also comb through not just keyword tools, but we comb through our search console data to see that's like right from Google's mouth, like the data. And we look at what keywords are, because if you look at search, if you look at search console or even like your page search data, you're seeing what people are actually searching for. Sometimes you'll think of it'll give you ideas that you wouldn't have thought of on your own. And the last thing I Sabre's is there's tools like answer the public. That is a Q&A tool where you put a keyword in. And I know they'll come back with questions that people are or are asking. And that's even more important now because I like voice search and you want to have content to answers questions and that that tool is answer the public. That's that's what it does.
[00:18:47] Interesting. I think that's really important because I think ultimately I've certainly found it with my clients. I found it with with myself in terms of generating content. The more that you can figure out what is on your prospects mind, you know, and to your point, how they literally phrase it, like how do they phrase the question? And the more that you can kind of figure that out and then developed content that's going to answer that question or address those issues in the terms, you know, literally using the keywords in the terms that they're framing it in, the more effective that is going to be in terms of connecting with your audience or your audience finding it and then actually connecting it and leading to that. Oh, hey, this is something I'm. This is something I'm struggling with. I'm curious about. Here's content that is really addressing it. Maybe I should reach out to these folks and talk more because they seem to know what I'm concerned about. That kind of connection is really important.
[00:19:34] Yeah. And to add to that, I go back to I said before about upgrading content. So you don't always have to think of new ideas to write about. You can look at your past blogs that are doing well and then just upgrade them and republish them. And so it doesn't always have to be new ideas. You can always just upgrade the past. Blogs are doing very well.
[00:19:51] Anything else? Success in terms of syndication or getting I mean, obviously writing your own blogs and publishing yourself. But in terms of getting content out and other channels and other people's other people's networks, I don't know if you're a fan of medium and some of these other kind of content content platforms. I mean, what's your what's what's your feeling in terms of success, in terms of marketing and lead generation on some of these things?
[00:20:14] So for in terms of medium, I write a medium just as I'm trying to get to the habit of writing more. And it's part of like my. To become a better leader, I guess I write on medium and sometime making daily habit of that. So I personally write I'm medium and I have like 10 articles, not that many, but then I do it at Lincoln as well in terms of like our clients and what we do for our own marketing. You know, it's not we don't do too much. We'll put on social media. Of course, you know, we we have what will. We'll produce a piece of content and then we'll have a plan. If it feeds into our social strategy and then there's always gonna be ad spend behind, that's OK. What content we're going to create? What keywords are we optimizing it for? OK, then we're gonna put it on Facebook and, you know, LinkedIn, et cetera. All right. What image and spent are we going to be? We're going to put behind it. Who are the audiences that we're gonna we're gonna boost it to? Is it gonna be to our, you know, our our Web site audience retargeting? Is it gonna be to a colder audience who is, you know? So we do map it out that way, but we do not. The thing we don't do. Just, you know, there's a lot of agencies that deal. We just don't know. We don't have a syndication plan where we use like outbreak or one of those tools that gets a lot of eyeballs to it. That's something that we just don't do right now.
[00:21:20] Yeah. And I've seen I've seen mixed results. I mean, some of that you get a lot of eyeballs. That question is always, are there the right ones to look into?
[00:21:27] We haven't I've I've tested it for our own fears ago and like stumble upon. I don't think they're around anymore, but I test our brain and we got a lot of views for sure. Just the metrics on the traffic was not very good, but I think it just depends on the topic you're writing about. You know, I know there's plenty of companies that use it successfully. Maybe it's more like BuzzFeed type content that does well.
[00:21:47] I'm not really sure you know, anything that you've seen networks allow or things that you suggest people don't do or mistakes that you see people make from a digital marketing point of view, things that haven't worked, waste of time and money blackholes that people have found.
[00:22:02] So of course, it's going to depend on on the client as we've seen things work for some clients but not others. So it obvious depends on the audience. But I will be if I'll be fully honest, I LinkedIn hasn't seemed to be a huge lead generator for us. I think there's some. And I'm sure the agencies that have made it work. We just have not figured out a way to make it work. I think there's still some value in it in terms of just being here, audiences of having a presence on there and trying to get followers in your company. Page video on LinkedIn is pretty popular right now. Their ad platform in theory that you can attract you can run ads to like certain groups and job titles. It just is very expensive. And so we just haven't figured out a way to make it work now. But that's not a blanket statement for social media because like I said, with Facebook, with their lead format, we've seen a lot of success with the auto dealerships and our Ayanda, our client and then clients trying to get email options and sell before us. LinkedIn has been a bit of a struggle.
[00:22:56] Now, how does a how does a typical engagement work for you? So how do you begin? What are the first steps? What do you do to kind of set a company up? And then what is the ongoing process look like? How what is the what is the process from your point of view when you work with the company?
[00:23:12] Yeah, that's a good question. I'm going to answer in a way that it's going to give your audience takeaways, because I think we've learned, you know, the digital side of our business is only five years old. I mean, a company companies 54 years. But the digital size only five years. And so, you know, if I look at the way we do things now versus the first year, it's really hilarious to kind of see it's a good hillarious. But it's it's, you know, every year trying new things a little bit better. And so we've made some we've made some tweaks in our process. I'm pretty proud of. And so I think I can give some takeaways here. So how you started client engagement, better with it, whether you're an agency like us or you're a an accountant or whatever. It's really important how you start. It is that impression you set. It seems to have a nice long effect. I see that you're taking it seriously from the get go. And so we have a kick off, of course, and it's usually a three hour kick off where we talk a lot about their business, trying you know them as much as possible.
[00:24:01] Ask him all the questions, the access that we need, all that. But we also do a positioning statement, exercise with them. So who are they? Who do they sell to? What do they sell? Why do customers buy from them? What resonates with their customers? So we try to paint this picture so that when we're writing content or writing ads, we can look back at that positioning statement and just know what we should be saying who are speaking to. And so that's actually something we start doing about beginning this year. So that's something new. Clients seem to love it and it's it's good for the team. We've also we speak to our clients every two weeks. So every two weeks we're doing a recurring phone call. We're speaking in-between, of course, but the client knows the bare minimum. They're speaking every two weeks. We did that. So we never used to have actually we never used to have account managers. That was that was something we added two years ago. I don't remember how we I think it was us.
[00:24:47] Whoever was on the account spoke to the client kind of crazy, but things move quickly. I did it. Yes.
[00:24:54] So we had account managers. And so now they're speaking to the client every two weeks. So the clients never in the dark as to what we're doing for them. There's a constant communication which they feed off of and we feed off of. And then our latest and greatest improvement, this my brother Scott's idea wasn't my idea, but give credit where credit is due.
[00:25:12] And so we're doing quarterly reviews with clients every three months. We're looking at what we're doing for them and then giving them honest feedback. What's working, what's not that way? The client knows that, you know, that we're looking out for them, that we're not just letting things coast because we're afraid they're going to cancel. And then I guess the last I'd say is we have a dashboard that updates in real time. So they are always in the know as to what's working. So if I can, like, boil it down to lessons for the audience, it's for service businesses. And it comes down to constant communication and full transparency. Know whether the news is good news or bad news. Know, I think that's the two takeaways for the audience.
[00:25:47] And I like that the regular rhythm of communication, too. I had an episode with Chris Moss, who wrote the NPR negotiator and he wrote Never Split the Difference. And we're talking about this whole what builds trust. And one of the things he said is one of the best ways to build trust is just regular, consistent communication, even if you don't have anything important to say. Knowing that I'm going to get a call every week, every other week, building, not consistency, is gonna build trust with the client. So I like that idea that you're doing a scheduled sort of proactive. We're just gonna do a call every two weeks regardless what's going on just to keep that connection going. I think it's really important.
[00:26:20] Yeah, and we've seen a because sometimes clients get busy and they can't committed in two weeks. Every two we call. We've noticed a an impact when clients start dropping off on those calls. I don't know what it is, but once the communications are to dry up, it's not like we're trying less. I don't know. I think they adjust their communication back a forth every two weeks. It just fosters new ideas that maybe the Rapport Irish or what it is.
[00:26:41] I've noticed that when clients stop doing the biweekly calls, it's the results suggests or the likelihood that that is not going to not going to be a highly growing account right now.
[00:26:53] And so I'm curious, just as the leader in a business that's dynamic and changing a lot. Any strategies, suggestions to folks who are in leadership positions, things that you've done to up your leadership skills, your knowledge, performance, mindset, anything that that you've learned around that process that you can share with the audience?
[00:27:11] Yeah, I think that question just extended this broadcast by 45 minutes. So whoever is listening put on to speed.
[00:27:20] Yes. OK. So I will go back to when I first started. The company amazes me. I was the marketing director. And so now that we have 12 of us now on the digital side, it's been an experience for me, especially because I'm I'm slightly introverted. I'm interested. I will consider myself. I'm like, I'm an extra. I'm different. Like I like like a super introvert, but nothing not extrovert. Certainly in the middle. And I've been used to being by myself. So having a team now and just learning what comes with being a better leader. And it's been there's been ups and downs and I try to get better at it. And I think we're in the right direction. But I definitely learned a lot. So I think what I've learned is, first off, you have to work on yourself. Because if I come in as a weak person or I obviously have bad days in the days, but if you come in as me person, low energy and you're not working on yourself, it's just not doing the team any good. You know, we're all adults here and everyone can improve themselves, too. But like, you know, you have to. I think that's point for leadership, too, to work on themselves and be a better leader and be a better person. And so for me, what that looks like is morning routines, working and mindset. A homeowner and teen I follow. I even take cold showers.
[00:28:27] So which is easier said. It was easier in the summer and now the winter is coming. It's going to be more difficult until I start doing in the winter.
[00:28:34] And I was it was torture. And now in the summer, it's like the word. You feel that cold? Yeah, it's funny. When I went to the shore this summer, I felt like I was like a condition athlete for the cold ocean because of the cold showers. So, yes, it's work on yourself.
[00:28:49] And that's going to vary based on, you know, I've had to find out what works best for me. I like listen to a podcast in the car, mature my career like motivational, inspirational, educational stuff. I've got my morning routine, like I said, with meditation grad to practice and my cold showers and things like that. So that's the first thing I would say is work on yourself and make a habit of it. Make. Turn it into some sort of routine, whatever you think you can stick with. That's me. That you could do every day or almost every day. And then I said, I think, Bruce is the culture here. You know, trying to build a better culture and really looking after your team members and try to make sure everyone feels appreciated and that you're you know, the work environment is not some sort of like militant, very structured thing. Obviously, work needs to get done, though. I think culture is very important. It's not easy. You know, it's you tried do the right things and sometimes you think you're doing the right things. And the feedback you get is it's not the greatest thing. So it's just trial and error there as well. With marketing is trial and error.
[00:29:44] It's a good parallel to what you're doing with clients. And marketing strategy is figuring out what you can try on the cultural side and then getting the feedback, you know, getting getting the open lines of communication with employees to to get honest and sometimes brutally honest feedback on how things are going, what's working, what's not, and then willing to make changes and try new things.
[00:30:02] Good luck. One more thing to their. I think what I've learned a lot, too. So we do like we do. Company launches every month. We do quarterly quarterly incentives team like we do rock climbing and laser tag and and what else we do breakfasts for. When when's the birthdays. We tried do all these things and I think really. See, everyone's motivated by something different. What I've noticed that I kind of like I can relate to it. I think it's I think it's I can relate to. I think the same way it's ever wants to feel like their career is growing, that they're doing something that matters, that there's a purpose behind what they do. So I think the secret is really find out what motivates a person, but also showing that they're showing them recognition, showing them that their job, that there's a purpose, there's a path for them and that what they do matters. And that's kind of what I'm learning now.
[00:30:44] Now, those are good points. And it's been a pleasure. If people want to find out more about you, about Ballantine. What's the best way to get that information?
[00:30:51] Yeah, absolutely. So definitely kept me on LinkedIn. It's Ryan Coté, c o t e. I also have a special landing page for your audience. I know you have it in the show. It's been announced. It's Ballantine.com/sus for scaling up services, obviously. And on there is my LinkedIn profile to connect with me. But also there is an offer for a free digital analysis fee, a video. So I basically bring up the person's the company's Web site and I do a free video analysis of what they're doing, their social, all that. And that's that's very great.
[00:31:23] Yes. I will make sure that the link are in the shownotes. Thank you for doing that. That's a great strategy. Everyone else take note. Customize offers, customized content. The way to go. There's a bit of pleasure. Thank you so much for taking the time. Great content, great insight. I really enjoyed it.
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