Non-Austin Marketers, Podcast episode

Brand Now: Nick Westergaard and Building a Brand

Brand Now Nick Westergaard

Are there plenty of books about branding out there? Sure. Are most of them enjoyable? Ehhhh, not really.

Brand Now, the newest book from Nick Westergaard, breaks that mold, and that’s indicative of the kind of advice you’ll find in this book, too. Refreshing ideas, unique voice, and smart insights from Nick make this a must-read for managers of brands of all sizes.

I particularly enjoyed the chapter on community, as I’ve always felt that was the most important part of building a brand, and Westergaard knocks it out of the park, which you’ll find out in this week’s podcast episode. I highly recommend this book, and highly recommend you listen to this great conversation I had with Nick Westergaard, one of the busiest people I’ve ever met.

TL;DL (too long, didn’t listen) notes:

  • 2:42 Is Nick actually a wizard?
  • 4:14 What is Brand Now all about?
  • 5:50 Hello, community. Are you there?
  • 8:43 What does it all mean? How does it all mean? Find meaning.
  • 13:10 Oh, hey. Actually get to know customers and your community members.
  • 14:05 Get rid of the messy stickiness. Try a little gravity instead.
  • 16:12 It’s dangerous being called humorous. And it’s scary. Do it anyway.
  • 18:47 Looking at you, B2B brands. What if you tried being funny?
  • 21:47 Everything great is stolen from someone else…even a branding tooklit (Nick talks about a very helpful toolkit in the book).
  • 24:45 Any experience with Nick should leave you being able to do something better.
  • 25:55 Are Nick’s favorite breakfast tacos just the ones in the Courtyard across from the convention center?
  • 26:40 The most intense encased meat experience of Nick’s life.
  • 27:32 Where to find Nick, the book, and other important things.

Get the book by clicking on the cover image below. Also, see below for the concentric circles concept we discuss in the podcast.

Brand Now Nick Westergaard

Brand Now book concentric circles

Don’t forget to visit our sponsor ShippingEasy to learn how to build your e-commerce business with discounted shipping and powerful automation, robust inventory management, and in-depth customer marketing, all in one platform.

Austin Marketing Jobs, Austin Marketing Technology

Building Community From Scratch By Being Authentic

Creating community with Lani Rosales

Recipe for building community: start with smarts; add in some savvy; and top it off with plenty of sass. Put those together in a leader and you have Lani Rosales, Chief Operating Officer of The American Genius, a technology and entrepreneurship publication. She is also one of the founders of BASHH (Big Ass Social Happy Hour) and Austin Digital Jobs. The latter is one of the most thriving communities on Facebook, and THE place to go if you’re looking for a job in Austin that involves tech.

I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Lani Rosales about how she builds the community around her three endeavors, how they tie together, and what unique elements keep all three thriving. Our conversation did not disappoint.

Short on time? Cliff’s Notes below so you can skip to what sounds interesting. Spoiler: it’s all interesting!

  • 4:00 How Lani got to where she is now with a shitty poem.
  • 6:30 Marketing has always been the core of what Lani does in life
  • 7:15 Why we should be thanking the Californians for moving here
  • 8:00 Austin Digital jobs–a meaningful Facebook group 6 years in the making
  • 12:00 Competing against hundreds of thousands of bajillions of groups
  • 14:00 How the Digital Jobs Facebook group feeds into other endeavors
  • 15:30 Give them what they want…and hey, they’ll hang around
  • 17:00 Having an honest voice and a very thick skin
  • 19:05 Keeping things human and organized through specific content
  • 21:10 Austin needs it, so someone has to do–community altruism
  • 21:35 Spinning digital into in-person events
  • 23:05 “I thought Twitter was stupid and I didn’t want to do it.” Networking for those who hate networking
  • 25:45 Keeping the online culture in person because we’re not good at turning on our filters
  • 27:45 What’s next in Lani’s world–retirement? Expansion?
  • 32:30 Where to find Lani, ADJ, and The American Genius

You can follow The American Genius on Twitter, and request an invitation to join over 38,000 members in Austin Digital Jobs (just behave, because Lani will bring the ban-hammer down).

Once again, I’d like to thank our sponsor, ShippingEasy. Visit the website and check them out to show your support of the podcast and find solutions to your e-commerce shipping woes.

Podcast episode

What does it all mean?

Austin Marketing Podcast Keep Marketing Weird

Weird: adjective

1: of strange or extraordinary character

The above is Webster-Merriam dictionary’s definition of the word weird. When we think of “weird”, our minds often skew more toward the zany, the bizarre, the outcast, or the unexplainable. When it comes to the approach of this podcast, I prefer to focus on the latter portion of that statement.

How often is that you come across marketing that you’d describe as being of “extraordinary character”? My guess is not often. But I’m hoping we can explore some instances where you might find it. Some marketing and marketers that go against the norm, break convention, and keep things, well, weird.

Welcome to Keep Marketing Weird, the Austin marketing podcast. This is the intro episode and accompanying show notes…even though it’s technically coming after a previous episode. Keep it weird, AMIRIGHT?

What’s up with that subtitle: the Austin marketing podcast? In this intro episode, I go into that. It’s more than just the place I live. It’s the community, the marketing community, that I want to build around this endeavor.

It’s a little piece of me that was missing during a major change in my life. I’m probably making it sound more Hallmark movie than it actually is, but who doesn’t love a little dramatic element?

So let’s dive into this short episode, introducing the concepts and approach of the podcast. Hopefully, you’ll listen to this one, the previous one (it’s a great interview, if you haven’t caught it already), and many more after.

One thing I forgot to do, and this is very important, is to tell you my favorite place to get breakfast tacos. This is a question I will be asking all my guests, because it says a lot about someone here in Austin. You know what I mean. My favorite spot is Veracruz Tacos (with El Primo coming in a very close second and El Tacorrido in third).

If you’re so inclined, join our weird marketing community, let’s build something, and get weird together.

Austin Marketing Strategy, Podcast episode

How Spredfast creates consistently memorable events

SXSW Spredfast

SXSW season in Austin, TX. The time of year when thousands of people flock to (hopefully) sunny Texas to experience films, rub shoulders with occasional celebrities, be the first to see new tech in person, and rock out to some of the best bands in the world. Needless to say, the stakes are high when you’re trying to stand out during this nearly three weeks of madness.

For the last couple of years though, that’s exactly what Spredfast has done. They’ve managed to create a sanctuary that is every bit as cool, interesting, Instagrammable, and worthy of your time to experience as most anything SXSW has to offer. From cool tech to savory food, queue-worthy swag (yep, we lined up to get it) to local booze, every experience feels catered to making visitors and locals feel like they’re home.

Read my wrap up of their 2017 SXSW event #SoSpredfast here.

They’re doing it again this year with the #SmartSocialSuite, an exclusive event celebrating current customers, potential customers, and partners.

Register before March 10 for your chance to attend this year’s event!

I sat down with Spredfast CMO Jim Rudden and Director of Events Grace Gittinger to talk about how they ended up where they are, their approach to SXSW and their flagship event Spredfast Summit, and how they manage to outdo themselves consistently year after year.

The TL;DL (too long; didn’t listen) highlights:

  • 1:06 How Jim traversed through the tech industry to Spredfast
  • 2:05 Grace’s path from agency events to Spredfast events
  • 2:35 So…why Austin?
  • 6:40 Where does the inspiration for these great events come from?
  • 13:10 Don’t forget about your vendors.
  • 15:45 The next step in a successful event⏤branching out.
  • 17:50 “It’s a people business, and we believe in it.”
  • 19:20 How do you prove the ROI of creating an awesome event?
  • 23:50 Jim discusses how the Austin tech scene has changed over the years.
  • 24:40 Jim and Grace’s favorite breakfast tacos in Austin

You can find Jim Rudden on Twitter at @JimRudden, Grace Gittinger at @GraceGittinger and follow @Spredfast and their SXSW shenanigans with #SmartSocialSuite.