March 8, 2023

118. Understand Marketing with Casey Fuerst

118.  Understand Marketing with Casey Fuerst

How do I market my small business? How do I choose the best way to market my business? We break down marketing with Casey Fuerst. Casey is a certified StoryBrand Guide and uses this framework to create marketing messaging, plans and collateral to increase impact and grow business. She owns and provides lead consultation for Tic Tac Toe Marketing.

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You can find Dana @adashofboss, @dana.dowdell and @hrfanatic
Dana DowdellBoss Consulting – HR Consulting
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You can find Russ @reliable.remediation
Russ HarlowReliable Remediation – Disaster Restoration


Dana Dowdell  00:05

Hey Russ,


Russ Harlow  00:05

Dana. Good afternoon. How are you?


Dana Dowdell  00:07

I'm good. How are you


Russ Harlow  00:09

living the dream?


Dana Dowdell  00:11

We're gonna talk your favorite thing today. 


Russ Harlow  00:13

Oh, mold, no marketing the other.


Dana Dowdell  00:16

Yes. The other. The other AM. We are joined by Casey Fuerst she is the owner of Tic Tac Toe marketing, which is a frickin awesome name. And she is a story brand guide and does all things marketing. So welcome Casey to it's just business.


Casey Fuerst  00:32

Thanks so fun. I've listened your podcast lots of times, and I just really enjoy it. Well,


Dana Dowdell  00:37

we're excited to have you. We appreciate you doing this with us when you just got blasted with a bunch of snow. So, thank you.


Casey Fuerst  00:47

Well, it's warm and cozy inside. So that's good to go.


Dana Dowdell  00:50

Alright, so tell us your story. Tell us just your journey into marketing and your journey into being a business owner.


Casey Fuerst  00:56

Yeah, I mean, you know, it all starts back to you know, those kind of core memories and childhood, right? You want to go back that far? Yeah, no, you know, it's no, I mean, I think we can all kind of look back at our journeys and look at different trigger points that kind of sent us down the path that we're on, right. And I spent before I started this business, I spent 18 years doing marketing for an amazing nonprofit, and just absolutely loved it. And I stayed as long as I did, because I love the organization and the people but ultimately wasn't challenged in that work. And so decided to opt out and tried to find another job and people didn't want me I guess I don't know. So, I said, forget that. I'm just going to do it on my own. So I did and I haven't looked back, it's just been such a joy and such a such a fun ride. So I mean, marketing has always kind of been my first love market marketing, meaning like anything related to that writing, content, designed, graphic design, strategy, all the things. Second to that is leadership development. And so I went and got a master's and leadership development and kind of built that into the things that I do in my business and kind of shaped it from there. I've been doing this Tic Tac Toe marketing for seven years. And I just I just want it I can only look forward.


Dana Dowdell  02:13

So you mentioned that there's like all this different types of marketing, right, I think, yeah. I feel like when people think marketing, it's all social media. It's all you know, all your content. It's, you know, so how do you? How do you categorize marketing? What falls under that? Right? 


Casey Fuerst  02:33

I think that's one of the reasons marketing gets a bad rap is because we're all using the term differently. And then we're measuring it differently. And so, it's tricky to kind of say, Oh, your marketing is good. Yours isn't when we're talking about two very different things. So, marketing kind of ranges from strategy, which is just theory and how we think it might work right to What's your message to what's your content. And then you've got digital marketing, you've got search engine optimization, SEO, you've got analytics, you've got research and audience. Personas. I mean, there's just layer upon layer of what marketing is. So, for small business owners, we always just kind of start with like, what do you think marketing is? And do we really align on that? And let's kind of get it to a small enough piece of the pie that we're talking the same language.


Russ Harlow  03:23

I think one of the things that happens is there's so many things under that umbrella that it scares people. So what do you say are probably, you know, the most impact in the marketing when we're Is it our message? Is it you know, finding where our clients are? I mean, what do you find are the biggest ones that we need to target on and then build out from there?


Casey Fuerst  03:46

Yeah, so if you think of marketing, kind of like a hierarchy, right, like, think of it like a top down map, at the top of your map is your strategy. And then underneath that are kind of your channels or your audiences that you might go through and then underneath that is your tactical level. That's things like social media, emails, blogging, print postcards, the billboard all of those kinds of things at that tactical level. Too often, business owners start at a tactical level, without start without aligning it with their strategy and their audiences. When you can really do a good job of saying, Here's what my strategy is, and here are the audiences I serve. You can get a lot choosier about which of those tactics best fit underneath there. But when we kind of had those knee jerk reactions to Oh, my gosh, everybody's doing LinkedIn, I need to be on LinkedIn. We've not stopped and ask the question, Does it actually align with my goals and my audience? Or is it just because I feel like that, should I should I have to I'm afraid of not doing it kind of reaction.


Dana Dowdell  04:46

That's how I feel about social media is like, oh, I'm supposed to be on social media, because that's where everyone else is. And there's a lot of pressure around it.


Casey Fuerst  04:55

Right and I mean, on the other end of that is like the people that just really love it. They love social media. So they're on it, right. And sometimes it works for them. And sometimes it doesn't. And frankly, most of the time, they don't even know if it's actually working, they just want to be there. And so they justify it by saying, yeah, I'm here. You know, I think unless you do the work of like, knowing your strategy and knowing your audiences, you really don't know if your marketing is working,


Dana Dowdell  05:18

is there a tactical area of marketing that is often not thought of as an area of marketing or a marketing tool or channel that can help bring leads?


Casey Fuerst  05:31

Hmm, I think so often. So I work a lot with coaches and consultants. And they, there are two different kinds of coaches and consultants, there are those that are really good at serving the client. And there are those that are really good at serving the client and good at networking. And over here in the category of just really good at serving client and hate networking. Marketing is only going to get you so far. Like there's just such a an illusion that like I'm going to do the marketing and a light switch is going to turn on and everybody's going to come flock to need my services. And then when that doesn't work, they blame the marketing. And the problem with that is that unless the marketing is combined with your own ability to sell yourself, network, connect with people, invite people in, it's not going to work. Right. So I think that the tactic, there is the networking piece, I think it's such an enormous asset with this specific audience of coaches and consultants, and it gets missed. And when coaches don't have that, it's really, it's tricky to make marketing work for them.


Russ Harlow  06:40

I see that a lot in service based industries, and particularly in the trades, because I work with a lot of people within the trades. And so they get a reputation and but they want to grow their business. So they're told, Hey, you got to start, you got to do SEO, and pay per click, and all these things, and we're going to really drive and it doesn't work. And one of the things, one of my goals, my business plan this year is to expand my referral network by building relationships with people who can refer me and I can refer back or make look really good when they do refer us so that that's a that's a great point. And that


Casey Fuerst  07:13

really component, can I piggyback on that for a second. So, there's kind of two different things that for you or for someone in the trades industry? Well, for anyone really, that you need to look at in that kind of thing, you want to increase your referral business. So you need to make yourself you need to market yourself, right, which is your traditional kind of tactics. Those are your social media, your digital presence, your blogging level, blah, all that stuff. And then you've got to make yourself more marketable. Right? And that means that when you're out there selling with people, you've got to have a solid process, a solid system, how do you deliver? How do you show up for people? How do you allow them and give them the resources to share with others? And that's, that's a whole marketing genre in and of itself, right? And we do that a lot with coaches and consultants specifically, right? They, we go in and we say, how are you marketing yourself? And most of them are like, Okay, well, I'm on all this. I'm on all the right channels, I'm doing the things I'm networking, I'm doing that stuff. And then we say okay, now what about when you show up for people? What does that look like? Right? And they're like, well, it's scrappy, right? I'm showing up, and I've got a Word document that's got my notes on it. And then I just hand that to them at the end of it. And we're saying, like, let's level that up. Let's make that more polished. Let's look at how do we show up in a way that systematizes what you do. It doesn't make it cookie cutter, it makes it polished and professional? How do you turn those kinds of standard solutions that you provide for people into really, really high level tools that you can use?


Dana Dowdell  08:43

And I know we're going to talk about level up and kind of those scalable resources that coaches and consultants can really benefit from. from a brand perspective, you know, how important is that idea of having collateral to give to clients and to help explain your processes and to establish guidelines and the foundation for what it's like to work together?


Casey Fuerst  09:12

More and more important. I mean, I think that, you know, there's a certain genre of coaches and consultants who are just who are scrappy, and are known for being scrappy, and they kind of live into that. And that's totally fine, right. But I think that the more that the market becomes saturated, and if you even just Google, what you do insert industry coach, and get the huge amount of stuff, the more you see that each of those people need to differentiate themselves in order to be seen in a certain way. niching down is certainly one way to do that. Another way to do that is to really polish your materials really kind of have those resources, those leave behind the workbooks, the online courses, that whatever format it takes, making it look really good and making it really easy to use.


Russ Harlow  09:58

So, one of the things we tried doing it just in our experiences, I started creating some videos and a YouTube channel for real common questions. But I feel guilty sometimes trying to, I'll have a conversation with somebody and say, Listen, I'm going to send you a video. So it'll go over all the things that we just talked about, you'll be able to remember it and check back at it. But I always kind of feel guilty, like, I don't want them to feel like I'm passing it off, you know, or like, here, just read this and call me back. Like, I still want to have that level of person ability. And that connection with clients. So how do we kind of overcome some of that?


Casey Fuerst  10:33

Great question. First of all, I love that you're doing that. There's a book they asked you answer. Is that kind of what it's based on yet Ross is nodding. Yes. Yeah, great book, kind of this idea that, that people are asking really simple questions, but nobody's answering them. Because we're, we want them to get on the phone with us to answer and, and by putting it out there in the world, you actually become a trusted resource for them. And that and that adds authority. That's kind of the thing that I'm talking about right now. Right? Like, let's make it so that you're a trusted authority, because you've got these really polished answers, these really polished things. The thing that the thing about that is that you've just highlighted this, sometimes it can feel a little impersonal. My suggestion would be that when you send that to them, you send it with a video of you talking about it, right? So I use loom L O M, with loom, it's free up to five minutes, you can record yourself, the insane. Hey, Casey, I know we talked about this problem that you're having, I want to give you a couple of pointers. But I also want to point you to a video that's got a stronger explanation for it. In that case, you're you are still presenting yourself as really personal but saying, you're not alone in this, there's a common answer for it. And I think that's totally legit, it's fine.


Dana Dowdell  11:45

For coaches, and consultants, I feel like there's a lot of push to become this idea of like a subject matter expert, and to build your credibility and to show up on LinkedIn and all of the other places. What, for people that exist in that world where they're trying to really get that credibility? What are some other ways that they can build that brand for themselves as a subject matter expert, so then it becomes Oh, go see, Dana, she's the only HR consultant you need.


Casey Fuerst  12:13

Yeah. Well, we talked about me being a story brand guide. So I'm gonna go down that path for just a second here. So in our story brand world, we talk a lot about what problem do you solve, right? And for either one of you, and all of the people we're talking to today, you actually solve lots of problems. You're, you're in your case, Dana, you're doing HR, right. So you're showing up and you're helping them solve people problems, or helping them solve system problems, all of those kinds of different things. And when we market ourselves, we want them to know everything about us, we're like, Well, I don't want to just mention one thing, because what if they need this other thing over here, and I've missed the boat, and then I missed an opportunity. So we throw all the things at them all at once, right? It just becomes a shit show. For lack of a better word, it just becomes this kind of like messy collection of all the things and the people we're talking to get confused. Instead, I want you to leave a ton of stuff on the cutting room floor, good stuff, and just talk about one thing at a time, right? Just pick the solution you're going to talk about today. And just talk about that one solution, right? We are oftentimes I talk about this, I have this, I'm at my house right now. And just down the hall for me is this whole closet, right? Between my bedroom and my husband and his bedroom and my son's bedroom. And it's kind of it's a larger closet, but it's a catch all closet, but I tried to organize it in a way that makes sense, right? So it's got her linens, it's got her cleaning supplies, it's got her extra blankets. But when I tell my son, hey, it's time to clean up the house. It's a catch all for anything, he doesn't know where it goes, and it becomes just shove it in. And it drives me crazy, right? You open that closet, and you're like, it's so bad. But it's like that with our websites and with the way that we talk about our businesses, everybody thinks their crap belongs on the front page. Everybody thinks their crap belongs as the number one thing we're talking about. But when we do that, nobody can see any of it. So we have to choose one thing at a time to talk about.


Russ Harlow  14:10

So and I get that that totally makes sense. Because sometimes we'll go and do something for someone and all of a sudden, like, say we do air duct cleaning, right? But it's not the business we're really chasing. But all of a sudden, we just become the air duct guy. And they I don't even know you did water damage and mold. And those are high ticket items. Those are the ones I really want. But is it better to go ahead and start a client journey where you can continue to communicate with them like an email newsletter quarterly or monthly or something to say, Oh, check out this other thing we did? Or oh, I didn't know you did that. And then they can be informed that way?


Casey Fuerst  14:45

Absolutely. That's absolutely right. Right. There's no reason that you can't communicate all those other things. You just need to communicate one at a time.


Russ Harlow  14:54

Yeah, that's cool. Now I just there's so many things underneath marketing talk about I mean, I, I have so many questions. What we talked about some of the things that are most important. So what are the things that most people need to do that they're not doing?


Casey Fuerst  15:14

Hmm. Good question. I'm not sure that I have an off the cuff answer, what are people? What are they not doing that they should be doing? I mean, I think frankly, people are sometimes doing too much. I think sometimes people are just scattering themselves, right? We talked about that tactical level. And I think we're all chasing, like, easy fix for our pipeline. We're all we're all kind of going, Oh, well, I need to be doing that. I need to be doing that. And I kind of wonder if it's not a matter of let's just simplify things. Let's get it down to what are the three channels you're using to communicate? And let's do it really well with those things?


Russ Harlow  15:55

Sorry, they just not developing that strategy.


Casey Fuerst  15:58

Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think that there's just a lot of like, just chasing tactics. I feel like


Dana Dowdell  16:03

that's here. You know, like, it's the rumor mill in a way, like, Oh, you got to do this, because it'll work for you. Because it might have worked for them. We get that with a podcast, people keep telling us and I do video stuff on YouTube. But we've had other people when I've mentioned it to them, they say, well, you shouldn't because if you're not going to be consistent with it, then it's problematic. So I feel like consistency when it comes to your marketing and messaging is one of the overarching themes. But it's also probably the hardest thing for people to do. In terms of consistently showing up. Do you have any recommendations or tools or tips for somebody that struggles?


Casey Fuerst  16:47

Yeah, I mean, hire it. Right. I mean, I think that there's a lot of different avenues to getting people to do it for you. And even at the simplest level, there's, you know, in the range of how do you hire it done, you've got all the way over and the simple level, which is like the Fiverr and Upwork platforms online, where you can get cheap resources or cheaper resources that can do it for you and turn things around quickly, all the way to the like marketing agency, which is going to be high ticket price, and highly strategic and polished and longer term. There's a whole range of professionals in there that can align with your needs and help you get it done well and consistently.


Russ Harlow  17:31

I'm curious as to your input on this when I was with a franchise for four years and left them last year. And we had a lot of you know, home office approved people. But I always found that they just didn't do a great job, because they didn't take the time to learn about me and my business. They just kind of and so I was working with a business coach at the same time. And we developed you know, who's my ideal client? Where are they? What are my you know, key points, you know, it's pumpkin planning, if you're familiar with Mike McCalla wits and that whole thing. So we pumpkin planning our business, and I had a huge list of things for my marketing team to say, Okay, this is what's important, this what's important to my ideal client. And you know, they just came off with generic stuff. And so it's so hard to find somebody because they everybody, I get calls daily, I can get you on the first page of Google, I could do all these things. And I'm just like, leave me alone, you have no idea about me and my business. So what do you recommend when people are looking to work with someone to assist with their marketing?


Casey Fuerst  18:30

Yeah, you know that I want to answer that the way that says you need me right. Like, that's, that's what I want to say. But it's not always true. I think for some people, they do need that kind of more hyper specialized services like SEO or, or those kinds of things for different kinds of businesses, that's absolutely the route that they need to go. And they just need someone to plug and play their solution in it. Right? I think for a lot of small business owners, the thing that they miss is like that personal connection, they miss that, like somebody caring about their business as much as they do. And oftentimes, in small business, we hear that a lot. No one's ever gonna care about your business as much as you do. And that is absolutely true. And you should still try, you should still try to connect with people who do. Right. And so I think that when for a lot of coaches and consultants, small business owners, when you're connecting with marketing people that first that first conversation, are they asking good questions, and are they listening to you when you answer them? Or are they just trying to place you in a cookie cutter solution that they already have in place in place? And I mean, I think as small business owners, we didn't get here because we're just by the book kind of people. There's an intuitiveness to us and emotional intelligence that helps us filter out those people that aren't right for us. And we have to trust our gut on a lot of that stuff.


Dana Dowdell  19:50

I was talking to this. I was interviewing someone on my other podcast that I have that does HR specific marketing and she, and she had said to me, she was like, you know, I just decided one day that I was going to start showing up authentically online. And she's like, ever since then it's just, it's almost like a weight was lifted off of her shoulders. And I know I struggle that my subcontract sisters have told me that I have a split personality with my marketing that like I tried to present so professionally, and at the end of the day, um, you know, something very different when I actually work with clients. 


Casey Fuerst  20:25

It's so funny that you say that I had that exact same conversation with a friend of mine yesterday, he said, you know, your stuff you're showing on LinkedIn is really good, but it's not you. It's not warm and funny and sarcastic. And so, yesterday, and today, if you go to my LinkedIn, you can see there's totally different tone to it, because he was like, trying different things out anyway.


Dana Dowdell  20:44

But I mean, how important is that? Like, we, I always use the phrase the know, like trust factor, right? Like, and to that point of when you were saying that, about hiring out marketing hire you, right, but someone might not vibe or jive with your style. So how important is it from even just not even a marketing perspective, but just a business perspective, in working with the people that you want to work with? To show up authentically? 


Casey Fuerst  21:11

Yeah, well, I mean, ultimately, whether or not you vibe with me is less important than whether or not the solutions I offer work for you. Right. But also, as small business owners, there's a limited amount of time in our day, and we want to work with people that we like. And so for me, it's important that we work with people that we like, we have a literal written policy, we don't work with assholes, right. And sometimes they sneak through. But most of the time, because of that we're real clear about here's who will work with in here, so we won’t, and I think that's how all small business owners ought to show up. We don't you know, we didn't do this because we wanted, you know, just the money in the bank, we do it because we love what we do. And so we ought to enjoy the people we work with.


Russ Harlow  21:55

Well, we were talking a little bit, before we got on to recording the program you were talking about with level up? Yeah, how we do that with our marketing and how you're doing that with coaches. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the things you're doing that help people scale? Because you know, that system and process is so important for scalability?


Casey Fuerst  22:13

Absolutely, yeah. So let me just give you an example. We have a coach in our in our network, she's fairly well, she's been doing coaching and consulting for a long, long time. But she just started her own business. And what she is really important to her is that she's able to put her own her own the solutions through her own filter. And so what we're doing with her is creating kind of proprietary content, right, her own framework, nuances that matter to her and the people that she serves. And we're putting custom graphics with that. And then we're, we're aligning that with all of her materials that make that allow her to market herself and make her more marketable, right. So for her, that means we're creating a half day workshop that will become her Cornerstone offering. So it'll be the thing that she sells the easiest, it'll be kind of that middle ticket price item that she can go in. And she could say for $6,500, you can have me for a half day, and I'll deliver this cornerstone proven content that you know, helps everybody, it's just wonderful. And we create the PowerPoint deck and the workbook and all that stuff. The trick for a lot of coaches and consultants is you've got all these crazy solutions in your head and these things you repeat, but getting them down on paper is messy, and it feels really overwhelming. And so, when they come to us, oftentimes it is messy. And we help kind of synthesize it, organize it, get it in a place where we can say How does this feel and then they test it, and then we iterate on it. And it becomes like their the thing they're most proud of in their business, because it's so beautiful and polished and package. And it's different than what if someone comes to us and they say we've got all the content, we just need to make it look good, go to Upwork for that they're much cheaper, right? But if you've got like that mind, that's got all these great solutions, you just can't quite get them to that stage. That's where we come in.


Russ Harlow  24:00

So, with that, I think that's a good. When we think about scaling, it's hard because you think as a coach or a consultant, there's so much that's personal or specific to you as an individual. And I think we can go beyond coaching and consulting because so many business owners think nobody can do it, like I do it.


Casey Fuerst  24:21

I know, I feel the same about my own business. So, I get it, right, it's hard. And the thing is, other people are going to have their own little quirks and their own way of presenting things. And it's gonna make it different than how you would do it as a business owner. But the more that you can package it, the more closely aligned it will be. And you can put in that package the things that really matter, and let them be themselves right when someone else delivers your content. At least you know, the core of it is the same and it's right. And for some people, they don't ever want to let it go, that's fine. Just hold it yourself. It's still worth it's still worth polishing, right. But for those of us that want to kind of have a There are people out delivering our content. For the sake of scalability, this is a great way to do it.


Dana Dowdell  25:05

What about marketing for like, one off, not one off, but marketing for those types of events, workshops, trainings, that type of thing? Is there a proven way to market those things to drive those sales to do to drive that revenue?


Casey Fuerst  25:21

Say more? What do you mean by one off in one it was?


Dana Dowdell  25:23

So, like, we as a consulting company, we offer supervisory skills training. And it's, to that point of level up where it's like, we know that employers need this, it makes our job easier and HR, and that's why we offer it. And, you know, it just never feels like we can reach the right people who need it. And I'm someone who, you know, I'm wondering if there's a best way to market or get that information out there?


Casey Fuerst  25:54

Yeah, I mean, to kind of paths, either one, you're talking to the wrong people or two, it's just not marketable. Right. And sometimes great solutions just will never have a home because people aren't willing to pay for them whether they're needed or not. And so I think you have to decide first, is this something that is needed, and people are willing to pay for it? And if they are, then it might, it might be served well, by something like level up where you can really polish it and package it and sell it better?


Russ Harlow  26:23

Maybe it's the kind of thing that you go back and talk to clients say, what was the value out of this? You know, you can even talk price point was at the right price point, these types of things, what are the things that have been improved since then, or could be improved, since you have that training? And then maybe, maybe it's part of a package where you say, this is required when we do this service package, because we just found that your supervisors are going to need it in order to do all the right things moving forward.


Casey Fuerst  26:52

I love that. And I love that for you in the service industry to Russ, I mean, there's a there's a difference between company that comes in and says, yeah, you got mold, I'm gonna clean that up for you for seven grand whatever it is, and a company that comes in and says, I, you know, yes, you definitely have mold. And here's how we understand the best solution to be. And here's what this process is going to look like. And here's how we're going to deliver. And here's how we're going to follow up, right, and they have all of that pre packaged and understood, I definitely trust that second resource more. And I think that's part of the becoming marketable is when you've got leveled up materials and resources, people trust you more, they say, okay, they've done this enough that it's worthy of the package that they put it in.


Dana Dowdell  27:37

You had mentioned with level up that, you know, you kind of like test the market in a way like you figure out, is there an actual need? Can you talk a little bit more about that idea of, you know, testing the resource? And is there a market for it? Because I feel like as business owners, we're like, that's a good idea. I'm going to make it happen. And we haven't really done the legwork to make sure that it's actually something that's needed.


Casey Fuerst  28:00

Yeah, I mean, this happens for me all the time, I get a great idea in the middle of the night. And I'm like, this is absolutely worth it. And I spend days and days and days and weeks kind of creating this whole product, and then nobody buys it. All. Right. So, I mean, I think for me, the process becomes slow down the beginning of the thing, have a whole lot of conversations that say, you know, can I pilot this with you? Can I give you a discount off of it, and let's just test it, and you'd be willing to be my guinea pig. And then and then we kind of look at capturing what were the gold nuggets in this? And what were the things that kind of fell flat? Where did the most value come from? And interestingly, sometimes the place that the most value comes from isn't that they aren’t the reason they bought it. Does that make sense? Like I might buy something because it looks really good. But what I discovered later is it also works really good. And I would buy it again, because it works really good. But I wouldn't buy it again. Because there's like a messiness in that like sometimes I go to Target and Target tells me what I need. And that's true for marketing too. Sometimes we have to sell it for one thing, knowing that the real value they get is the other thing that happens in the midst of it.


Russ Harlow  29:08

That makes a lot of sense, actually. Because people sometimes don't always know what they need. But they're your pretty key on what they want. Yeah,


Casey Fuerst  29:20

exactly. Yeah. In the story brand world we talk about this. This is an example that's used in building a story Brand Book as well as other places. But if you if there is a lawn care companies that are marketing to this to the suburbs, and you get two postcards in the mail, and one of them is when we mow lawns and the other is we make your lawn look better than your neighbors. The second one will always win, right because we think we need solutions to external problems, which are things like I need my lawn mower, but we will pay more, and we'll and we'll do it more often. If it also solves an internal problem. It makes me look better than my neighbors. Not funny.


Russ Harlow  29:55

No, I love it. It's competition because there's always there's a little bit of that and I think marketing is really about hacking human nature, right? Oh, for sure. I've learned so much about human nature and tried to try it, it's really what it is, it's hacking, it's trying to understand what people really are going after. And that's trying to figure out what they want, and giving them what they really need, and be in that solution for them. So, what are some other things I love? What are some other hacks that you find in marketing?


Casey Fuerst  30:28

Wow. You know, we talked about the one thing at a time we talked about, you know, the problem that you solve what you just dabbled in that a second ago with the external and internal problems that we solve, right. And the more that we can lean into, I solve a problem for you, the better so often, we see companies showing up, it's just it's all about me. In our story brand world, we flip the script and we say, we are, we are the guide, you are the hero, we help to make you we help we help you win the day, we don't win the day, we help you win the day. It's the I'm the Yoda to your Luke Skywalker. In our marketing world, if we're doing marketing where we exist as Yoda, then that's better marketing.


Russ Harlow  31:10

It's really hard to get that perspective, though, and make a client the hero to understand that because that's something that I've been working on over the last, I don't know, 1218 months with coaches and other things too. And it was really foreign to me, the first time it was presented to me as making your client, the hero,


Casey Fuerst  31:29

just to be authentic to you can't fake it, right? I can't just put words in my client's mouth and say, you know, you stay awake at night thinking about your marketing. That's just not true. They don't, they don't. And if they do, that's, that makes me sad for them. So we have to come up with statements that are that are real and authentic, right, that you're frustrated because there's so many different marketing solutions, and you have no idea which way to go. That's legit, that's authentic.


Dana Dowdell  31:55

So Casey, we do a lightning round with all of our guests where we ask you five questions. And so we're gonna kick it off with what's the one thing that you wish you had known before starting your business?


Casey Fuerst  32:05

I wish I would have known that every time I think I have it figured out it breaks. And it gets hard before it gets better again. It's there are days where it's like, why am I doing this? This is so hard. And then again, then it gets better again.


Russ Harlow  32:20

Boy, howdy. Oh, how about now this is a no is an interesting question for marketers. What's your favorite way to market your business?


Casey Fuerst  32:29

Yeah, I love in person. I love connecting with people and just listening to what they do. And that I think it blurs the lines of marketing and sales. But I just really feel like the more that I can listen to people and then respond to exactly what they're saying. That's the best marketing that I can do.


Dana Dowdell  32:48

What is one business platform that has changed your life?


Casey Fuerst  32:52

Oh, well, I would say in general project management, software, business platforms, and there are a gazillion of them. Currently, I'm using Asana, but I've used others in the past. Those things changed my life because I'm not naturally an organized person. And they helped me stay organized, especially with a team that's all remote.


Russ Harlow  33:13

Very cool. When did you feel like you made it?


Casey Fuerst  33:17

Oh, I love this question. And it gets a little personal in this one. So, I mean, it's been years ago now I had a I had my daughter was I don't even know she was 1617 years old. And she had been Jewish. She was she had been 17 She was driving my husband's old Prius and it was just a rust bucket. Right. And it was not living any longer. And we took her to the car lot and had to we had to upgrade and we're in a suburb and we needed to have a third car. And so we had to buy our car and I paid cash for an $8,000 Toyota Camry. And it was so fun. And I don't want to I am doing it. Yeah, I mean of it four years ago now but man that that filled my heart.


Dana Dowdell  34:00

Love it. Alright, what's one of your favorite business books?


Casey Fuerst  34:05

Building a story brand? Donald Miller.


Dana Dowdell  34:07

Easy. Yeah, we've heard that time and time again on here. So I think it's something that we I've never read it, but I've heard


Casey Fuerst  34:12

it. I've heard about it on audiobook too.


Dana Dowdell  34:15

Okay. Like, listen, tactic Yeah,


Russ Harlow  34:17

it is on my audio book list. And I've tried to do a book a month,


Casey Fuerst  34:23

bumping up to the top. It's an excellent one, and it's easy to listen to. So


Russ Harlow  34:27

very cool. Well, where can people find you, Casey? Where can people connect with you? Super simple


Casey Fuerst  34:33

WWW dot tic tac toe And you can book a call there, you can check out some of the stuff we're doing. Be sure to check out the level up page on there that talks a lot about how we turn your solutions into tools. And please reach out even if we can just chat and kind of help you think through some things. We love to be a resource for folks.


Russ Harlow  34:53

Awesome, and we're gonna have all the places that people can find you in our show notes and we Want to thank you for being here and sharing with us sharing with our listeners? Because let's face it, you know, marketing is an important part of business. You know, everybody is always, oh, I'm a bolt company. I'm actually a marketing company that does mold, right? Right here in every little industry, right? Because it's important. And, you know, if you're a small business owner and you're scared, it's not taken a small step. Reach out to somebody who can help you work these marketing things out. They will. They're their prep professionals, and so they can help you do the things that you do, and do them better. Thanks for being here. Thanks for listening. You can find us on all the places that it's just business podcast. You know, leave us a review. Send us a comment, shoot us an email. It's not personal. It's just business.