Maeva is the founder of a content marketing agency that focuses on creating user-focused and SEO-driven content. They get to know target customers and their real pain points instead of guessing based on a marketer's hunch. With empathy and educational content, they help businesses become a trusted authority in their niche.
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Jacob Harmon: [00:00:15] all right, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of success quest I'm Jacob Harman. I'll be your host today, and I have a real treat for you guys.
I'm with and I can already tell that this is going to be an awesome podcast because. It seems like we have a lot of the same and same things that we'll nerd out about. She is a content marketing and branding expert, and she also is living in Spain.
And so she speaks Spanish. So there's a lot of connection there. As you guys know from previous episodes, I spent two years in Peru and I'm a huge Spanish nerd. So anyways, I'm excited about this episode. I think we're going to have a lot to talk about how are you doing today? My bad.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:01:00] doing very well. Just ending my day here in Spain and had a very productive start of the week, or I guess half of the week. And, uh, thanks for the intro. And for having me on here. What an honor.
Jacob Harmon: [00:01:13] you, the honor is all ours. Seriously? Um, we, we were chatting just a little bit before we put, press record about why in the heck are you in Spain, you grew up in California. Do you mind telling us a little bit about your story and how you got, where you are?
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:01:29] I grew up in California, but I'm half French and half Colombian. So. By the time I graduated college, I was thinking I didn't want to stay in my hometown. That was for sure. And I was kind of in between moving to San Diego or Denver or Paris was also an idea because my mom is from there and my grandma lived there or, and, um, I didn't really get to know my grandparents that well, because we lived far away.
So, you know, it was difficult to see each other. So I decided to move to Paris. And eventually that led to me, moving to London and London was too big, big and too gray and too expensive. And I really wanted to learn Spanish again. I spoke it when I was a kid and then I forgot it as I grew up and I wanted to relearn it.
And then I ended up in Barcelona about six years ago. And that's how I got here.
Jacob Harmon: [00:02:24] Sounds like a dream life to me, . I love traveling. I love culture and foreign places. I kind of wish that I could be living in Spain. , it's so cool. , was that an easy decision for you or was that a super hard decision to go to different country, to live full time?
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:02:41] So it was kind of a difficult decision the first time, like what I left my hometown, cause it was basically living in my parents' house and it wasn't like some gradual steps to where, okay. Now I'm going to live by myself or some roommates or whatever. It was just like living in my parents' house to moving to a different country.
Um, so it was kind of a big jump and that was a little more challenging. Um, I remember. On the, on the car drive to the airport. That first time I was crying a lot, thinking about my friends and everything was gonna change and it did, but for the better. Um, and so that move was pretty difficult, but moving from London to Barcelona, I made it decision in about five seconds.
And then within two weeks I had already packed up and left, so that wasn't a hard decision to make. Um, but yeah, I guess every, I think when I first moved out, I'm also a big fan of, of traveling. And I'm jealous that you spend some time in Peru. I've been wanting to make my way out to Peru for a
Jacob Harmon: [00:03:42] It's worth it. It's not some place.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:03:44] Yeah. I really want to go. , I keep saying I'm going to do South America, but so far I've just been doing gear up. Uh, yeah. So as the first two, the first move was difficult. The second move from, from Paris to London was pretty easy as well. It was time. Sometimes you just feel it, you know, And then you just go with the, with the change that the universe demands.
Jacob Harmon: [00:04:09] For sure. So from my experience of living, being in Peru for two years, I think that that was a super amazing experience for me to make me grow and learn and be able to embrace other cultures a lot better. And I feel like I am the person I am today because of it. And I am more successful because of it because I was able to kind of branch out.
And see how big this world really is. Have you had a similar experience and would you recommend traveling or going to live in a foreign country for someone?
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:04:39] Oh, a hundred percent, a hundred percent just, and even going to live elsewhere, I think is more valuable than traveling as a tourist. Um, because like you said, you really branch out and you really understand. That your life experience. Isn't the only kind of life experience that's available. That's people actually think differently.
People see things differently and I think never leave in where you're from. You have this kind of confirmation bias. , and then you can living that way and you don't understand. Other people. And it's not because they're an ignorant person or you're bad. It's just that you haven't ever had that experience.
You have an interaction with those kinds of people. So I think moving somewhere else, you do kind of experience a whole other different lifestyle and it forces you to adapt and it forces you to learn, to connect with different kinds of work, forces you to learn other languages. Uh, not for everybody, but for most people when you move to a different language yeah.
Which is really valuable, it also teaches you that anything is possible. Like some, some people think that they could never learn another language. No, they moved somewhere. And a year later that I speak unit fluid, you know, sort of shows you, I can do this thing. I just have to put myself in a situation that's conducive to, to doing these things that
I've been dreaming about.
So yeah, absolutely.
Jacob Harmon: [00:06:08] Amen. I could not have said that better. I think that that is such an incredible experience and I'd recommend it to anyone if you have that opportunity to kind of just branch out. And if you don't, I mean, if you can't go to another country, then go to a different part of town or go, go to, if you're in a big city, go maybe to the ghetto or to somewhere where you're not used to so that you can experience other cultures, other, other lifestyles, other people, because I think that.
It will help you be more emotionally aware and understand. The amazing blessings and gifts that you've had in your life too. Um, just from my experience of going to Peru, I, I learned so much, it was like a huge self development journey because I first get there I'm like Oh, I can handle it. Like I can learn Spanish, I can do all these things.
And then I was immediately humbled, like so quickly because learning Spanish is hard. Like learning another language is hard. Yeah. But then, like you said, I was able to do it and I was able to learn it. And now I know that, Hey, I can do these things, but I also have to realize that it's hard and appreciate the challenge for what it is.
So anyways, I'll get off my soap box here, but I think that, I think that you really do learn so much going to another country or experiencing another culture. Just being able to understand not everyone sees
things the way you do. Not. Everyone has the same life experience that you do.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:07:32] you mentioned there's instead of just like going to another part of town, sometimes you don't even need to do that. It's just like, Switching up your group of friends, hanging out with different kinds of people, just exposing yourself to different experiences and different perspectives, even that can very strong learning.
Jacob Harmon: [00:07:55] Absolutely. Okay. So let's transition a little bit from culture and language to, to marketing and branding. so if I understand right, you are, are you the founder or the owner of your marketing agency? Okay, cool. And what's the story of that? How did you get started in marketing and how did you build your own company out of it?
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:08:14] Sure. So it's not exactly transitioning out of languages because I started as a Trent. I started as a translator. Um, yeah, so basically I started translating in college kind of just as a side hustle at first. Um, when eventually I realized, Oh, I can actually do this as a full time business. Um, so I started doing that for about, yeah, just like 10 years ago.
And I was translating marketing and material. So websites, brochures, landing pages, et cetera. And little by little that led me to just doing a copywriting because they said, okay, well actually we don't have the source text. We don't have the texts in French or Spanish. Can you just write it in English already?
So yeah, totally. I can do that. And I started getting into that and then in my. Path of copywriting. I realized that my favorite kind of writing was content writing. So like articles, blog, articles, SEO, little by that led me to actually start managing blogs for, for some time Alliance. And there was what I noticed was.
Just to a lack of understanding the goal of what this content was for and how to target the right people. It was basically a very content for content sake approach. So they would just be like, this is sort of relevant. So can you write some blogs post about this? They would just take a bunch of random topics.
Wasn't totally random. Of course it was a little bit related, It didn't have their target customer's pain points behind it. We weren't trying to do any keyword research. Well, we did like keywords. Like these are the keywords we want to rank for. And that was the extent of the keywords without even understanding what the search intent was behind it or anything.
And so I was doing that for awhile and I started to wonder, uh, how I was actually benefiting this company. I kind of felt like. It was a rip off for everybody because I was writing this content, but was I getting them any results? I didn't wasn't even able to track this or anything. So I started getting really interested in the strategy behind content, and I knew that there was a purpose.
I knew that there could be a big ROI. , but, I felt like that was lacking in all of the writing that I was doing. I wanted to have more of a role in it. So I started getting really into strategy and I started my own personal projects and little by little I realized, okay, Oh man, I need a team.
Like I can't wear all of these hats. Myself to run this marketing stuff strategy because a well, a I'm going to burn out and B there are things that I'm good at and things that maybe I could delegate that somebody else would be better at doing. So that's kind of how I started to scale into an agency and start taking on some, some freelancers to help me run these, these marketing strategies for my clients.
And that's the, I still do translation today, but the majority of mine. Work is from the, from the agency.
Jacob Harmon: [00:11:13] Nice. Well, I'll have some selfish questions for you here because I'm starting to build my own that agency. And I'll definitely have some questions, but before we get into that, let's talk a little bit about content marketing and content, the strategy behind content. This is something that I have been preaching, like crazy is the importance of creating valuable content.
Go ahead and let us know, like, why is that so important and why does there have to be strategy behind it instead of just posting random blog posts with keywords that you want to rank for? Like you said, how do you actually make sure that a campaign is strategic and why is it useful?
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:11:54] sure. So, well, content marketing a is. One of the cheapest. I mean, if you are investing in a, in an area and so you have to pay for that, but the thing about it is that you don't have to pay to play. So you start creating content and whereas PBC or social ads. Uh, if you want more clicks, you want more traffic, you have to pay more.
Um, if you stop paying it all stops. Right. And same way. And I was going to say same with social media, but yeah, that in a sense can also be content marketing, but I'm always thinking content in terms of SEO. Uh, so being found by search engines. So I'm a big fan of SEO because of the intent behind it that the searcher has.
Uh, and also the fact that it doesn't matter if you stop paying, because you're not paying, you still get the traffic coming to you, you don't have to pay to play, you just have to do it. Right. So what does it mean to do it, right? It means a you don't start with. Scraping all the keywords that your competitors are using or paying for it.
You start by talking to the person that you're trying to attract to your website. So this is where a lot of companies go wrong is they kind of guess this information or they get a team of marketers sitting at a table, the marketers who use it. I have never spoken to a customer. It's a sales and customer success.
We talked to them and so marketing is sitting there. All right. Well, I think that we can come up with these blog posts, uh, and that would be really good. But most of the time, that technique has half hazard. It's not, um, it's not actually addressing the pain points that this person has, or if you ask them, oftentimes I asked my, my clients will not, oftentimes every single time I start with client, I ask them, do you have a documented customer avatar?
And they always say yes, and then they always just give me a job title. And I'm like, what am I, what this isn't a deduct mentioned, customer avatar. I don't know here what their goals are, what their frustrations are, who they look up to online, who they trust in this industry, you know? So there's a whole series of questions then that goes behind before you even.
Um, even start topic ideation, you have to talk to your sales team to define who is the best customer. Talk to sales and customer success. First define who you want to attract, who pays the most, who stays the longest. Who's the least of a pain, um, when you're dealing with them. And then yeah, you're going to go find that person and figure out what their frustrations are on a daily basis in a longterm basis.
And, um, Where are they hanging out on the line and then you start to understand, okay, I can actually solve their problems. And the whole point about content is to, instead of trying to promote yourself, uh, you're solving problems. And obviously, you know that Jacob, but there's still a lot of people who think that content is about, uh, promoting their products.
But actually it's about. Helping people out so that they trust you. And because you are trustworthy, you're showing that I'm not, I'm giving this out. I, yeah. I want to help you solve your problems and I can help you solve my problem. This solve your problems. So you do all of that before you even come up with any topics.
And then you come up with a list of topics like, okay, these are all related. They're all kind of the umbrella of one topic, which is related to your product or service. And you start breaking it down into pieces that are relevant, uh, that solve these pain points that, that your customers have. And then at that point, then you can do keyword research.
Yeah, you can't do it until then, because otherwise you're going to, some people are going for these fat head keywords, like small one or two words that are getting a ton of traffic, but it's not qualified traffic. It's not, you don't know who's coming to your website. Are they going to become customers?
It's not leading to more conversions to have more of that traffic. So the keywords that you're going for have to be. Long-tail form or words, um, and very, very specific to the topic that you defined that is the solution to a pain point that your best customer has. And it's this whole journey, which suddenly at the end, you're like, Oh yeah, this is obviously gonna work and it's not guesswork.
It's, it's systematic, , understanding of how can I reach this person and help them.
Jacob Harmon: [00:16:18] That was awesome. Okay. So , as a marketer cell phone, just like digging all of this. Yeah. So I've been taking a couple of notes. Let me kind of go back through this a little bit and make sure that I understood correctly. So you talked about the importance of organic growth instead of paid growth.
So you mentioned PPC, right? And for those of you who don't know PPC is pay-per-click. So for example, like a Google ads campaign or a Facebook ads campaign, where you are paying literally for somebody to click on your link, but ortho organic growth, you can actually create content tent, and then search engines will crawl it or index it and then central to your website for free without you actually having to pay for it.
But in order for that to actually work, it sounds like we really need to understand the pain points of our potential customers or of our customers. Um, and I really liked something that you mentioned in there, which was that the marketers often don't know, um, I, I, one of the things that I think is most important, if you have an organization that has different departments, if you're a big enough company, go talk to yourselves.
People like the salespeople are talking to customers all day, every day, or your customer service people. Right. Go talk to these different departments who actually talk to customers and who are getting people calling in and maybe like firing the company. And well, why, why, why are you leaving us? Well, because it's too expensive.
Okay. That's valuable information. Go talk to these people on the front lines. Whereas oftentimes I think marketers or even small businesses that are trying to market themselves as well. A sole entrepreneur. One of the things that they don't realize is you have to understand your customer because if you're not creating value, then what's the point in once.
Why, why put in all that effort?
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:18:06] Yep. Read it for like one second and then say, Oh, this is not for me. This isn't helpful to me. It's so important. Um, it's funny. I went a few years ago. I got a business coach. Um, and the first thing they told me was, okay, well, you're going to get on the phone with customers or like lookalike customers, the people that you think you're trying to target, and you're going to ask them these questions.
First, you're going to come up with what pain points you think they have. Uh, and then you're going to kind of validate those pain points with them. And I remember getting on the phone with so many people and the first like five people, a, they were like, I had to come up. I was so sure that these were their pain points.
Right. And they were like, no, I don't have that challenge at all. And one person was given like, well, you're talking to the wrong person. I'm not the one who deals with that. And I was like, huh, okay. I have gotten it so wrong. You know? And I don't know how many marketers are working on this, these completely inaccurate guesses, um, that they could solve just by putting themselves out there and actually talking.
To the customers, or like you said, if they're a bigger company actually talking to the salespeople and the customer service people, that's the only way to do it. You just can't guess it.
Jacob Harmon: [00:19:20] Yeah. And the other thing they think is that we often think that people don't want to talk to us, but I have found the exact opposite in my business, where if I reach out to my past clients and say, Hey, I'd just love to jump on a 15 minute call just to make sure that like, you're happy with what we're doing and see if there's anything else we can help you with and just gauge kind of how, how our last campaign went or how your website's performing.
99% of the time, they are more than happy to jump on a call and they tell me so much like, Oh, well this is working in this isn't or this is a problem that we have, and it hasn't been solved yet. And people are happy to talk to you as long as you're willing to provide value. And I often tell people, Hey, this isn't a sales call.
Like, I'm not trying to sell you on something. I just want to gauge our past interaction went and what we could have done better or what we can do better in the future. People jump on those calls in a heartbeat beat. And you know what the other thing is that it's actually like a dual thing, even though I tell them it's not a sales call, they all of a sudden are going to trust me more.
And they're going to like me more, even if I'm not selling them in that meeting next time they think of marketing, they're coming to me. Why? Because I listened to them, right? Because I'm providing value. So, man, I love this marketing is all about just being an awesome person and providing real value to people instead of selling things and shoving it down, their throats provide value and people will come to you.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:20:46] Yeah, just try to actually help them. I've actually gotten a client as well. Just through doing research was saying, Oh, I just want to get to know your business. And then about a week later he was like, Oh, actually what we were talking about on that market research called that's exactly what I need.
Okay. And yeah, like you have to promise, I'm not pitching. I just got to get to understand what's going on. With you. Uh, and it's kind of the same as saying, well, I mean, even though we say we're not selling, I was just doing, I also have a podcast and I was in trouble doing somebody, a sales guy. And he was saying, the thing about sales is that what you're trying to do is just help people.
The way that sales works as you're trying to help people and provide value. And I was like, that's funny because that's kind of exactly the goals we have as a marketer too. It's kind of the goals we have as an entrepreneur in the end. What we're trying to do is to solve problems.
Jacob Harmon: [00:21:41] well in salesmen, get a bad rap because oftentimes, and I don't think it's necessarily their fault, but I think they're often trained to be pushy and to push things down people's throats into, to use tactics that honestly don't help, but actually hinder the sales process. And so you get this bad rap as a salesman of.
Being overly persistent or like not listening to the customer and just, Oh, well we can do this for you. Or we can do that for you. And I think that the best salesmen are actually the best marketers. Yeah. And maybe I'm biased as a marketer myself, but I believe that as, as a company, what you need to do is you need to understand pain points and you need to provide value.
So exactly what we've been talking about. So cool. So now that you've mentioned the, you have a podcast, I actually kind of want to run something by you. Uh, that I've been thinking about a lot lately. and once again, here comes my biases because I have a podcast, but I, I have this stuff that I think a podcast is probably one of the best tools that any.
Business can use for marketing. Yeah. And the reason my thought process, this was behind this. And then I kind of want to get your feedback on it is the one it's a perfect networking tool. You get to talk with people. I mean, I have talked with so many people on my podcast that probably never would have talked to.
They never would have approached me, or if I reached out to him and said, Hey, can I have an hour of your time? And they would say no, but because I have a podcast, they say, yes. So one, I think it's an awesome networking tool. It gets you in front of more people, but then too, you're providing content. And instead of sitting down and writing, which I'm a horrible writer, And if I was to write a blog post, it would take me hours.
Instead. I can talk to someone for 30 minutes, transcribe it and post it on my website. And I'm still getting the benefits of the keywords. So I kind of wanted to get your thoughts, um, because I've been telling everyone, Hey, start a podcast, start a podcast. Even if people don't listen. Even if you have five listeners, start a podcast anyways, because the value of the networking and the content creation is worth it.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:23:52] Yeah, I totally agree with you actually, when I started it. So right now it's kind of a video series. I have all the podcasts, audio, I need to start distributing. So right now it's like a video. I still call it a podcast though. but exactly for those reasons. So initially when I started it, I was like, I have very little time.
I'm doing marketing for everybody else. How can I, um, kind of compact, continuing to create content for myself in being able to, in a lot of ways. So I said, okay, I'm going to record a video from there. I can extract the audio. I can cut it up into a bunch of little videos as well. I, I do love her writing.
So I was like, but I can still take kind of the transcript and then put it out into a blog post, which I can then cut up into a bunch of LinkedIn posts. This seemed like the most direct. To create a ton of concrete. And then as I started going, I, at first I was like preparing all these, the questions beforehand.
And it was like kind of awkward. I was like trying to extract, right. I had great speakers, but I wasn't yet ready, um, to extract the value from them. And then I switched to the kind of format that you have now. I was like, let's just chat a little bit. And then I started with, yeah. The same, like you said, like a, I got these CMOs and CEOs of these amazing companies to agree to it.
Talk to me for half an hour, which if I had just contacted them, like, Hey, can I take your brain running or whatever? Uh, they would've never answered me. So I said, I want you online on my podcast. They were really happy to do it. So a, like you said, networking, and then. I just learned so much from them. It was like, okay, actually I'm doing one podcast just a week for half an hour.
This is like a consulting session that I'm getting for free. And I'm just asking, I was like the way that I'm going to get the best content out of this, it's just ask them things that I really want to know to help my own business. And it's like a little consulting session and it gives value to my listener because if I had these questions, somebody else also probably has them and it's networking and I have a ton of content.
Uh, it's just. It's amazing. And also the podcast hadn't really been tapped into that much yet. I feel like there's a lot fewer people doing that.
Jacob Harmon: [00:25:58] Yeah, it's a growing market. Um, and this is probably out of date by now, but the last stats that I had heard was that there were 23 million YouTube channels and just barely 1 million podcasts. And most of them are interactive. I supposedly, I think there's only about 250,000 podcasts that are actually active, that are posting every week or.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:26:19] So how do they measure that though? Cause there's so many different channels that podcasts are on.
Jacob Harmon: [00:26:25] Apple podcast numbers that I was looking at. So supposedly there's a million podcasts on Apple and only about 250,000. I'll have to send you the link and I'll put it in the show notes. Um, I did a link LinkedIn post on it. It was a couple months ago though. So these numbers have definitely changed, but yeah, like 23 million YouTube channels compared to about 250,000 podcasts.
It's a brand new market, even though it's old, like it's barely getting. Kicked off. And so I think there's a lot of opportunity in podcasting.
Well, you mentioned, sorry, we've got a little bit of a cold, I'm gonna go. You mentioned trying to extract value from your guests and I'm going to, I'm going to do that real quick from you, but as an agency owner that is actually started to build an agency and hire out freelance work, I'm starting to do the same.
So up til now, I've been kind of a one man show and my focus has been websites and Mike, okay. I will design your website, but I'm getting to the point where I really want to expand the services that I offer. And I want to say, okay, well with websites, the perfect combination is SEO and being able to help with content and things like that.
And so I recently rebranded my agency. But now I'm getting to the point where I have to start hiring out because I'm getting so much work that I can't handle it, which is a good problem to have. But my question is, is I am a little bit of a control freak, and I want to control every piece of the process and I want to make sure it's done the way I would have done it.
And that it's done up to my standards. How do you find people one and then how do you make sure that they're going to be able to do the work to your standards?
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:28:06] Yeah, that's a great question. And I had definitely the same problem, um, because I also have a very high standard of, of writing style. So it was hard for me to find a good writer, um, and also just all of the processes and thinking that goes behind it. I think that one of the most useful things that I've found so far is systems.
I mean, you probably hear this all the time, but like documenting everything that you do. Uh, either using loom to record, like you design a website and you can use loom to literally like record yourself doing the whole thing. Maybe that'll get a super long video, but, um, but then you can like, get this, this video, have somebody help you go through the video and write it all down into steps.
And then you have two pieces of content that a new hire can follow or like use it as a checklist. and then to make sure that they can do it however, You know, what you're doing also requires some skills. So even though there's a step by step checklist, they also have to use their brains a little bit.
Right. Or they have to be a little bit creative. So that part is a little more challenging to find that kind of person. And I honestly haven't found the perfect hiring, process yet. I found some writers that I like. I send a lot of feedback. I don't hold back on feedback. I'm sometimes feel bad cause I don't even give you this compliment sandwich.
I just go straight for the feedback. and also recording the feedback on loom helps a lot too, because then you can go, okay, here, this is what I was thinking and I'm sure in design, it works even better than, than in writing. Um, so that makes a big difference to be able to explain your whole process on there.
And the more you record what you do. The easier it is to put it out into systems. And then with every kind of checklist of systems at the bottom, you say, what is my definition of success? Have you done these things? and then you get the right person into to be able to follow those. Somebody who can follow it, instructions.
Jacob Harmon: [00:30:09] That is such. Good advice. Wow. Okay. Cause I have loom, I use Luma all this all the time to send stuff to clients. Like, I'll be like, Hey, I did this look at my screen. And what do you think of it? Should we move it over here at wo? Or should we do whatever I have loom? I just have never thought of using it in that way.
Okay. Cool. That's awesome. So far, like I haven't even looked at the clock because we are just going crazy at it. Um, we, we have, usually we try to keep it up to about 40 minutes. So we have about 10 more minutes. Is there anything that we haven't talked about that you're really passionate about and you'd really like to touch on?
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:30:50] what happened? Oh, you, well, we haven't talked about LinkedIn and personal branding, which is kind of how we found each other anyway.
Jacob Harmon: [00:30:56] Yeah, let's talk about it.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:30:59] Cool. Well, I discovered the power of personal branding, which changed everything. Um, honestly, it's changed my life since I decided to work on my personal brand because I get it's actually. A lead generation tool. It's a, it's a tool, even if you're trying to grow a company, that's not just you as a freelancer.
Cause I was kind of in this mindset before I was like, well, if I ever want to scale, it's going to be problematic to have my personal brand because everybody's just going to want to work with me. Um, and I was a little concerned about that and I've heard other founders and CEOs sharing this concern, but actually that's a false concern and.
I mean, as long as your personal brand and then throw in my team, my team, it's kind of your values and your mission that people resonate with and, you know, being present on LinkedIn and Instagram and whatever other channels are important to you, it's, it's just so important. It's so important. And I don't understand why more CEOs are not.
Posting content on LinkedIn. I do understand that, you know, they don't have time or they maybe don't see the value in it yet, or they don't know how to write. They don't know what to say. Um, or maybe they think it's a popularity contest. They'd rather just pay somebody to do the marketing, but it's, you can do all the marketing you want.
But really the value in the end is going to be these relationships that you can build, uh, now in our digital world and doing that is like building your personal brand is the vehicle for, for building these relationships that are going to change your life and change your business and change other people's lives.
I think. What do you think.
Jacob Harmon: [00:32:40] Amen. Well, first off, like what you mentioned, the fact that a lot of CEOs or business owners don't want to create a personal brand because they're afraid of it scaling and becoming a business and not Jacob Harman anymore, but the business name and. I think that the problem with that is even big businesses.
Well, have some sort of personality, especially now. I mean, this has been changing, but you look at Amazon and who do you think of you think of Jeff Bezos? Look at Tesla. My goodness. Elon Musk is such a huge personal blender. Now people agree with him and they disagree with him. There's a lot of controversy there, but there is no question that he is.
Incredible marketer. And he's an incredible, he has a personal brand. That's absolutely insane, but he employs hundreds of thousands of people. I assume. I don't know how many, how big Tesla is, but. It's still okay. To have a personal brand, even with a company that size, you look at Apple and you see Tim cook.
And before him, Steve jobs, like these are two iconic people that have made a huge changes and they have a ginormous company, but that doesn't mean that the CEO can't have a personal brand or have, have values that are attached to him or her because people want to do business with someone that they know like, and trust.
And even if they're not doing business directly with the CEO, even if they're talking to a salesperson, or if they're talking to an account manager, that doesn't mean that they don't associate the business and the business's values with the CEO and the CEO's values.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:34:13] Absolutely. Even the employees, honestly, when I see companies like drift, for example, and you have not only the CEO, the CFO, but all of the employees being super active on LinkedIn. When I think that makes me think. Wow, that company must have a great culture because they're obviously, even if you forced your employees, if you were like you better post on LinkedIn or we're going to fire you, you would have like, you would be able to feel that in the, in the LinkedIn post, you know, so to, to get to the point where all of these employees and the CEO.
Are showing up online with their own personal brand and talking about this company and the things that they do there. that makes me have a very, very positive view of that company. And it's when I need something that they offer. That's the first one that I'm going to go to, because I say they're doing something right there.
Um, their own employees are online all the time. They don't need to be talking about how much they love this company.
Jacob Harmon: [00:35:11] And I feel like a lot of companies, they have a fear of giving them employees the ability to go and post because they don't want some employee to say something that hurts the company in some way or companies, Brad. And I get that. I do, but at the same time, If you trust your employees, right? If you're hiring people that you trust, they're going to carry your brand, whether or not they're posting on LinkedIn or whether or not they're posting on Facebook or Instagram or any platform they're talking to customers, right?
If they're a customer service or if they're sales like or marketing. And so why not give them that trust? Because as a business, Trusting your employees is going to make them want to be better employees anyways. Yeah. Why not give them that trust and say, Hey. Go for it. Like maybe here's, here's a couple guidelines for example, I worked at Apple before I branched off and kind of did my own thing. and Apple was very strict, like incredibly strict on social media guidelines. Like there was a list of things do not do this, but beyond those things, like they, they provided quite a bit of freedom.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:36:21] Did they encourage you to post on social media, just following the guidelines or
what was that like?
Jacob Harmon: [00:36:27] towards the end of my time at Apple, they did. I think that they're, they're starting to change the company. And part of it is that they're just such a big company and, um, they had very strict guidelines, like do not say anything about future products of course, or there were things that they were very, very clear about, but for the most part, they were like, here's the things you can post about.
If we have a news event or press release, like please, please post that and share like how excited you are or if we have. if you're, if you have some sort of experience with our product and you love it, like, if you're like, Oh my gosh, like my Mac book did this today. And it was the most amazing thing post that like, and so I think if, if you're worried, create brand guidelines, Or social media guidelines for the company say, please don't post any personal information or please don't post this or please don't post that.
But otherwise, like we want you to be posting about our company. anyways, I thought that was an interesting anecdote for my time at Apple. And they're very, very conscious about their brand, like
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:37:29] well, I mean, they're the most famous brand on the planet. Yeah. That's interesting that they gave you those guidelines. I wonder did they, did they ever say anything about, cause I know like a lot of the brands that I was thinking about employees that are posting, what they talk a lot is not. That much the product, but actually internal operation.
Okay. Not like anything secret, but this is how we work. This is what I learned on a sales call. Yeah. Thanks. I made here are the solutions I found,
Jacob Harmon: [00:37:58] Yeah. Um, from my understanding of the guidelines, that would have been fine, like personal development type stuff, like, Oh my gosh, today at work this happened and I learned so much and I'm going to start doing this a different way. Like I think that would have been absolutely no problem whatsoever. And that's probably the most valuable type of content because it's very personal.
And honestly, it doesn't necessarily matter what company you work for. You can post that type of stuff and then people will still associate it with the company because they'll look and they'll be like, Oh, he works for XYZ company. So personal branding is awesome.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:38:33] everybody should do it. I mean, everybody has one. Anyway, it's just your online reputation.
So if anybody looks up your name and you don't have anything going on, they'll just see a graveyard. And the, I think today in the age of LinkedIn in the age of Instagram, you need to be able to control that and you control that by.
Creating content. And by telling your story, the way that you choose
Jacob Harmon: [00:38:57] Absolutely. You're going to have one either way. So you might as well make it a good one. Awesome Kate. Well, I feel like we could go for another hour. We'll have to have your back. But is there any, I always like to ask this question, let's pretend that right now I have a magic microphone. And the next thing you're going to say, the entire world is going to hear it.
What would you say? What would be the one piece of advice that you would give to the entire world?
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:39:28] if I could give one piece of advice to the entire world, I feel like it's probably going to be pretty cliche. Um, but that's okay. I don't mind that as cliche because I truly mean it, but just design your life, just go for it. you can control your own mind. And most of the things that are happening around you are the result of choices.
And that doesn't mean that doesn't need to be a bad thing. It's a good thing. You can, you can design it and, uh, fill your head with positive and encouraging thoughts rather than negative ones. Or I don't think that can happen
Jacob Harmon: [00:40:10] Awesome. I couldn't agree more. Well, thank you so much. I'm so happy that we had this episode. I know it's a good episode when the whole title, I'm just smiling and excited and nerding out. So this is, this is one of those I'll I'll remember it forever.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:40:26] Yeah, it was a pleasure to talk to you, Jacob and had a lot of fun as well.
Jacob Harmon: [00:40:30] Awesome. I'm glad you did. Where can people find you if they want to follow your company or follow you or reach out to you? What or where can they find you?
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:40:37] So I'm a super active on LinkedIn, which is just my name, my , and then everywhere else on Twitter, on Instagram, it's just my VA everywhere. so you can think like everywhere, it's just my name and then everywhere. And then otherwise also my, my company is just flying cat marketing, so you can find flying cat marketing on LinkedIn flying camera watching on, on, uh, Facebook, Twitter, uh, are flying out marketing.com.
Basically, I'm very easy to get ahold of, even on my website. There's like an instant chat. Okay. You can just chat with me directly if you don't feel like looking for me elsewhere.
Jacob Harmon: [00:41:14] Awesome. Well, I'll make sure and put all those links in the show notes too. So if you guys, um, you don't have to go and type it in or find how to spell her name or anything, just go scroll down and go to the show notes. Um, well thank you so much. I really appreciate having you on the, on the show. I think you provided a lot of value you at least did for me.
So I hope I helped someone else out there was able to benefit too. So thank you so much.
Maeva Cifuentes: [00:41:39] you so much.
Jacob Harmon: [00:41:41] Awesome.