THANK YOU CHOP NATION!!!!!
Oct. 9, 2022

Optimizing Your Poker Chips of Time Feat: Matthew Stibbe


Jaden and I were blessed to have Matthew Stibbe on our show. Matthew has an extensive background which includes: Designing games for Lego, Producing 2 games based off Dune, Studying history at Oxford University, and obtaining his commercial pilot license. All of this experience has led him to his current business adventure today, The CEO of Articulate Marketing, a business based out of the U.K.

We dive into conversations about Optimizing time, Blogs, Adding value to marketing in business, and other fun topics. Enjoy the episode this week!

Inferno Performance
Take a look at Inferno Performance, your one stop shop for all your fitness needs!

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the show
Transcript
Dustin Steffey:

Hello chop nation Dustin Steffey here our partner over at Inferno performance has some great things going on. Currently Inferno performance is your number one destination for the most exclusive personal training in the world period. What you guys may not have known as Inferno is also a one stop shop for all of your apparel, supplements, training and meal prep needs. Currently right now on the supplement side, they're running a package sale for $100 you can get pre workout, recovery protein, and a multivitamin or if you want to step it up and step your game up, let's go to the $200 package where you get the pre workout recovery reds, greens, multivitamin, fat burner, digestive enzymes and protein please head on over to Inferno dot fit that's WWW dot Inferno dot fit and support my boy Donte Moch over there with all of your training and supplement needs.

Jaden Norvell:

Over 10,000 and counting total episode downloads in over $5,000 raised for charity in our first six months nominated for the 2022 People's Choice Awards in LA and our current finalist for those awards under the category of Best Business Podcast. This is your one stop shop for all talk on entrepreneurship and self development and making smart investments hosted by yours truly Jaden rush Norville also hosted and founded by Dr. Dustin Steffey. Now further ado, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to chopping with five, chopping up.

Dustin Steffey:

Hello and welcome to an episode of chopping with fire. Today you are joined with your host, Dustin Steffey unfortunately, Jaden couldn't make it today. So guess what? You're stuck with me. But that's okay. A few housekeeping things before I introduce our expert guest on today. First and foremost, if you haven't done so already, our home charity is Cystic Fibrosis. With that being said, please head on over to see f f dot o RG forward slash donate to donate any denomination that you can today. Again, it is a very rare, one disease. It's near and dear to Jason's and my heart. And if you guys could give in spare a little bit, it always helps out the appreciate it year to date, our listeners have raised about $5,000. I know we're about to have a big event which will raise a little bit more to give to that foundation. Every little bit again, we appreciate. We thank our listeners, we thank them for everything. Also, with that being said social media. I know you all use it. I know you all know what it is. I know that least everyone has one. Please if you haven't done so already, head over to any one of our social media platforms and follow us. The reason we asked this is because you guys can leave us comments. Keep up to date on any activities that we have going on. I know with our live event coming up on November 19. We're going to have more and more information that's posted on that. So please, if you haven't done so already, go ahead and follow us on our social medias. And also gone to our website where it houses everything that we have WWW dot chopping with fire that's chopping C H O P P I N with feiyr.com. Lastly, I want to bring up the event on November 19. We have venue that's coming out this week will unveil the venue on our next episode. So please stay tuned for venue and then information on how to get tickets to the event. We're going to have some great keynote speakers will unveil the keynote speakers at a later date. But just keep in mind that this event is for you guys to upskill and upgrade yourselves. Lastly, one more thing our Patreon over with a huge makeover. If you can head on over to our Patreon WWW dot Patreon. That's pa t ar e o n.com. Forward slash chopping with fire. We house our after hours episodes on that Patreon. It isn't for the faint of heart. It's unedited, uncut, and definitely a good time. That's where we house our guests that we can't have on our free edition of the podcast. It's also where we can get a little crazy and go up with opinions have people on that want to debate. Whatever the case may be. It's just a fun little way to Have Jayden and I have our personality come out with others, and debate current event topics and business solutions. I think that's everything for housekeeping. So let's go ahead and introduce our expert guests. So today we are blessed to have an expert guests on with us today. I'm excited to introduce Matthew syba, CEO of articulate marketing based out of the UK specializing in the technology sector. His accolades include designing games for Lego produce in two games based off of den, he studied history at Oxford, which I mean to go to Oxford would be amazing. I wish I could have went there. And lastly, he has his commercial pilot license, which I'm sure we'll hear about that one, because that sounds awesome as well. So with that being said, Matthew, welcome on how are you my friend?

Matthew Stibbe:

I'm delighted to be here. Thank you for that fulsome introduction. I sound I started a lot more interesting than I probably

Dustin Steffey:

thought you sounded really interesting. I was like, interview on let's go.

Matthew Stibbe:

But if you have a long enough life, you can and you have enough curiosity, you can get quite a lot done. That's interesting, I guess. Absolutely. So yeah, I used to design computer games for Lego in the very long ago, I used to run a computer games company. And we did a couple of games and a couple of other software products or Lego. And I think of all the things that I have done. The computer games for Lego are the things I now meet young people, late teens, early 20s, who played those games as a kid, and you to design logo, logo. Oh, you know how it is. That gives me so much pleasure. And also of course, last year, when the the new June film came out, there was a flurry of interest in the games that we had developed, and that were published by Westwood Studios and EA, and, you know, lots of retro magazines, I did a whole bunch of interviews. And and that was great. Very great pleasure. And I think between Lego and Dune, probably those were the two biggest selling games I worked on. So I just I was reminded of that by your introduction.

Dustin Steffey:

I tried to be thorough here. So I hope you enjoyed the introduction.

Matthew Stibbe:

For sure. And now I run a marketing agency, which is not so much fun, but a little bit more serious, but still plenty of room for creativity there.

Dustin Steffey:

Yeah, I majored in marketing and management and marketing. Marketing has fun little niches that I really enjoy. And then it has other niches that are not much of a fan of. But overall, it's a pretty fun degree, in my opinion.

Matthew Stibbe:

I think the bit that I'm finding, I started the agency mostly doing copywriting, so for technology clients, more than 15 years ago now. And I liked the process of writing it, you know, it had some elements of coding and kind of creativity that I enjoyed. But as the agency has grown, and we work with some pretty well known names, we've we currently work with Dell, and we've worked with Microsoft, Google, LinkedIn, Symantec, and smaller, less well known companies, but the bit that the bit that I find increasingly interesting and creative, and sort of thought provoking, and challenging is thinking about branding, positioning differentiation. And there's such a scope for being creative and imaginative there, that most companies do not know exists, they do not understand they think they have to look like every other company in their sector and differentiate themselves on you know, in technology on speeds and feeds and features. But you can differentiate on some really interesting things like you know, design and tone of voice and how you engage with people and the kind of I am increase increasingly finding that we go sort of wrapped up under the sort of labels of branding, positioning, messaging, tone of voice, that whole that whole area is very, very interesting. But it's a kind of you've studied marketing I never did I studied history. It's kind of a it's kind of a geeky marketing geeks joy and creativity. I don't think you know, when you when you get to do it, well, it's really satisfying.

Dustin Steffey:

There's so many different areas that you can go in marketing, and that's the part that I really liked. You can go into social media marketing, for example, go into website marketing, you can go into branding, you can Go. It's just the rabbit hole spins in so many directions when it comes to marketing, and even me being somewhat educated in it, because I'm not gonna say I'm the most educated in it, I do have a PhD in business. But that doesn't give me the right to say that I'm the be all end all in marketing, I still even struggle to this day we, we run a podcast, right? And we market the podcast out and sometimes not hitting the demographics that I want to hit. And it could be because I need to take a different approach or strategy or whatnot. And there's so many different ways you can do it, it gets gets a little frustrating, right? And that's why they have different people hired out for different things. I'm prideful, so I tried to do it on my own. But again, if I want to go into a grave earlier, that's where I'm heading, if I keep up on my own.

Matthew Stibbe:

Yes, well, what's the cliche that's on the posters, if you if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far go together. And I think there's a there's something about that. And that, you know, as a lifelong entrepreneur, that that dilemma of, do it myself, be good at what I do, and don't do anything else, or build a team and work with people, we've just reached the milestone of 20 employees. And, you know, that's not a huge company. But it's, you know, it's not one person back in the computer games company I used to run we got over 70. And I think somewhere between 10. And 50 is quite a nice size of a company. Once you get over 50, you start seeing people in the corridor, you don't recognize where are you. And I think over 500, there's a whole other world of it. But it's it's a perfect way to pick up on something you said, there are many, many things that you can do in marketing, I mean, in many, many areas of marketing to explore it as a book with many chapters. But I think the other thing that I'm observing a lot with our clients, certainly our smaller clients is that they tend to confuse tactics for strategy. So they tend to say, I am going to do social media. And that's a big tick in the box called marketing, or I am going to do PPC advertising online, I am going to do content marketing, I'm good, they'll find a thing that they get excited about. I'm going to do podcasting for a bit. And you have succeeded, as you know, you've been doing this a year and you know, winning all kinds of awards and things. And that commitment to persistence is one dimension that is really important for marketing. I think there's another one which is completeness. Right, so persistence and the completeness, the axes. And I think there is there, you have to do quite a lot of some marketing in different fields, you need a page from each of the chapters. And you might specialize and you might pick one or two or three areas to be deepen as a business. But you kind of nobody would think about doing marketing without a website these days, or that sort of options taken off the table. Probably a lot of people have got different social media accounts that they publish on once every three months, probably there's a blog post somewhere that has two blogs from last year. I think there needs that I think people need to put a tick in several boxes. And so I think completeness is something that's overlooked. And I think all of that is wrapped up. And I would say this wouldn't die as a marketer, I think wrapped up in the fact that most Mark most businesses, certainly most SMEs, small and medium businesses don't spend enough time and money on marketing. Look at Big successful companies are spending about 10 to 15% of their gross revenue on marketing, most small businesses. It's a few hours of the founders time plus an overworked marketing intern, typically, it's just really a little bit under resourced and underfunded. And I can't help wondering if there's a difference, you know, big successful companies are spending that money on marketing. And that's why they're big successful companies. Or, you know, whether there's a correlation there.

Dustin Steffey:

See, and we get into a couple of different things that I took from what you were saying one, the completeness fact. So it's fine and dandy if a company chooses to go down the social media marketing, rabbit hole. However, it begs the question, okay, you made a post cool. Did you follow up on that to see what that post got so you can make tweaks, so that way, the next post gets more of an influence out or maybe you got a post that did extremely well. And so you need to duplicate that and do the research within that one, too. I think a lot of what marketing comes down to is how much money you can spend it. And you brought up a good point, these big businesses are putting about 15% or more of their gross revenue into marketing to ensure their success. But as I know, and as most of my listeners know, that listen, that our entrepreneurs, some of us aren't rich enough to be

Matthew Stibbe:

worried. But you translate that into time. If you're, if you're a person solopreneur, it's okay, I need to spend, I guess, one or two months, yeah, or, you know, half a day a week or whatever, whatever it works out to be. That's my marketing budget, my time, my time is my budget, and I'm going to allocate it accordingly. Now, don't get me wrong. I've run a business since I was 18. So I know how many things you have to do and how many challenges there are, you know, you've heard the old joke, if you run your own business, you have to work 24 hours a day, but you get to choose which 24. Right? So it's, it's there's always a lot on your plate. But I think force finding the time for the marketing, finding the resource and fighting for it, I think is very important. As I said, I would say that wouldn't take us I'm a marketer, but it's been my experience actually running businesses as well. And indeed, it's a rule that we try and follow it articulate for our own marketing.

Dustin Steffey:

Yeah, I think like I said, In the beginning in marketing has so many different facets. I think for me personally, the most important perspective of marketing is before you become a business. So doing that SWOT analysis, and really understanding the product, the podcast, the whatever you're trying to get out, understanding where your strengths lie, where the weaknesses are, so you can get better at that and turn those weaknesses into strengths, where your opportunities are, and most importantly, my favorite part of that SWOT analysis, the threats that are involved. So that way, you can kind of plan to have as much success or as little success if you fail, right? Because we, we can't, you can't just say everyone succeeds at it, because there is some form of failure. Even me, for example, an example in the beginning for the podcast, I failed. I failed a few times. And I just got back up and kept going. Because I think the biggest the biggest win any business can have is to keep pushing forward. The minute that you stop is the minute that the business belly, it goes belly up. Yes.

Matthew Stibbe:

I was just looking up a quote that I thought might be very opposite here. And I remember seeing this one of my very first gigs as a marketer was working for the Design Council in the UK. And the Design Council was a sort of governmental quango type of thing that was promoting design anyway, on their wall was this huge poster. And it was a quote from Samuel Beckett, which I just looked up, ever tried, ever failed, no matter try again, fail again, fail better. And I think there's there's a lot of truth in the saying that know, that success never taught anybody anything. Right? overnight success, never taught anybody anything. So I think a little bit about marketing. And probably this is true for other parts of life as well. Certainly entrepreneurship is, is is is formulating your experiments correctly, cutting your losses quickly, learning that from from from mistakes and learning from problems and how you overcame them. And reinforcing success. I don't think I well it to be an entrepreneur, I think is to take a different calculus about risk. It's not that we don't care about risk, or we embrace risk, we enjoy risk. I mean, I don't know about you, but I've been an entrepreneur all my life. And I've had sleepless nights worrying about things. It's not as stress free life. So you know, it's not that we enjoy that. But you take very calculated risks, and you have your plan your exit routes, and you you manage your stakes against those risks quite carefully. And that's it. That's an entrepreneurial attitude, if you wanted to play it safe. You know, go get a job in a corporation and do a nine to five salaryman job if those exist anymore. So and I think the same attitude with with marketing is, you know, you look at a portfolio of marketing activities and you make adjustments and investments and switch your priorities, providing you don't give up too soon, or give up too late. I mean, I think this is what I mean about persistence. I think a lot of people we've talked to a lot of smaller companies come to us Oh, we did blogging. You know what, okay, we did published five blog posts. That's not blogging. You didn't do it hard enough. You needed to try more. We did. We did podcasts. We did. You know They got like seven podcasts up on Apple, and then they gave up. So there's a little bit there's some there's some merit and value in having enough data and enough experience to make the experiment worthwhile.

Dustin Steffey:

Yeah, I agree, I that quote, that, quote hits me in a different way, right, like, because I can't help but think how many times we've been knocked down and just gotten back up and come back 100% more. And so it's, it's important. And we say that all the time to continue to keep being persistent. And another another facet that we bring up all the time is, I mean, you can work your slave job if you want, which is what we extrapolate as a nine to five job, okay. Or you can chase your own dreams, which is a big quote that we use all the time, I have not trademarked it, but you know, I like it, you chase your own dreams, and find your own success instead of chasing someone else's dreams and not. That's the rewarding part, in my opinion, of being an entrepreneur is being able to do something that you're passionate about. And while you might have sleepless nights with it, and whatever the case, may be, you're doing something that you love. And so that's kind of your, your kind of attitude towards moving forward and making it a success. It's your, it's your baby, it's your project and your company, or whatever. And so you're gonna do and put as much or as little energy in it as you feel or as you see fit. That's just my take on it. There was something that came up that I did want to ask you, and this is coming from a PhD educated person. I have not ever heard of a B Corp ever. I mean, I know what an S Corp is, I know what an LLC is. I know what a sole proprietor is, I have never heard of a B Corp, can you can you help help this PhD person understand that is?

Matthew Stibbe:

Well, it's not a specific legal structure. So let's it and I've learned in America that there are, it sounds like it implies it might be. So it's not that the B Corp B Corp. Movement is an organization of businesses a collective of businesses that believe that business can be a force for good. And they have the ambition to achieve a higher standard in of corporate social responsibility, if you like of their engagement with communities engagement with environment engagement with their employees, so that they're not that they're not only pursuing a buck with to the exclusion of all else. So that's that's the intent. There is usually with a B Corp, you have to embody that commitment somehow into your legal structure. So as a UK Limited Liability Company, it's written into our articles of association that we have this triple bottom line that we have these other objectives. So there's this mission lock, as they call it. So how do you become a B Corp? Well, you you make the commitment, you do an assessment, you can do it. By the way, if you go to the B Corp website, you can take the assessment yourself, and you get a score. And it'll give you a score of when we first did it in 2017, I got a score of about 30. It's my business, and you cannot become a B Corp, you cannot be you know, certified as an actual B Corp, until your score is over a certain threshold and back then I think it was 75. So we knew it 30, something we had work to do to become certified as a B Corp. So you take the assessment for free, you learn something about your business and your business's current status and relationship to the wider community, to the environment to your employees. And it then sets out this roadmap for improvement. You know, you can do this, you can do this, you can do this, you can do this. And those things can translate into higher scores, additional scores. So for example, we changed our policies around employee paternity, maternity leave, is one thing. And that got us an extra two or three points, we started offsetting our carbon emissions, and that got us some points. So the each of these small incremental, using business as a force for good increases your score. So there's a little bit of gamification about it, but also the journey towards becoming B Corp certification is valuable and inherently good in and of itself, whether you become one or not. You do doing good things at each step. So you've then get to a point where you think you are at the right level, the right score that took us about 18 months of work. You then go to B Corp and say, I'd like to be a B Corp, can you come and audit me, and then you get objectively and externally audited for the things you are claiming you are doing. And this is where you then get to turn around to the world and say, We are a B Corp, we have met this standard. And here is our score, and it has been objectively externally audited. And that then allows you to start talking about what you do with authenticity and with credibility. And it's not just paying lip service, it's not greenwashing. You've been evaluated, you've been tested, you've been audited. And I think that part of it is very, very valuable. So some B corpse that are well known Ben and Jerry's ice creams or be caught some parts of L'Oreal slightly controversially, a B, corpse, and Patagonia whose owner just gave the business to charity. Definitely a B Corp, you know, so there's some quite big substantial companies that have made this commitment. Not many marketing agencies, I think we were the, if not the first one of the first few, I think there are less than half a dozen. So it can also be a way of differentiating yourself, if you're in a particular field that isn't to be caught. You can you can do this. And you can put it on your website and say we've achieved this this standard. Such as this, how have I explained that reasonably well? Is that clear? Does that sound appealing or off putting scary difficult accents?

Dustin Steffey:

I think I think you explained it really well, especially for people that haven't heard what a B Corp is, which that includes me. We never even went through it in my studies at all. I've never really ever heard of it until today, actually. So thank you for teaching me something then

Matthew Stibbe:

I probably the best analogy I could give for it is you've heard of ISO standards like 9001 for for quality control 27,000.

Dustin Steffey:

In my in my current job, not the podcast, but my current nine to five job we use ISO standards within the tobacco industry for our warehouses.

Matthew Stibbe:

Right, exactly. So the B Corp is a like, it isn't an ISO standard, but it is like in many ways, an ISO standard for corporate social responsibility.

Dustin Steffey:

Yep, yep. That's the biggest thing that I see with the ISO standard is it's for corporate social responsibility. So yep. That being said, I also know that you, you're really good at remote working, and that that's recently become a thing for us here in the States ever since COVID hit. I don't know if you were doing it before COVID. But during an after our pandemic, which I don't know if there is an after because it's still going but when when everything happened, a lot of companies started transitioning to remote work, and really changing how they do business, their structure, especially corporate businesses. So like, again, with me within the tobacco industry. We did remote work for eight months, I was stuck at home for eight months, actually. And we evolved our job into remote working, which was rather different, because my job is very heavily customer facing as far as marketing as far as promotions as far as making sure everything's good. And so it was definitely different. With these businesses, and with this new kind of remote work thing, I am starting to see that a lot more companies are starting to offer remote working post COVID. Now, because the strategy worked and the businesses weren't failing, they were actually succeeding in some even more so than others. Do you want to shed some light on kind of what your experience is with remote working the successes, maybe the pitfalls, whatever the case may be?

Matthew Stibbe:

Yeah, I'm delighted and it's very important to us. We've been as an agency, we've been remote working forth from the beginning of the company, we were born remote. So when that when we started that was really unusual, right? It was a selling point when we when we were recruiting we we were able to hire people all across the UK and across Europe. At the time and most of our competitors I like 95% plus of marketing agencies were in a place recruiting in their local catchment area. So that was that was a real real thing for us. And I'll tell you how I how that started. And then I'll tell you about some of the experiences we've had So my computer games company, which I sold in the year 2000, had an office and you know, 70, people would come to work every day in West London. And that was lovely. And it was nice being in an office and nice office. But it cost an enormous amount of money. I mean, it's, you know, hundreds of 1000s of pounds in rent rates, security, cleaning, air conditioning, so I'm just somebody to sit on the door and let people in. So when I, when I sold the business, and I walked out, after signing the papers, I went, I am never having another office, that whatever I do in my life, I do not want to be, you know, the property manager, I don't want to pay rent. So it was very much a sort of personal decision, I didn't want to do it. And, and then as the agency as articulate marketing grew, I definitely made the decision and repeated and confirmed that decision, we are not having an office, we are going to be remote working. So we started off with Skype and chat on Skype and shared documents and things. And over the years, the technology has got much better. And we've been able to work that way very effectively. And then comes along the pandemic. And the door opened everybody more, almost everybody got a chance to work remote, everyone was on lockdown for a while. And it sort of legitimated the idea. And I think now a lot of progressive, successful ambitious companies are realizing, you know, hey, remote working is actually quite neat, you know, it means we can tap into a broader talent pool, it means we can let people concentrate, it means that the time they would be spending, commuting, they can spend with their families, they can spend working, it's not dead time, we're having less environmental impact, because we're not traveling to drive into work every day, et cetera, et cetera. And guess what? Employees like it to not every employee, but a lot, a lot. So there's now this ambition, this desire to build some hybrid, working or fully remote working into their business into their working lives. And if you can, you know, at the moment, we've got this very strange job market where it's very challenging to recruit. So if you're not offering that you're cutting out a big, big chunk of your potential hiring pool. So I take the view that, you know, we started it, and everyone else caught up with us in the last couple of years. I, you talked about the pandemic not going away. And I kind of agree, I think we've all sort of thanks to vaccines and other things now. And I know that this is gonna sound controversial, but we've got to a place where we can sort of normalize COVID. But it hasn't gone away, we've got more COVID in the UK, now more cases than almost any point apart from the three peaks. Somehow a lot of people still want to not put themselves at risk. And so I think remote working is an important part of that as well, for people who choose to isolate or protect themselves. A lot of people have underlying medical conditions that they don't want to, you know, they want to avoid catching it. So, you know, I think that and to be honest, I think there are going to be more pandemics coming I think remote working is going to be something we need to build into the structure of our working lives and into the structure of society. So we've had a little bit of a prototype and trial run, first mass attempt at remote working, but it's there's more of it coming. So I think businesses need to be, you know, leaning into it. remote work first, I think is probably the right model for a business starting today. Not because they don't want to pay rent, but just because it's the right thing to do. And it's the best for the business. This is my opinion, you know, other people, other other opinions exist.

Dustin Steffey:

I think it's a very accurate opinion in my, in my opinion. So I, I see, I agree with you, I see maybe COVID We've learned to deal with, it hasn't gone away, I do see that other pandemics will come down eventually there's there's always something. And so it's important that businesses, whether it be small, medium, or large, build something in to have a failsafe to stay sustainable. And I mean, we learn this in business school too, we learn that if you're not changing with the environment, then eventually the business will cease to exist. And so a key golden nugget that just came out from what you just said is to adapt and to move forward based off of just your changing environment. That's what I took from it and maybe, maybe I took a little too much I like to analyze quite a bit. So for me, that's what I took from it. Others may take something different from it, but that's kind of where I'm at

Matthew Stibbe:

and It underlines the importance of adaptability, right. And I can throw in a little aviation decree here. If you ever look out of a window and you see the wings sort of moving up and down a little bit, to a layperson, that looks quite scary. So why is the wing moving, the wings shouldn't be moving, it's like, don't move. It's designed to do that. And in fact, you know, bid on a big play in the wind can go up and down like 15 feet or something, and it's completely safe, it's designed to be able to do that. Because if they made it rigid, it would be more likely to break. If they made it rigid, it would be much heavier, and it wouldn't be you wouldn't get as much efficiency out of it. So they design flexibility into aero structures, so that they can be lighter, go faster, go further and be more resilient. And I think the same is true for businesses, you can build a business that can be adaptive, that can be has what we call a learning culture. You can build longevity and success into that business. I think that's really important and a little, a little thing that we do at articulate. This is not any great rocket science or innovation. But when we, when we have some fun when we finish a project, we have debriefs when we have a client problem or something comes up when we lose a client or we have a client complaint or something. Or, and this is important when something goes really well, like we launch a website, we get it done bang on time, and then we win an award for it. All of these outcomes. We have reviews, we call them roundtables. And we have a very structured approach to doing what the Army calls after action reviews, these roundtables where we go well, how did that happen? What did we do? What do we have to do next time? What do we what do we avoid next time? What what what can we capture from that. So that there is in articulate this growing library of lessons learned. And it becomes I think, a part of part of the DNA of the business, one that we have the this corporate memory, and two we have that the reflex of analyzing what happened and learning from it.

Dustin Steffey:

I want to shift gears a little bit because there was something you brought up earlier. I could do better. And I don't. And maybe this is my enlightening moment from you, to me. You brought up blogging, which for people that are listening that don't know what that is, that is a form of writing on the internet, where you just put your thoughts together, maybe it's your personal thoughts, maybe it's a reflection of the business, maybe it's a reflection of what you did for the week, or what you learned for the week, whatever the case may be. It's like an online journal. Pretty much if I'm explaining this wrong, I know Matthew has my back and he'll explain it right. But to me, it's like an online journal of lessons learned or reflections or whatever the case may be, for people to read. And kind of understand where your thoughts in your head is for whatever the topic is at hand. Correct?

Matthew Stibbe:

I would say yes. And historically, blogging has had that personal sort of chapbook attribute. It's sort of almost what we did with social media before we got 160 characters, and we had to compress everything down to it to a to a few words or a picture. But I would expand the definition for business and for marketing, okay, for this conversation. So I think a blog, you would put it under the category of content marketing, I think you would want to embrace the concept of thought leadership. So helping your potential customers sharing knowledge and information, helping them understand their problems and needs, from your perspective. And the analogy that I would use for a good business blog, is, it's the magazine of your business, where all the articles are about stuff you know, about and all the adverts are for you. Right? So if you can think about, you know, what do your customers want to know what do they what what questions do they have, what challenges do they have? How do we communicate with them in such a way that they would be very intrigued and interested in find value of expertise and authority and reading that? That's the purpose of a blog in b2b marketing. It also has the technical or tactical attribute of being something that can be found on Google, which is why you see so many blog articles formulated how to do this thing. 10 reasons why 10 White why they're, they're written for to answer search questions. So they're also has SEO search in tend to it as well. Ideally, if you do a blog, well, you have high quality, good value, high value thought leadership, that is also search engine optimized. You don't just write it for the search engines, you write it for your potential customers, and then make sure that Google can find it and make sure that it's the best answer you can you can give to Google for the questions that people are asking. So I certainly you know, there are plenty of blogs about what happened for breakfast, or for you know, what you learned about something or your personal experiences. And they're very valid and interesting, just as there are podcasts about those things, and their social media about those things. But for b2b marketing, there's a whole bunch of other value in blogging. I've been blogging since 2006. And I've found huge value in it. I'm sort of a writer by nature, I enjoy that process. I suspect, if I started today, I would be doing what you're doing and start a podcast, podcasts are audio video blogs, in many ways. I mean, technically, aren't the the delivery mechanism is, you know, using RSS is a blog mechanism. Anyway,

Dustin Steffey:

for a blog to be successful. Matthew, how? And I'm sure this is a really like loaded question. So I'm sorry, but how often? Should you be blogging? Or what? What is that like perfect equation?

Matthew Stibbe:

It's a, there are as many answers as there are bloggers, but I'll try and give you the sort of the default answer for articulate HubSpot, which makes marketing software they say you should blog as often as you want to be found. Well, okay, that's not a helpful answer to the question. But it's talks to the intent. Interestingly, their blog gets several million viewers a month. And they spend about half their time writing new blog content and up and the other half updating, refreshing and republishing their existing content. So they treat it as a library as much as anything else. So in our experience, and articulate marketing for b2b tech company blogs, so that's quite a narrow focus. At a minimum, we recommend at least once a week, and we recommend at least, and ideally, a lot more 500 words per blog post. So if you're going to do blogging, that sort of feels like kind of the table stakes the entry point. When I started my blog back in 2006, I used to write every day. So I used to post something 20 times a month, I didn't do it a weekend so much. And I got to 50,000 visits viewers a month, pretty quickly. It's harder to do that today, to get to 50 1000s takes probably if you want to accelerate in a year to that, you know, quickly, you probably need to be writing something publishing something every day. And once you start getting into that sort of once you start moving from once a week to once a day, and you start doing, you know, thinking about SEO, content planning, topic clusters, and various other things that are techniques to get the word out, it becomes quite a big, big, big task. I'll answer the question one, one final way for articulate marketing. We publish I guess, two or three blog posts a week. And they typically are more than 1000 words.

Dustin Steffey:

So for someone like me, who runs a podcast, if I were to post a blog once a week, would I be? Would I be successful? Or should I should I do one a day like so for me, what I'm thinking about is, we don't have a blog, because while we have the podcast, right, and we have our website with our guests, and all the information housed there, so I didn't really think it to be important to blog considering a lot of my thoughts and opinions are housed within my podcast in my interviews, but I can see the value of it because you can really take the interview. So like you and I, for example interview and after this, I could write down my thoughts for the interview, and really deep dive into certain things that maybe we didn't get to. And hopefully there's no mark missed after that. I I'm just kind of spitballing here, right because blogging for me. I didn't start with that at all. We like you said I have the podcast. However, I do see it as an important medium, especially for SEOs and us growing our audience.

Matthew Stibbe:

So SEO is the bit the big opportunity here. So knowing no more than what we've discussed in this conversation, who would be my tentative prescription for you, I think you could do one of a couple of things. First of all, you could take the interviews that you do the edited versions, and get them transcribed on rev.com, or something like that, and effectively turn them into blog posts, but just just the text, right, at least that would then give Google something to bite into for SEO. And at the top of that, you just embed the player, listen to this video, here's the transcript. I see a lot of podcasters do that. And incidentally, that is the mechanism we do at articulate when we do webinars. So a webinar for us is probably like a podcast with video. And we do one of those every week or two. So we're not producing hundreds and hundreds. And we blog. In fact, we call it blog ification, we blogger fie those webinars by transcribing them. And sometimes later on, we come back to the transcript, and we turn it into more of an article format. So there tends to be this evolving, log ification. So that's one thing. Second thing, I would have thought that you would get a lot of interest in an article and said, I interviewed Matthew today. Well, let's, let's imagine you're interviewing somebody interesting. So I interviewed so and so yesterday, and here, we're here, you know, it made me think about this, and I wish I'd thought about that I would have liked to ask him. And I, you know, here's that quote he mentioned and, you know, here's the book that I've told him about, just, you know, turn it into a little bit of a, you know, just a reflection and a post interview, sort of. And it might be if you publish that before you publish the pot, the actual podcast, it might generate a little bit of interest, or you can embed the podcast into that. And so that kind of personal reflection, you there's less of a word count requirement, if you could probably write three or 400 words in half an hour, 45 minutes after an interview, and just publish that, you know, it's an extra thing. I've also seen and this is the third option, a lot of radios shows that became podcasts, so sort of planet money, and This American Life, and people are these rather rather August, high quality podcast, podcasts, these programs, they often have the presenters just writing about things that interest them, I think, actually, radio lab did this really well, then they'd have this, this parallel stream of things, stories that never made the the episodes or things that they geeked out about. And that that gave for fans of the show it gives somewhere else to go and get more of the show. You know, if you're if you're turning a one hour interview into eight hours of editing to get a podcast out, that's quite hard work. But you could get a 500 word blog post done in a relatively short amount of time, it just dictated and then somebody edit edits it for you.

Dustin Steffey:

It's like, you know, my life, eight hours of editing for one podcast?

Matthew Stibbe:

Well, I know that because you told me earlier, I'm not psychic, I've just temporarily got a good memory today, because I had an extra coffee.

Dustin Steffey:

It's it's funny that you mentioned it because there's a lot that goes into a podcast in you, you got a small snippet of it in our pre interview. But that doesn't mean that I can't do a little bit more to gain more and give more value, which is what I'd love to do. I mean, the end game for me is to leave my nine to five. And this is my, this is my business, this is my job, this is what I'd love to do, I want to give back to the people and give them good quality interviews that help upskill them in any way shape, or form. And then turn around and go I don't know, eventually, hopefully, do a TED Talk. Because I think that I'm good enough to be able to do a TED talk. I think I'm good enough to be able to go publicly speak at universities and other places. And I think that's where we will be heading eventually. I mean, I already knew that this first year was going to be about getting influence out there and getting my fan base up and getting getting people to see the value in our podcast. And then your tunes probably where we break out and start doing a lot more things publicly.

Matthew Stibbe:

So for you, I would say the option where you start to express your opinions and your synthesis of what you've learned and your thought leadership and your insight, because you're sitting here very patiently asking me interesting questions and making space for me to talk to move towards this trajectory where you're the speaker and you're the expert and your authority and you're the TED talker that needs to be you expressing yourself. And I think that I think that's, you know, so I think a blog might be a very powerful way to do that. And then you get this wonderful thing that that people do, who are very clever, much better and cleverer than I am, I've never succeeded in doing this. But people like Seth Godin, who you know, who's a tremendous marketer, he writes these little short pithy blog posts every day, and every every six months, he turns him into a book, right? Or the guy's Jason freed, and I forgotten the other one, base camp.com. You know, they, they turn their thought leadership, blogging, musing, and opinion ating into a Best New York Times best selling business book. So there is there is a way, in a sense, you keep your blog going, and eventually you turn it into some sort of book, which you then parlay into fame and reputation. I said, clever people than me do this. I've never succeeded. I'm still waiting for the book offer. At that point, that's not entirely true. When I was when I launched my blog about writing, it was called bad language back in 2006, I did get a New York book editor from a very reputable company. I mean, I was like, looking back on it, I was a bloody fool. I missed the opportunity, wanting to turn my blog into a book, I had no idea what to do. And I didn't have running this marketing agency. Leave me alone. I don't want to do this. I don't want to do your stinking book. Anyway, no, there you go. The Road Not Taken.

Dustin Steffey:

I'm actually writing an autobiography right now, which will be my first book, and hopefully not my last book. Because I think I can continue your right to build influence and to be the best that I can. You have to get yourself out there. And that's one way of getting myself out there. It's just time is a currency that we can't buy. And I say that a lot. But you can't buy time, and there's only 24 hours in a day. And of those 24 hours, you should you should now keywords should be sleeping, at least eight of them. I'm sleeping maybe four of them. So I'm already putting in maximum effort, I feel.

Matthew Stibbe:

Yes. You know, if you don't mind me saying and forgive me for being personal, you're not sleeping enough. And the challenge, again, as a speaking from my experience of running a business all my life, you're absolutely right time is is is the the chips you play at the poker table of life, I mean, you've only got so many of them, and you're not getting any more. And you have to choose where to place those bets. You can't do everything in your life, you can't follow every every. So it's always about prioritization selection. Though, that said, you can translate money into time to some degree, right. And a very trivial example of that was not trivial. It's a very obvious example of that is you can hire people, you can hire people, contractors, freelancers, and full time employees to do stuff for you. And then very quickly, what you find is, is unless you do it well and you're, you know, skillfully you what you've done is substitute the thing that you love doing and you're good at doing for something like management of people, which maybe you're not so good at doing, you don't particularly love doing. So you have to make that very carefully make that transition very carefully so that you actually get you by your time back, you don't just change your job from being a one person entrepreneur to you know, somebody's manager. But speaking from the heart there, this is the struggle that I face. This is my my 24 hours a day challenges, you know, use my my leadership and my management skills to give me time to do the things that only I can do that will make the maximum impact on my business, maximum value for my business. And ultimately, you know, it's my business, the maximum value for me and my family. It answers on a postcard, folks, if you're listening, anyone who's got a good way of solving these problems, we'd love to hear from you. I'd love to I'd love to tell you that I've got that got it nailed down, but I keep learning. I keep I keep working at it. And I guess they all have to as well. Yeah.

Dustin Steffey:

Yep, same. So yeah, use our social media to comment. We love unwelcome comments and if you know something we don't, we'd love to hear it because we'll we'll we'll use it. Indeed. I got a thing for you, Matthew, that I wanted to bring up because interested me and I wanted to take a spin off of it. You're good at copywriting. Or at least you have a you have a very diverse definition of copywriting or you've done whatever with it. it. Can you talk a little bit about that. And then furthermore, do you have any experience within trademarking as well, which I think is kind of a big deal, especially for me with my podcast. We've trademarked our name, because it's so important, in my opinion, to own that, because someone else could take it.

Matthew Stibbe:

All right, well, copywriting, naming trademarking. Let's take them in reverse order. I am not a lawyer. I can't give you advice about, you know, trademarking. Um, one thing I did discover, though, is if you, if you're based in the UK, you don't need to pay a lawyer a huge amount of money to register a trademark or service mark, or you know, any of those things. You can go to the government body that manages that, fill in an online application and pay them 100 pounds. And if if it passes, you get the trademark. So I, over the years, I've trademarked quite a few little things, because I thought, hey, great. So I'm very interested in, as I said, differentiation, messaging positioning. And one of the things that I like to talk to my clients about is what I call a MacGuffin. So you may be you've got the name of the company and the business, but maybe there's a process in there, like the articulate marketing benchmark, or you know, something that you could give a name to, and it could be something very unique and special for you. So the name of the business in is one thing, but within that there may be differentiating product features, services, technologies, processes that you could put a name to and trademark or, and so that if you can find an efficient and cost effective way of putting a trademark to it, why not? However, I will say another thing, and this is perhaps another controversial opinion, I'm not so bothered about names. I mean, for me, if you can put a little TM in against something, what it signifies is not, you know, competitors go away, it signifies to buyers. We're serious about this, we've spent some money, we got some legal advice, we've done something this little TM or the little r says something unique, special and valuable. So I see it more as a marketing, virtue signaling. Yeah. That the second thing I'd say about that sort of coming from the specific of trademarks, to naming, naming is really hard. It's really difficult. And then you come up with a brilliant name and then somebody's trademarked it or got the the the website domain name, and you have to do something else. But you can find ways around that right. So I had a I have a business that that is a software application that does time off requests and expense claims. And I built this over the last 10 years sort of as a subsidiary of articulate and I wanted to call it turbine and turbine.com has been taken by a games company. Okay, bless them that they're welcome to it. So my web My business is at turbine hq.com Doesn't hurt me that it's on hq.com We get traffic to it. People find it it's not a computer game beep people understand the difference and turbine HQ is trademarked so you know, it's it's you don't have to get too hung up on the name. And I'll give you I'm not gonna I'm not a naming expert, but I will give everyone listening. A top naming tip search for on Google the eagle naming guide Igor as in Frankenstein's asst IG o are the eagle naming guide. This is the most fantastic free PDF download from a company that does specialize in naming. And it will blow your mind and help you think about how to come up with names for things. So really, highly recommend that as to the first point that you started with. But the point I'll finish with copywriting well where to start, I think the best way to become a better writer is to write and the next best thing you can do to become a better writer is to read a lot. And think a little bit about how the person you're reading how they did the thing that makes it a good, easy, interesting thing to read. So if you start thinking and looking at text a little bit more critically and analytically, it helps you become a better writer. But the main thing is if you want to be a writer, write stuff, just write and people I think people let their fear of embarrassment or fear of like, I'm not a writer, get in the way of it. And I'll close with a quote There was a famous writer, dictionary writer called alchemy, goldfish brains forgotten his name. Anyway, he said no member to block had rights except for money. If you can find someone to pay you to write then you're a proper professional writer. That's the secret. That's how I got started. I found some magazine who paid me to write a column while I was running my games company and I just, I used to write a column every month for the magazine and that's how I got into the whole whole writing game. So thank you very much Matthew rock and real business, I really appreciate that start 20 something years ago,

Dustin Steffey:

I appreciate all the information that you've provided. Just to recap, we've talked about blogging and the importance of blogging. We've talked about Matthew's very extensive career very extensive, very extensive in the fact that you've had a lot of experience in different things. And the value that you add is just based off your experience and everything that you've done, which is been amazing. We've synthesized that time is a currency that we can't buy. And we alluded that to have unlimited poker chips, which I liked that analogy very much. So we've talked about what a B Corp is, we've talked about the importance of putting your resources into the right. Marketing, per se. So we've talked about all these different assets, and all these different perspectives of marketing. But if you're not putting your time, energy money into the right one, and you're not, you're not really doing any justice towards your business. And we've really just gotten to know Matthew and kind of the extensive, extensive background that he has and what he brings to the table. So if any of our listeners are interested in learning more about Matthew, we do have his profile that will be up on our website, with links that you can click on to get a hold of him. I do want to give you a couple minutes, Matthew to kind of tell our listeners how they can get a hold of you and what you can do for them. So I'm going to give that to you right now.

Matthew Stibbe:

Well, that's very kind I fundamentally, I'm here representing articulate marketing, my marketing agency. So if you want to know about marketing, we've got webinars and blog articles, and all kinds of white papers and really interesting resources for people to learn about marketing. And that's all at articulate marketing.com. I blog about management and leadership and Lego and flying and random things that interests me, my blog is at Geek boss.com. Both of those sites have contact pages, if you fill them in those messages come through to my inbox. They look like generic contact pages, but they really do come to me, I'd love to hear from him.

Dustin Steffey:

And something that Matthew gave to me a little gold nugget is we will, I will try to start blogging a little bit as well, which we can house on our website. So more to come on that construction in progress, I guess for that one. But I too, will try to post a blog, so everybody can kind of see me with my thoughts and feelings as well. Matthew, I, I appreciate everything that you've done. For us every gold nugget that you've given, the last thing that I'd like to do is, I'd like to ask the question that I ask all of my listeners, which are all of my interviewees, which is if there's one gold nugget out of this whole conversation that you really want to reinforce, to our listeners, what would that be?

Matthew Stibbe:

Four hours sleep at night is not enough?

Dustin Steffey:

Let's let's not let's not talk about my sleep.

Matthew Stibbe:

I'm serious about us the thing I'm taking away from this, I'm like I'm worried about you. I, I think much of what we've talked about could be some synthesized up into the idea that your time is a finite, you've got a finite amount of it, and you need to invest it wisely. Well done. You know, everybody since Plato has been saying that. I would like to make the argument that you need to invest it if you're interested in entrepreneurship, or you know, getting ahead, you need to consciously invest some of that time into marketing. And I think that that investment has a very high payoff for the time and the money that you put into it.

Dustin Steffey:

Thank you for that. I would have to say I agree with everything that you said about that, including I need more sleep.

Matthew Stibbe:

But it's been absolute delight you have Thank you very much for for the interesting, thought provoking questions and for letting me ramble on, you know, I've enjoyed it very much.

Dustin Steffey:

Thank you for your time. We We appreciate it. And I look forward to having you in the future. And if you can hit one of our live events because we try to do a couple a year. You're more than welcome to come out to the States.

Matthew Stibbe:

Well, if you're ever in London, come on over, I'll put the kettle on or I'll buy you a beer.

Dustin Steffey:

Jaden and I are definitely planning that since we do. Our second biggest demographic for our podcast is the UK. It is somewhere that is on our list of places to have a live. Let's do it. I'm definitely down. So thank you. We appreciate it.

Matthew Stibbe:

Thank you very much Dustin.

Dustin Steffey:

Hello Dustin Steffey here I have an exciting announcement for my two wheel riders. I know I enjoy riding my motorcycle but what I don't enjoy is shopping for products for my motorcycle. I just found the company that works best for us that will provide us with bags and other accessories to be able to dress up our motorcycles and give us the time space and needs to be able to go on a comfortable ride. Check out Viking bags that is Viking bags. If you go to Viking bags.com You can search your to will vehicle on that website and find what you are looking for. I know that it's excellent quality products there and if you go in and put in promo code shopping with fire, you'll enjoy a special discount. Again, there's no better time than now to purchase from Viking bags

Matthew StibbeProfile Photo

Matthew Stibbe

Serial entrepreneur, marketing maven, writer, pilot, and wine enthusiast

Matthew Stibbe is a serial entrepreneur, marketing maven, writer, pilot, and wine enthusiast. But not necessarily in that order. He created marketing strategies, content and campaigns for clients including Microsoft, Google, LinkedIn and HP and contributed to Wired, Forbes and Popular Science.
Currently, he is CEO at Articulate Marketing, a UK marketing agency specialising in the technology sector. Also, his geek credentials are strong. Previously, he was founder and CEO at Intelligent Games, a 70-person computer games company where he designed games for LEGO and produced two games based on Dune