CDRE 21 | Business Marketing

 

In a sea of brands and businesses, you need to find that special spark to stand out—that tall tale to help uniquely describe the story of your business. How do you find that? Most importantly, how do you communicate that effectively? Lain McCanless is a marketing prodigy whose skillful approach helps you understand your special spark. As a speaker, communicator, and world changer, he brings his gifts to the show to share with us the unique way he approaches marketing: through the discovery of your unique story. Join Lain as he sits down with Jeramie Worley to talk about how to make your purpose connect with others who want to connect with you. Most of all, find out why passion is important in everything you do.

Listen to the podcast here

 

Tall Tales In Tiny Text With Lain McCanless

There is a tall tale in the tiny texts that you use to describe your business, isn’t there? What is the ongoing story of your business or brand? Are you communicating effectively in everything that you do? How would you know unless you met a guy like Lain McCanless. I thought that I had a good idea of who I was and what I did, but it took this expert storyteller to get me to understand the impact I was having on other people. I didn’t understand how or why. Lain helps you understand the special spark and gift that your business has and how to present that to other people so that they know how to interact with you.

Lain is a marketing prodigy whose skillful approach helps you understand your special spark. He’s the Director of Marketing of High-end Men’s fashion and apparel, Martin Dingman, and he walks us through how he approaches marketing through the discovery of each company’s unique story and how to make your purpose connect with others who want to connect with you. I love to spend time with Lain because of his infectious smile and optimism. I hope you enjoy the conversation that we had together as much as I did.

 

CDRE 21 | Business Marketing

 

It’s such an honor and a privilege to have you here. This is long overdue. You’re like one of those people in my life that I just can’t get enough time with. That we are both very busy professionals and we’re dads and husbands. It’s hard to find professionals that value the same things in the same order that you do. I feel like you’re definitely one of those people in terms of loving God and loving your family and loving your work, and really wanting to take care of people and do a great job at that. You know how they say, game recognizes game. I definitely recognized you early on as somebody that was just pretty powerful in this town.

Actually, that’s how we met. Some of our agents in our office and contracted with you to start marketing for them. It’s interesting your approach to it all, like when we finally got a chance to connect and you told me the thought process behind the approach that you took to real estate marketing and how that was incredibly different from another industry. It was really interesting to me to see your take on that and your dedication to every discipline within the marketing to make sure that you would achieve the results necessary for that industry. That’s a great place to start. Give me some of your thought process behind your approach.

We share so many of the same values. As I was telling my wife, just even about the opportunity to be on the show, I was like, “I’ve enjoyed Jeramie from the second I met him,” even from the second, I just even knew about you, but such a great guy. Such a great business, a great mindset that I naturally gravitate toward your personality, so I appreciate it. Marketing, for me, is like this opportunity to tell someone’s story. When I moved to Branson, I naturally learned real estate’s a really big deal in this area. At this point, I knew little to nothing about real estate.

Where’d you move from?

I grew up in Mount Vernon and so I came to college at College of the Ozarks, which was my first introduction to Branson. I came here as a kid, but I knew nothing of Branson other than it was that fun town about an hour away from my house.

Did you get here very often?

We would come once or twice a year. Mainly for Silver Dollar City, but honestly didn’t realize the community aspect as well as the opportunity aspect that I now invest in myself and, now, very much enjoy. I met my wife actually at the College of the Ozarks. We moved away for about two years and then the Lord opened up some doors for us to be able to come back to Branson. That’s when I very much got into marketing.

That’s when I met you, and that’s when I met a lot of your teammates and people that have to do with your organization. As I’m marketing, I’m realizing a lot of marketing has to do with proximity. What is happening in Branson at the moment? In 2019, really 2020, when COVID’s moving in and happening, there was an ultimate opportunity for marketing efforts toward real estate where no one else was really looking into.

Back up a little bit. You were saying that marketing has to do with proximity. Talk about that a little deeper.

The first thing is you can do marketing anywhere, especially with technology. People are able to do marketing from their living room, from a studio, or anywhere they want. There is something to be said about knowing the object that you are marketing. For example, if I’m marketing real estate, it’s going to look drastically different if I’m in Dallas, Texas versus in Branson, Missouri. That’s not just with real estate. That’s with everything marketing. You not only have to know about the product that you’re marketing, but you also have to get into the head of who the audience is. The audience is constantly changing.

That’s why you can never get used to doing the same tactics over and over. You’ve also got to be the one investing in that industry and into that market. If we’re talking specifically about real estate, one of the driving and motivating factors for me is, “How am I going to market something that I don’t actually believe in myself?” That’s been one of the things I adopted early on in marketing was, “I’m not going to market something that I don’t believe in.”

The audience is constantly changing. That's why you can never get used to doing the same tactics over and over and over. Click To Tweet

I was going to say that’s, so marketing is not like a lawyer where you have to learn to argue both sides. Doesn’t that make it hard as a person that pays their bills through marketing or you just select certain clients? How do you say that like, “I’m not available, I don’t believe in your product?”

I’d like to say that I think upfront that’s always been my strategy, but there is this level whenever you’re getting into it, that you’re almost just experimenting with what works, what doesn’t, what are my passions, what are they not. For me, upfront, initially, I think there were some clients that I took on that as I got into that retainer or relationship, there was a halfway point when I realized, “Okay, I’m not going to renew this one, or I’m not going to continue working with this person,” which is hard conversations.

Ultimately, just like in any industry, I would argue that a lot of people have a moral absolute of what they’re willing to do and what they’re not willing to do. For me, honestly, the first years of my marketing career were me just figuring out who do I feel comfortable aligning with. What are the things I’m promoting? I’m the type that if I’m going to sign my name on something, I want to absolutely be a supporter of it, believe in it, and endorse it. There are some people out there that they will market whatever you put in front of them. That’s just never been my take on something. I honestly don’t think it’s as successful if you’re marketing something that you wouldn’t utilize yourself.

It’s also very unique because there’s a passion associated with what you’re talking about. Maybe what you’re saying is that you’re more passionate about the things you believe in, therefore, you can be a better steward of the message.

For example, whenever I was at the agency, if I’m being completely honest, there were twenty or so clients that were working with. Naturally, my passions would gravitate towards a handful of those. Since I was like leading the agency at the time, I got the opportunity to assign myself to the tasks that I was most passionate about. Whenever it comes to real estate, honestly, that’s whenever I got obsessed with it because I was trying to learn real estate. To be completely clear, I was trying to learn real estate, not because my intention was to invest in it, it was of how I market this the best.

As I started learning about how to market it, I fell in love with real estate in general, which is just so neat because that’s what passion does to any project. I found myself being passionate about different industries that I would’ve never imagined myself in. It was because I was like, “I can align with this. I can endorse this. I respect the people leading these businesses.” That’s why passion is so important in every aspect of every project that you ever do

In every discipline that you ever do in being a dad, a husband, a man of God, a business owner, and a citizen of your community. Without passion, life is just so darn boring. With all the things you love to do. Whether it’s hiking, biking, four-wheeling, or watching movies be passionate about it, or don’t do it at all. What was it about real estate that you just felt passionately in love with?

Not to pat you on the back too much, but I started looking at people both in the community and outside the community that were doing what you’re doing. I didn’t look at Jeramie as like investor guru, first of all. I was like a guy that loves the Lord, a guy that loves his wife and his family really well. I started to learn that you were able to better do those things because of the freedom and possibilities that real estate allowed you and gave you the opportunities to do life in that way.

As I started looking at your character at other characters, I’m like, “I want to align myself with those people.” It’s like the age-old saying, “You are who you hang with or you’re the sum of the five people you run with.” I was like, “Okay, gut check. Who do I want to be running with and who do I want to be doing life with?”

On a much larger scale, I just started prioritizing relationships and aligning myself with people that were doing things that I also wanted to do. Real estate apart from the financial opportunities that it did, my family and I love to travel, love to explore, and love to go places. I knew about Airbnb, and VRBO, but you were the first person who I think had copyrighted the idea of a vacation rental instead of calling it just a short-term rental. I’m like, “Jeramie’s onto something here.” It’s so much more than just an investment property. It’s an investment in your family, in your life, in yourself, and so I was like, “I want to be a part of that in any way that I can.”

Thank you, by the way. Vacation rental speaks to what we do with it, the reason why we fall in love with these properties and the reasons why we love to go to these gorgeous places on earth. Short-term rental is just an investment type, it describes an asset class. That’s like talking about insurance. Nobody’s excited about their life insurance policy, not a single person on the planet. It’s like a gun. It’s one of those things that you have and hope you never have to use, but you’d rather have it when you need it. We have to invent fun lizards or big strong companies to make us believe in life insurance because there’s no way to make it really fun, and that’s okay.

I want to back up a little bit so people can get to know you a little bit more. Your origin story is so fascinating to me. Here’s what I know about you. Here’s the lore that surrounds Lain McCanless. Here’s a guy that went to college and goes through the program, and we all know that College of the Ozarks has a widely respected university. We can’t say anything bad about it. It’s well-known. If we do, people in this town will come and get you. They will lock you in rooms because it’s that powerful. We did a show about a kid, Caleb, who’s working with us, who actually got kicked out of College of the Ozarks.

There’s nothing bad we can say about them. They have their standards and by God, they’ve earned them. You are a student at this university and you love the university. It’s an awesome university because it provides kids with an opportunity that most universities do not provide, which is phenomenal.

You go through this course of study, which was marketing. You reach the end of that, and then you step out into the real world. You found that the experience was maybe different than the experience that you thought it might be as a student, and you came back to the university with knowledge. Boots on the ground in a real-world experience.

You said, “Here are some real things that I experienced. Maybe let’s teach some other students this.” You were excited about the next generation of students before you had even gone out and accomplished anything. You were so passionate about your discipline. Already you were giving enough to give back to students who maybe you didn’t even know and wanted to go back to that department to improve that department. Is that true? Is that lore? Is that legend? It’s real? Tell me about that.

As you said, the College of the Ozarks, I cannot speak highly enough about it. It gave me opportunities that I don’t think I would’ve got anywhere else. There were so many great people that were a part of that. I started out as a Criminal Justice major, and I don’t even know if I’ve ever told you that or not. I had no plans for marketing or for anything. I ended up having a public speaking class, like we all do our first semester at school. 

I’d go up there and Dr. McNeil is still at College of the Ozarks these days, but I remember giving my first speech and pulling me aside afterward, and she was like, “Have you ever considered PR? I remember going, “Does that stand for Personal Record?” I had no idea what it was. She’s like, “I think you should consider it.” I remember calling my parents, saying, “I’m just not enjoying Criminal Justice as much as I thought I was.” I got pepper sprayed.

Is that part of the curriculum?

Yeah, I did. That’s not why I left. I did get pepper sprayed, but just along that line, it’s not uncommon for people to switch majors during college or what they want to do, but it was this humbling moment of realizing the things that I had sought to do. I was like, “I actually don’t think that’s who I am. I don’t think that’s what I was supposed to do.” I honestly saw that moment as an opportunity for me to do something that I naturally was gifted at, which was speaking.

I decided to make the switch and fell in love with Public Relations, specifically the communications and marketing and advertising side of things. I definitely enjoyed that opportunity. I met Kayla Kemp when she’s still teaching at the school, at the university there. She’s the one that introduced the first-ever social media program for students. I was actually about to graduate, about to leave, and she’s like, “I know you don’t really need it, but I would love for you to be a part of the social media marketing part of the class.”

I ended up staying a little bit longer than expected, added a minor, and got to be a part of the program whenever they added social media to the mix of things. To your point, I was able to, because she was gracious enough, she invited me back to campus in the following years, probably 2 or 3 consecutive semesters to speak into the program of what they were doing. A little bit about the curriculum, but more than anything, just offering the students real-life practical advice about what it looks like to market out in the real world.

How to get jobs and how to succeed at those jobs. What was it about marketing that you fell in love with? First of all, you got pepper sprayed, but what was it about Criminal Justice that you fell out of love with?

I had aspirations for FBI. I wanted to be more on the investigating side of things. Jason Bourne was my favorite movie growing up. I remember that was what I sought out to do. As I realized, I do think there’s still that opportunity there, but I remember thinking, “Okay, it’s going to be unattainable if I continue to go down the path.” I honestly wasn’t the best student at the time. If I’m being honest, some of it was just a cop-out for me not enjoying the curriculum at the time. When I made that switch to Marketing, all of a sudden I realized, “If I can still boil marketing down to the basics of what it is today, I say marketing is telling someone’s story and telling it well.”

 

CDRE 21 | Business Marketing

 

That’s what it was. You realized that you could tell great stories.

Absolutely. I could get paid. I could do live by telling my story and telling everyone else’s story around me. That sounds like the most fun thing in the world to do.

Do you generally like to tell stories?

Absolutely. I think more than telling other people’s stories, I love listening to their stories and finding a way to be able to put that out into the world.

Even outside of marketing, do you like to tell stories or do you like stories? What’s an example of a story you like, or stories you like to tell?

I think more than anything, what I would say about that is I am obsessed with creating community and space for stories to happen. One night was a practical example. The Lord put it on my heart once a month, for us to invite our five best friends over and literally have no agenda other than let’s talk, hang out and have a good time. Literally, we don’t have our cell phones out. We’re not watching a movie together. We’re sitting there and we’re creating time and space for stories to be told and memories to be made.

You’re a quality time guy on the five love languages. That’s you, 100%. Me too. Game recognizes game. It’s so true. Somebody has to be the gel. Somebody has to be the glue. I predict that as you and those group of friends all grow, if you grow in time and space, the one person that will hold them all together with phone calls and encouraging events would be you. There’s a lot of love behind that too. You must love your friends so deeply to be able to want to do that, and you must love that time with them.

That’s so special. There are very few people like that on the planet. Anyone who can call you a friend should cherish that. Anyone who knows you and is reading this, I would say, cherish this man for as long as you can. It’s the storytelling aspect again that you fell in love with. You graduate and you go to work?

Graduate and interestingly enough, I go to work at an insurance company. Did the classic, “I want to get married here before too long.”

Did you get hired as marketing for an insurance company?

I got hired as a Director of Marketing for an insurance company. Honestly, I look back and I’m like, “The Lord was so gracious in aligning these stepping stones for me to be able to ultimately wind up to where I’m at now.”

You’re the guy that had to make insurance interesting and fun. Granted, it’s a local company, and it is interesting and fun. Actually, the owner of that company does a wonderful job of making insurance fun. Even on his social media, how much of that was you, and what did you bring to insurance that made it exciting?

As I said, God is gracious in putting people in my life to open up doors for that. The early conversations of that were, “How do we make an insurance fund, how do we get people in the door and how do we make it this non-daunting task?” In reality, that’s the idea of marketing, regardless of the industry. How do we take this idea that seems like an obstacle or huge or overwhelming, and how do we fit it through the door to make sure that it’s not overwhelming to the person receiving it on the other end? That’s the formula for whatever industry it is. How do we take this big task and make it simple, make it sticky, and get the point across? As I started talking with him, he’s a businessman by nature, and so he’s like, “Let’s make a marketing company. Let’s make it an aspect of this company.”

Just because he saw you succeed at what he hired you for, or he thought, “Okay, this kid’s got some talent that I could really utilize. There’s a natural ability that I want to sew into.” How did that happen?

I think it was very humbling, but I think it was a mixture of both, like all of those options. By nature, as I said, he’s a businessman, but I also think hopefully he had seen my passion for marketing and he knew that it wasn’t just geared towards entrance. He knew that I wanted to do something better. Maybe that’s a note to make for leaders. I specifically remember him looking at me and being like, “How can I invest in you?”

That wasn’t going to be my end goal. I think we both knew that it was a stepping stone for me, but I took that very literally when he said, “How can I invest in you?” I was like, “I would love to one day do marketing and do it really well for a lot of people.” In a lot of ways, that was the launchpad if I look back, even though I wasn’t at the agency for very long at all, a year and a half, almost two years.

You launched every aspect of that. You were sales, you were the director of the entire department, and you were the department probably in the beginning. As you began to expand and get clients, you needed to diversify your responsibilities and delegate within the department. You built it. That was probably fun for you as well.

It was a blast. That’s when I fell in love with the business. Marketing in and of itself, the story is so fun because it’s a story, a continuous story that happens over and over again. Me learning a skill and then me falling in love with it, being passionate about it, and somehow using it to ultimately do what I’m doing right now.

Business is just like solving puzzles again and again. I remember when I was a kid on the bus and there was this thing, and it was super popular. The Rubik’s Cube has been around forever. When I was a kid, there was this thing, I don’t even remember what it was called, but it was like the Rubik’s Links or something, and it was like all these links you could fold together and you could link them up and then they would unlink.

 

CDRE 21 | Business Marketing

 

There were different colors. I got to figure out what that was and get one because it was amazing. I never could get it to work and nobody that I knew could get it to work or could solve the Rubik’s problem. I was on the bus one time with a kid and he was like, “You want me to show you how to solve that?” I’m like, “Yeah.”

Granted, this was before the internet, before cell phones. Knowledge was priceless. If you read an Abraham Lincoln biography, someone coming into town with a book was an amazing thing and he would trade books with people. If you read Booker T. Washington’s biography, someone coming to town to teach you math was exciting to these people. I shoved Up From Slavery into my kid’s hand and made him read it when I felt like he was becoming entitled. I’m like, “Here, you’re going to read this and when you’re done reading it, we’re going to talk about this book, and then you’re going to get your phone back.” That’s super important to me.

This guy on the bus, he showed me the trick. Since I had that little piece of knowledge, I was able to impress so many people. Of course, I didn’t tell them where I found out. That was my hard-earned research or my luck, or the chance that I got. It was so fun because I had found that secret piece to the puzzle. That’s really what the gurus are for us in business, or that’s why you join a mastermind or that’s why you hire a coach. It’s because they know the trick to the Rubik’s thing.

Marketing is a little bit the same way because I’ve always found that I’m very passionate as well, but I’m passionate about the sales side rather than a marketing side. I’m very persuasive and I can win people to a way of thinking by speaking to their hearts, by telling them the right story. I was never effective in selling anything unless I believed in it. Therefore, wouldn’t take a sales job unless I believed in the product.

Real estate was the first thing that I ever sold that I really believed in. This was before I was even achieving the full benefits. I discovered the full benefits of real estate while I sold it from the very beginning because it has so many beautiful properties. First, you need it. You have to have shelter. That’s the first thing we thank God for is protection from the wind, protection from the rain, and a roof over our head, and then it’s customizable from that point on.

It’s like having your Fortnite money. The more money you got, the more bucks you got, and the more skins you can buy, and that’s what real estate is. What were some of the first stories that you began to recognize that you love to tell? Even outside of real estate, what were some other companies that you liked to tell?

That’s honestly a great segue to get to where I’ve landed right now because I started identifying those stories within clients that I aligned with. That’s whenever it was that refining process. It was, again, for probably nine months there, it was me categorizing and saying, “I want to continue telling these stories. These are stories that I don’t care to continue to tell.”

As I started narrowing that down, I was like, “I’m genuinely getting so passionate about this.” That’s when it’s not just a work. It’s not just 9:00 to 5:00. I couldn’t shut my brain off even at home late at night. How can I tell this story better? How can I make sure I’m doing this story justice? How can I make sure the passion that that man feels about his business is conveyed to someone else that is on the other side of this phone screen?

One of those businesses was Martin Dingman, which is ultimately where I’ve landed now. The Lord is so gracious, but I remember telling my wife again whenever there were no doors open at this point, I was like, “I would love to do his marketing full-time.” If you’re at an agency, you’re trying to dedicate those 40 to 60 hours and spread them out amongst 20-plus clients and you can only do so much. You can’t clone yourself. I was like, “If there’s an opportunity to dedicate all my time and all my efforts professionally towards this client, I see a huge opportunity for them.” Four months later and a door opens.

Martin Dingman is a shoes, clothing, and jackets, men’s luxury. I talked to a friend of mine Ernie Garza, and he told me that he was shopping at a store and he had tried on this jacket. It was like a long wool winter coat. He tries it on and it fits him perfectly and things don’t fit him perfectly because he’s a super tall big guy. He said he heard this voice over from across the room, like in a halfway shouting, “That looks really good on you, sir.”

Ernie could talk to anybody. He’s like, “You really think this jacket looks great?” The guy said, “Yes. As a matter of fact, there’s only one other jacket in the world that’s equal to that jacket and I’m wearing it.” Out walks Martin Dingman himself, “I designed that jacket for myself,” and that’s its brother. It was a $2,000 jacket or something like that. He’s like, “If you buy that jacket, I’ll give it to you for $500.” Isn’t that fascinating? I want a jacket like that. I want a jacket with that story. That might actually be a great ad for you.

Exactly. My mind’s running a million miles an hour. How do we get Ernie in the studio?

It does sound a little bit like that guy from Seinfeld, Mr. Peterman. “Martin Dingman originated that jacket on the back of an elephant while he was trying to think his way into the next bit of the cosmos.”

This is why I love you. I’m obsessed with that.

You could do some of that for Martin Dingman, the perfect candidate.

It’s so funny that you said that because one of the ads that I’m dreaming up right now, you can’t make this up. Years ago, they tell me this story and it’s completely true, but we had a gentleman call up and we had a shoe at the time called the Arlo. He calls and he’s like, “I’m trying to find another Arlo. I can’t find it anywhere.”

We handled it very professionally, but we’re like, “That shoe’s actually been discontinued. That was a limited edition shoe.” He’s like, “I don’t think you understand. I love the Arlo.” I’m like, “What’d you guys do?” This is the owners talking. They’re like, “We told him that he would need to order 50 or more to make it worth us actually bringing the shoe back.”

The guy ordered 50 of that shoe. It’s the exact same shoe. He bought the same color, the same shoe, 50 pairs. This was many years ago and he’s like, “This will last me to the grave.” I remember telling them, and I’m still dreaming this up, but I want to fly that guy in and I want to line up 50 shoe boxes behind him and have him sitting on this leather chair and just say something like, “A shoe’s so good you have to buy 50.” I think it would be brilliant.

You’d buy them for a lifetime. Pass on what you don’t use and hope your grandkids have the same shoe size.

As I said, there are stories to be told everywhere on every corner.

There are fascinating stories to be told everywhere on every corner. Click To Tweet

That story could be a legendary story. Those 50 shoes, or 48 or however many are left would be worth a ton. I’ve thought about stuff like that. I will say this. Also, I’ll segue for a second because you are brilliant. You were the first person who actually took the time to care enough about me to give me some suggestions. I know I came to you for a proposal, but I did need marketing at that time because I was spending so much time with too many entrepreneurial hats on, I couldn’t get to everything and marketing was the last thing I wanted to touch.

As a real estate agent, when you’re selling, you’re not marketing and when you’re marketing, you’re not selling, which is one of the first puzzles that you need to solve in business is to get that admin in place so that that can happen at the same time. That levels out your income. For me, I needed to do some marketing and I just needed ways.

I felt like people inside the building were having such a great experience and there was no way to tell anyone outside of the building what that culture was like. I just waited for people to come in and I would try to demonstrate to them, but I had no time, energy, or effort as a small broker. There was absolutely no way I could have done that.

You came in and you’re like, “There’s actually two different personalities here. There’s this business personality and then there’s this Jeramie Worley personality.” I just keep my head down and work. You breathed life into the possibility that I had more self-worth than I thought that I did. Your act as a marketer and just talking to me about the difference between brand identity and personal identity, which in my journey as an entrepreneur, I now have realized how incredibly important that is for everybody. You gave me the confidence to actually act on those suggestions. Although you weren’t the guy that enacted them, the idea originated from you. I’ll always be in debt to you for helping me realize that.

It’s been fun seeing where I differ from my company even, what my company can do and should do without me, and how I can better serve my company by being myself. That’s actually helped me in my leadership journey as well. It helps me realize that if we as people do not give our leaders the freedom to grow and to go forward, if we constantly hoard them and try to keep them close to us because they’re providing some service to us, we are missing out on the beautiful life we could have by letting our leaders go out and pioneer and bring back spices. Life is so spicy when you so into your leader. I learned that from Bloom Church and Mike Carlton, whom we’ve had on this show. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for that before we continued on. That’s beautiful.

I want to add something to that because that’s so gracious of you. We were sitting at Cracker Barrel one day and then one time, it was at Steamy Joe’s. We had so many conversations. Jeramie was the type of guy that didn’t know how talented he was. Not to say that you had low self-worth, because I think you knew how much value you brought to your team, but I wanted to take the value that your team saw every day and amplify it to the world. I saw a guy like Jeramie, who’s one of the most fun people to market in the world, because Jeramie was downplaying his own strengths, didn’t even realize the impact that you would have on thousands of lives.

For me, I was like, “It would be a shame if you never got this out into the world.” As you said, there were so many people that were telling me, “You got to talk to Jeramie. You got to listen to him. You got to go to his sales meetings. You got to go to his motivational talks with his team,” whatever that might be. I remember just even late at night trying to wrack my brain like, “What can Jeramie be doing to be able to amplify this and get it out to every single person?”

I think we had those conversations and then it felt a little bit like the book closed and I didn’t know what happened and then all of a sudden, on my social media out of nowhere, Chris gets hired and then you guys start putting out content like crazy. I remember going, “This is what happens whenever you take marketing seriously.”

Here’s what the beautiful thing about Chris is. I’ll brag about Chris for a minute. Chris came in the interesting transition between Worley and Associates and the Worley Real Estate Network. I had made the decision that I was going to scale, which I didn’t realize at the time was going to be incredibly difficult, incredibly expensive, and completely outside of my skillset.

I learned that growth and scaling are two completely different skillsets. It doesn’t sound right because scaling is just growth, but it’s not. I learned this from Carl Gould, who is a brilliant man and I would love to have him on the show sometime that a person that is focused on growth is focused on standards and inspiration. If you focus on those two things, you have a lightning rod for growth.

People who are focused on scaling are focused on systems and details. It takes systems and details in order to scale, it takes both, but if you don’t have that architect, then you will never scale. I am not an architect at all. I am a spark and you got to have both. It has been fascinating in terms of growth, but you gave me some great courage.

Chris comes on and I had just transitioned my company from one phase to another. Of course, there’s this shakeout and I realized that people who lived our growth culture and pioneer culture go out and rescue people and find their culture versus the people that had just gotten comfortable and wanted us to achieve. It’s okay to say, “I’m going to stick my flag here and I’m going to live and enjoy my life.” There’s nothing wrong with that.

That’s not me. I have to keep pioneering forward constantly. We figured out who wanted to do what. It was fascinating to discover all that. Chris comes along in the middle of all that. I brought him in wanting to begin this journey of marketing because I had built my company to the place where I had what I thought was free time. I didn’t realize that that transition was going to take so much out of me personally, emotionally, and actually, business and resource-wise.

I told Chris, “Just go love on the people. I’m sorry, I wanted to have a plan. I wanted to work with you but see you. I got to broker this company. You got to figure it out.” The thing I love about Chris is that he actually could see in people what I could. I feel like God has given me the gift to see the extraordinary in people.

They don’t see themselves that way, but I do. I don’t see myself that way. I spent a lot of money on Tony Robbins to get myself to where I want to be. I see the extraordinary in people and it’s so beautiful to me and it’s so disappointing to me that they aren’t acting how extraordinary they are. In fact, they act contrary to that and they tell me excuses on why they’re not acting differently and it’s easy for me to just pull away the excuses and to show them the extraordinary, and I believe in people.

When I believe in people, that’s when amazing transformation starts to happen. Chris can see the extraordinary in people just like I could. In fact, he’s got the talent to be able to capture it. That’s a rare gift. He was the first guy to come around and say, “I finally see why you love all of these people.” I actually had someone come to me one time and they’re like, “I don’t want to put my desk here in the office. I want my desk over here.”

I’m like, “Why?” He’s like, “Those aren’t my people.” I’m like, “Everyone in this office is your people. None of you would be here.”  The people in this office don’t realize. Now in our network don’t realize that there is a golden thread that connects us all. They a lot of times can’t see it and don’t know what it is.

Everyone in this office is extraordinary and everyone in this network has this golden thread and a lot of times they can’t see it in each other, but I can see it in them. It’s so fun to put people in places with other people so that they can begin to see the extraordinary in each other when they were so focused on these people. It helps avoid the whole clicking this by shaking people up a little bit.

Chris was the guy who was able to recognize that beauty and capture it and so that’s what you’re seeing. You’re seeing a combination of the people that I’ve chosen and Chris’s ability to capture their brilliance. He and I were talking. We need to do more of that. We’ve led with a lot of my stuff. It’s just because I’m trying to push forward and establish a foundation of an identity that I never had before because of the reasons you mentioned.

I have to be feeling good sometimes to go out and push and promote and to put myself out there. If you’re having a low self-worth day, you can’t put videos out when you’re feeling that way. I’m a trained performer, but I can’t train myself past that. I never could. Life can be challenging sometimes, but again, thank you for helping me realize the difference between company identity and brand identity.

Thank you that you do it for multiple people, but one of the people you did it for is me. Multiple times you’ve looked at me and said, “I’m calling out this in you and I’m calling out this in you.” You have a beautiful talent of doing it with love and with truth that are simultaneous and harmonious and it’s truly a gift that I’ve seen you do with Chris, but also me and multiple other people in your network. I haven’t even probably met even the majority of the network because it’s grown drastically since last time.

From the pool of people I know are a part of the Worley Network, you’ve got great people who had this potential there all along and I’ve continually watched you invest in them. I’ve only known you for a couple of years now, but I’ve watched you pour into them, and some of them exceed all expectations. It’s been such a blessing and such a gift to watch that as well.

What’s a gift is for when we put a bit of marketing out and you texted me and you’re like, “I just saw this. It looks great.” I was like, “Yeah, we got the heads up from Lain.” I screenshotted it and texted Chris and I’m like, “We got this.” You’re definitely a hero of ours. Let’s help some people. Some effective techniques in marketing. Give us some things that are a-has for you. One of the things you said is that the audience is constantly changing. That’s not something that I would’ve ever even thought about. I’m busy spending a lot of time, effort, and money trying to find my audience and now you’re telling me it’s going to change.

You’re exactly right. That’s probably my favorite thing to walk people through. The audience can be the most daunting part of marketing because you have to ask yourself, “How are an audience of 1,000, 10,000, or 1 million people going to perceive this single piece of marketing?” The reason that’s overwhelming is because you know how it is. Even if you offer up your opinion to ten people in the room, they also have an opinion about something.

The audience can be the most daunting part of marketing. Click To Tweet

It seems impossible to have a good piece of marketing collateral go out and for everyone to respond the same way to it. That’s because you’re approaching marketing all wrong from the get-go. My favorite thing to do is to take that and strip it down to what it actually is, so let’s take real estate, for example. Instead of selling this house on the market and trying to put it out there for everybody, think about the house, how it looks, and what’s it going to attract.

If it’s a 3-bed, 2-bath or whatever, all of a sudden, I’m going to put a name to this family. This family is the Michaels family. Now you’ve created a hypothetical solution. You have the Michaels family, a 3-bed, and 2 baths. We’re going to say the husband and wife have been married for 3 or 4 years. This is a starter home. They have a kid.

You go, “The Michaels family, they have a kid. What do they drive?” While you’re looking at the area of the neighborhood, “They probably drive a Toyota 4Runner.” Now you’re categorizing them. “What’s a 4Runner family type do?” It feels very stereotypical, but what you’re doing is you’re boiling it down and you say, “What’s the mom’s name?” “Her name’s Jessica.” “What’s the dad’s name?” “Mark.” This piece of marketing collateral felt impossible, now it’s only going to Mark and Jessica. You’re like, “That’s such a narrow approach.” It is.

Whenever you send that out, you realize how much of an impact it had because rather than communicating to an audience in masses, that person feels like you’re talking directly to them. You know it’s a good piece of marketing collateral. You’ve experienced it probably before as many other people where you go, “I don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. This is my opportunity.” If you do marketing right, that audience of 10,000, every single one of them is going to go, “I can’t miss out on this marketing opportunity.” It will hit them because you took the time to boil it down, hit their dreams and aspirations, and deal with the thoughts running through their head.

What’s interesting is that you don’t know their dreams, you don’t know their aspirations, and you don’t know what’s going through their head. The only thing that are the common themes that might be going through someone’s head at that age demographic, socioeconomic type, and maybe even nationality. I’m sure there are different marketing avenues for that.

This is interesting because I would’ve thought, “For marketing, we want to cast our net as wide as possible. We want to try to get this message out to so many people,” but I see now how that could be incredibly expensive. It’s like cannon fodder. You’re just praying and spraying as opposed to doing a surgical strike.

If you think about it, even from an ads perspective, one of the things that Facebook, Instagram or whatever program you’re going to run your ads through, one of the most enticing things, is you can see as you put your budget in for your spend, it’ll say, this ad has the potential to reach 5 million people. That sounds amazing, right? No, because what if you were trying to sell a house and 4.5 million of those people that sell it, A) can’t afford the house, B) they’re not in the right region for the house?

As you actually narrow that approach, a lot of times, people think marketing is a shotgun approach. It’s actually a sniper rifle. That should be your strategy for almost every piece of marketing collateral. To go into a different segment, as far as marketing goes and something, that’s why I encourage every brand I ever work with have marketing pillars. If you’re doing a sniper rifle approach, sometimes you’re going to be talking to this audience, and sometimes you’re going to be talking to another audience. What a pillar might look like is these types of posts we’re going to cater towards the short-term investing market or vacation rental market.

Another type of approach is this is going for single homes or multifamily, or this is specifically just duplexes. Maybe this is a segment or a pillar where we only tell realtor stories, we do testimonies, and we do other interactions. Maybe it’s completely unrelated because your idea is to just do life with the person. That’s just a real estate example, but you can do that with every single industry, pick your pillars, and then have a sniper rifle approach at them.

What’s an example of some pillars you’ve built for another industry outside of real estate?

I’ll just use mine, for example, for Martin Dingman. They’re a family-owned company that’s been around since 1990. At the end of the day, we’re trying to sell shoes and belts, but even Martin himself would say it’s so much bigger than that. We’re trying to sell a lifestyle. You can’t just spray and pray and every single post is not going to apply to every single person.

Whenever I’m thinking about this overarching marketing calendar or this year-long strategy, there are certain pillars that are, we’re going to do product focus and we’re going to do detail product focus. At certain times, I’m taking the time and the intentionality and I’m calling out the make of the shoe, the model of the shoe, and the type of leather we used, the artisan who made it.

Another pillar would be, I’m going to tell you locations. This is all about where we manufacture, how that process looks, and what we mean when we say hand stained. What we mean when we say handcrafted and going into details there. They’re a family company, so the third pillar, we’re going to be talking about family stories. We’re going to make sure that they feel like it’s not just the Dingman family. We’re going to make sure that everybody who wears our product and believes in our brand feels like they are a part of the Martin Dingman family.

We have another variation of our company that’s Martin and his family have Llewellin Setters, and that’s a breed of dog. A certain amount of our posts are just specifically about the dogs and the heritage and the breeding process and what that looks like. We also believe in the outdoors and conservation and hunting, and taking good care of land.

There’s a section of our pillar that’s just dedicated to that as well. We have multiple other pillars, but that’s why you shouldn’t spray and pray. You should have a focused approach. Whenever you’re talking about that specific pillar or that specific piece of marketing, you do it with the utmost attention, detail, focus, and approach.

You’ve been super successful at Martin Dingman as well. What is something that you see people do wrong often in their approach to marketing?

The first thing is, whenever I see people who don’t believe it themselves. If you don’t believe it, nobody else is going to believe it. You can see it a mile away.

If you don't believe it, nobody else is going to believe it. Click To Tweet

Is it like fitness products or what?

You can’t fake passion. I think it boils down to passion. If I watch a video and the person behind it doesn’t have passion about what they’re talking about, there’s no way that I’m going to buy in. You’re sharing a story and you want them to buy into the story, so have an amazing story to tell before you even put something out there.

The other thing I think is that stops people is they have this idea of everything has to be perfect before they click the record button. That’s not true at all. I think in our day and age, what social media Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube have allowed us to do is you can click the record button and put out pieces of content.

I’ve seen it happen time and time again. You can put out 30, 40, or 50 videos that get zero interaction on the grand scheme of things. All of a sudden, one day, your channel just takes off. You might have one video you filmed a couple of years later that ultimately just sets the bar for your career, aspirations, and dreams. I think the biggest thing that I tell people is to start, “Where do I start?” I don’t care, just start whatever that looks like.

Start putting out content.

The second that you stop believing in it, stop, and reevaluate. Once you believe in it again, start it up again. That’s why people set these expectations in a way that they’re not achievable. You’ll have someone that’ll go from posting zero videos a day and they’ll say, “I’m going to start posting five times a week.” What if your goal was just to start?

My goal in marketing, but also my goal in my spiritual journey, my goal in life as a husband and father is to do the next right thing. That’s what I’m trying to do in marketing every single day. Rather than look at this giant list and reflect on these aspirations, it’s great to have goals. It’s great to have targets. I think you should have those things. I think those things are very good. At the end of the day, when that seems super overwhelming, what can you do? You can go back to doing the next right thing.

What I love about the type of marketing that you study and that you do is that you could teach anybody. Obviously, big companies can learn and there’s a ton of resources there and ad agencies. Ultimately it just comes down to stories, for the large companies too. Anyone that has a cosmetic business, a nutraceutical business, a network marketing company, a real estate company, or a law firm needs to be courageous enough to start putting out content. The huge a-ha that I took away from one of our breakfasts was what you just said.

You have a GaryVee approach to, “Let’s just make some content and put it out there,” and pivot if you need to adjust, learn, watch trends, and continue to stay in the flow while marketing while you sell. Go ahead and start recording yourself while you’re going through life and put that content out there. That’s what we’ve started to do because there is no time to do anything else but that. It’s quite impossible to put out marketing content by dedicating time to put out marketing content. You have to turn the camera on while you’re working and use that.

You were like, “Just put it out there.” I think you used BiggerPockets almost as an example. You go back a few years ago and you see 10 likes, 20 likes, and then all of a sudden, one thing hits. It lands. Now a superhighway of traffic comes to your channel where they can continue to consume years’ worth of material. That’s what they want. They need to be nourished by all that material. It was just there waiting for them to find it. You’re creating gold for people to dig up.

If I think about the creators that I’ve stumbled upon over the past few years, they were people that I consumed almost the bulk of their entire YouTube channel in the course of 2 to 3 weeks. Once I landed on them, I wanted as much content as I could possibly have. What we’re realizing in the younger generations and the trends of the younger generation, it’s the same thing with Netflix. They’ll drop ten episodes at one time now. Why? They’re going to dive right in and watch the entire series in 2 to 3 days. The younger generation, they don’t necessarily care that you’re going to be putting out a video every single week. What they want to be more concerned with is, “Once I find value in this, are there multiple other areas or avenues where I can also get more of this information?”

That’s a fascinating revelation about attention span. One of the reasons why podcasts are so popular is because it seems like the rule of thumb is they have people’s attention span for 10 seconds or 1 hour. That’s all you get them for. It’s also the technological advances that we’ve got. Video screens have gotten smaller and smaller. We’re finding that people have a very high tolerance for low video quality but a very low tolerance for low audio quality because they’ve got the AirPods in, which are ridiculously smart technologically.

They’re in all the time and people are living with someone speaking in their ear and they’re driving with somebody speaking in their ear. We have the opportunity to sit for long periods of time and nourish somebody who’s interested in a topic. What you’re saying is there’s another layer to that. What you’re saying is that we may get somebody’s attention span for a month. We may not get it for the rest of our lives, but they may study our content for a month.

We’ll become part of their wisdom, the things they share, or we’ll become the person that they recommend. “If you want to get training for your real estate agent and you want training on short-term rentals, come to Jeramie’s.” Now we’ve got the opportunity for him to be able to recommend us all over the country because of the scaling and all that. It’s so fascinating. We may not get somebody’s attention span forever.

That’s a testament to the audience because I think there’ll be a large percentage that will buy in and they’ll want to continue to do life with you. You’re also going to get those people that they might never subscribe to your Youtube channel, but they might go through 45 of your videos in a 2 or 3-hour session. They’re like, “I’m just eating up all of this content.” That’s why it’s important to be versatile and not put all your eggs in one basket. BiggerPockets is a great example. They have all this free material out there that they go ahead and offer up for everybody.

If you want to go deeper in your studies, there’s a monetary commitment there of if you pay in, then you’re basically adopted into a deeper layer of the family there. That’s what people should be more concerned about. First of all, make sure the content that you’re putting out is quality and making sure that you’re passionate about it, and then the other stuff will naturally follow. If you do it long enough, people will listen. If you’re offering up valuable information, people can’t help but get excited about being a part of it in some form or fashion.

Make sure the content you're putting out is quality and you're passionate about it. Then the other stuff will naturally follow. Click To Tweet

Any tips on how to put out that content? Any quality recommendations or tips?

Whenever it comes to people that are not even starting because of being overwhelmed by it, I think I’ve walked you through this too, along with many other people, but there are multiple pieces of content you can make from one blog post. For example, you’ve written a book before. You’ve written quite a bit. For you, you have what I would consider an endless amount of content at your fingertips. You could take a chapter that you wrote and then you could map that out or wireframe it and say, “I’m going to take this one chapter and I’m going to make 64 videos from it.” You put a screen up there and you’re reading sections of your book, and all of a sudden, that becomes content.

You strip the audio from that and that becomes a podcast. All of a sudden, you see how one page from a book all of a sudden becomes 64 pieces of different content from video to photo to blog post to whatever that might be. That’s always super helpful for me to tell people because they’re like, “I don’t have the ideas for it.” There are things out there that give you multiple prompts and then you just get to go crazy with what you want to do with it, whether it’s video, podcast, or anything like that.

Any last bit of advice on what you’re seeing in trends in marketing or social media that people might need to pay attention to?

The thing that continues to blow my mind is, do not commit to one platform over the other. I literally saw this happen. There’s a person on YouTube who, by stereotype, it would look like they’re “failing.” They don’t have a very big audience whatsoever compared to other creators. Comparison’s the thief of joy, so don’t ever compare yourself to another creator. I’m just saying from the standpoint of subscribers, it would look as if there was no success there.

While on TikTok, they’re verified and have more followers than anyone could ever dream of. It’s crazy how the same exact piece of content could not perform well on this platform but could have three million views on another one. I’m not saying that you need to just throw it out there and hope that one stick, but I am saying that there’s something to be said about having the dedication to post on multiple platforms over and over.

I’m a marketing nerd when it comes to that, but I love studying the numbers and go, “Why in the world did the same video perform four times better on Instagram than on TikTok or vice versa?” GaryVee’s pushing it a lot right now, and I agree with them. Facebook Reels are being used by the minimal amount of people on any social platform right now. It means that you have the most opportunity right now.

Facebook Reels, in my opinion, are the biggest place for people who aren’t currently getting a lot of views to be able to get traction where no one else is. Everyone’s going to Instagram Reels. Everyone’s going to TikTok Reels, which means that your video has more of an opportunity to get seen on Facebook Reels right now.

Shorts, I’ve heard, are launching on YouTube too. It seems to be like a super fatty place. I like what you’re saying. Make sure you have a presence everywhere as much as you possibly can.

The second that you’re not passionate about anymore, tap the breaks. I’m not saying hang up your cleats and walk away. I’m just saying make sure that at the end of the day, you’re not putting out content because you want to be trendy. You’re not putting out content because you want to do that. Hopefully, the goal is continually, “I’m putting out content because I care and I believe in this message. I genuinely think it could provide value and make a difference in someone’s life.”

The second that you're not passionate about it anymore, tap the breaks. Click To Tweet

That’s why I’m pumped that you’re doing this show because, whether it was at breakfast or whether it was grabbing a quick muffin in the morning, or a coffee, there were multiple times that you said something that I was like, “I wish other people knew that there was this opportunity in value out there.” What feels like a coffee and a conversation could actually change someone’s life forever. Why not record it?

What’s next for you?

Next for me, I’m going to go home and tuck my little boy in and be a good husband and dad. In a real sense, this is the most content that I’ve ever been in life. By nature, that’s not me at all. I’m always looking at the next big thing. Right now, I’m just so thankful where the Lord has guided and directed my steps. I could not be happier with being with my wife and my son, being involved at our church, and serving in the community. I’m just genuinely enjoying this stage of life so much. For me, what’s next for Lain McCanless is how do I become a better version of myself every day? If the Lord opens a door, I want to be able to say yes and walk through it.

The true pioneer of enjoying the journey. It’s been an honor to caffeinate with you.

It’s been so good.

Let’s not be strangers.

Sounds good. I think the world of you. Thanks so much.

A big thank you for tuning in to our show. I know your time is valuable and I hope you got a few takeaways that are going to help you get a greater return on that time. I know you will. If you did enjoy it, I’d sure appreciate a share or a comment. Feel free to subscribe for instant access to new episodes and offers. There’s also a ton of free content and ways to learn more and engage more at WorleyRealEstateNetwork.com. Until then, we’ll continue to bring you recipes for success and real stories from real people who, like you, are living out your divine purpose. God loves you. No matter what happens, don’t give up.

 

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About Lain McCanless

CDRE 21 | Business MarketingI used to want the persona that I had it all together— and then I realized Jesus uses broken people just like you and I. We all have a story and I would love to hear yours and share mine. I’m a modern-day evangelist living in Branson, Missouri. I married the love of my life, Aspyn Lee in 2020, and in 2022 we welcomed Shepherd Thomas. I’m a Speaker and Writer. I’d love to speak at your church or event.

Email me at request.lainmcanless@gmail.com. Or give find me on social media at @LainMcCanless. Just a broken man, loved by the Creator