Has your B2B brand set up champions within the company to be ambassadors for your brand on social media? Now is the time for B2B brand executives to establish an online presence to be seen and heard.
In this episode of The B2B Mix Show, we have Scott Berty, Head of Sales for Trufan, join us to talk about B2B marketing on social media and what life is like in a startup.
Scott shared his tips and best practices on how he helps B2B executives stand out on social media and create an online presence that people want to engage with. He also shared what life has been like since he joined Trufan and what life is like with a startup.
Trufan — Instagram
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The B2B Mix Show with Alanna Jackson and Stacy Jackson is brought to you by Jackson Marketing. Need help with your B2B online presence? Let’s talk!
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Episode 25 Transcript
Stacy Jackson: Hi everyone. I'm Stacy Jackson-
Alanna Jackson: And I'm Alanna Jackson. We are the co-found of Jackson Marketing. And, in case you still haven't heard, we are also sisters. We're bringing you Episode 25 of the B2B Mix Show. Stacy, what's the topic of today's episode?
Stacy Jackson: Today we're going to talk about B2B marketing on social media, and we're speaking with a guy who knows a little something about the topic. His name is Scott Berty, and he is the Head of Sales for Trufan. We aren't just talking about the boring, same old, same old either. Scott's going to share his insights and tips on how the personal branding of your sales team managers and executive leaders can take your B2B brand further, especially on LinkedIn.
Stacy Jackson: And for all of you who have been dreaming about or are in the process of launching your own start-up, we're going to pick his brain a little bit on what start-up life is like too. Alanna, why don't you introduce our friend, Scott, to the listeners.
Alanna Jackson: All right, so we're going to learn a little bit more about Scott. He is a lifelong learner and traveler with a diverse set of skills in sales, marketing, operations and HR. With experiences that range from social media advisory and consulting for growing SaaS companies, to operations management and business development. He's suited to lead an innovative engine after graduating from an international degree program in Australia, and navigating his way through the business world for three years, he found an ideal position as the Head of Sales for Trufan, a Canadian tech start-up.
Alanna Jackson: After joining as a member of the found team and helping build the business from the ground up, he has discovered the need for consistent physical and mental fitness, which he's now made a routine. Three things Scott would definitely not be here without are family, sports and peanut butter. Scott, welcome to the B2B Mix Show.
Scott Berty: Thank you very much for having me. I always enjoy working with you both on the day-to-day. It's plenty of laughs, so I'm sure we're going to deal with a few of those over the course of this episode, but yeah.
Stacy Jackson: I was just going to say, I like you even more since you're such a peanut butter fan. I am too.
Alanna Jackson: When we worked at another company that were big in food service, and one of the things that they had in Canada was Kraft peanut butter, but they don't have Kraft peanut butter down in the US.
Stacy Jackson: That's so good.
Alanna Jackson: One of my contacts at Kraft would always ... she would bring an empty suitcase of Kraft peanut butter down for us, because we thought it was the best thing.
Stacy Jackson: This wasn't just the two of us. This is when we worked for another company.
Alanna Jackson: Yeah [crosstalk 00:02:27]-
Stacy Jackson: Everybody-
Alanna Jackson: ... she'd get her case of peanut butter at us.
Stacy Jackson: Everybody in the company was like, "Is she coming? Have her bring me peanut butter."
Scott Berty: That sounds like the Christmas gift that I've always wanted, but never received. I supposed I always make sure to keep the cupboard full of Kraft peanut butter, or various kinds if the others are on sale, I suppose.
Alanna Jackson: Maybe you'll get a suitcase of it for Christmas this year then.
Stacy Jackson: Before we dig into our questions, and we are going to ask you about Trufan, but is there any additional background about yourself or Trufan you want to share before we get started?
Scott Berty: I appreciate the introduction, and I guess travel has been a big part of my life. It is definitely something that taught me several life lessons, being fortunate enough to finish my degree in another place in the world, literally on the other side of the world. Learning a lot about perspective in life.
Stacy Jackson: Yeah, that was something I didn't know.
Scott Berty: Oh really? You didn't know that? Well, we're learning a lot about each other already this episode, like peanut butter, international degree program. But still enjoy traveling to this day. Definitely don't get to do it as much as I was then, but was recently in Vegas for MBA Summer League meeting some of our investors and a couple of new potential clients, and then LA and San Diego, so that was quite nice. I'm also just actually ... And I think this episode is going to be coming out in a matter of about two weeks, but I just signed an advisory agreement was a AI start-up that is working on a predictive platform for sports. That probably something that's the newest on my plate.
Scott Berty: But yeah, I do a little bit of social media consulting and advisory alongside you guys at VanillaSoft. That's definitely been something that helped me pursue the start-up dream at Trufan, and continue to pay the bills along the way when I really didn't have much else going for me. Yeah, it's been a fun little journey and I look forward to sharing some of it today, and talking a little bit about how a lot of sales people put themselves out there on social media to increase that demand generation that we're all looking for.
Alanna Jackson: I think that one of the things that a lot of people get hung up on is on social, LinkedIn, Twitter, wherever, everybody talks a lot about B2B social best practices. And you take a post that's been published or a video, and you take as the gospel. "Oh, well this is exactly what I had to do." Do you think that there are some points that often get overlooked for B2B when it comes to that and growing your brand through social? Specifically on LinkedIn, and do you think people maybe kind of confuse the personal brand with the company brand of the things that you're supposed to be doing, one versus the other?
Scott Berty: That's an interesting question. I think with social you kind of go all over the place. There's so much examples to look at, whether it be just looking at LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter is obviously one that I'm not so prevalent on, but some people have done an outstanding job of building a brand on Twitter. I think I just didn't really start early enough in social media to make that happen, and it was one of those platforms that I ... I think I've recreated an account three times now. Just kind of left, came back, left, came back but, in terms of LinkedIn particularly, because I'd say that's the one that relates most to B2B. I think about some of the people who have developed a reasonable brand for themselves on that platform, and so many of them have done it in different ways.
Scott Berty: You could point to, like you mentioned, so many different types of content and things that you can share in order to develop a network for yourself. But I think one of the things that somebody who we work with has done really well, and that most people should be relatively cognizant about, is you want to develop industry influence and, not matter what you're doing on the platform, you should probably have some sort of objective behind it. If that's creating relative influence in a particular industry or area of the B2B market, kind of creating pointed content and at least making that part of your normal content cycle, and then also filtering that out so you don't drown your audience in that one type of content with other things that can relate to storytelling about your own experiences, some other potential work that you maybe be focused on, like a bit of vlogging of the classic blogging about yourself in the day-to-day. But there's so many different types of content you can go on.
Scott Berty: What I don't believe does a very good job at creating demand, to at least marketing yourself in the B2B space, is putting out content that is solely for the purpose of getting views, and likes and comments. There's a way to generate organic engagement for the right reasons, and there's definitely ways that you can look at doing it for the wrong reasons. And I say the wrong reasons in terms of what I just mentioned, like vanity metrics, because once you do start to see that you can get tens of thousands of views, and I think the algorithm has slowly started to climb down on LinkedIn, but it can be a little bit addicting. I think when people get a little taste of that they often want to run with it and start to look at what other people are doing that's producing the most engagement and views and kind of copy that, without much authenticity behind it.
Scott Berty: That's what I would recommend not doing. That might ruffle feathers or some people may disagree, but at the end of the day, there could be a reason for it too because all of these platforms are marketing tools, and I suppose you're trying to reach audiences. So reaching more people, maybe that, but I do think if you're creating that serves a purpose for a specific audience that, if you do that enough, it's going to find that audience and that audience is going to find you.
Alanna Jackson: Isn't it Instagram that is going to start hiding how many likes you have on your posts and stuff like that? Did I hear that?
Scott Berty: Oh, that's true. You probably ... Well, they actually tested the whole no likes feature in Canada. I believe it's still going on. Let me ... I'll open my phone now and pull up a couple of Instagram posts, but I think that has to do a little bit more so with the mental health aspect of things, and you can still see it if you have a business account on your end how much likes you're getting. I mean, it's a pretty interesting concept, and I think it's actually a great thing. Yeah, it's still going on here in Canada, and I think they may have actually pushed it out to a few other other countries. I'm sure the US is probably the last one they have in mind to do that since it accounts for the bulk of their users.
Stacy Jackson: And everybody's going to have a hissy fit about it. Yeah.
Alanna Jackson: I need my like fix.
Stacy Jackson: Well, because it goes back to that, "I need my vanity metrics, come on."
Scott Berty: Yeah, seriously. And Instagram too, I think that's been the platform for entrepreneurs to promote themselves. It can be seen a little bit on LinkedIn, but I don't think it's a self-gloating of a platform. People are just trying to point out trends and things like that, even if they are a little bit more consumed by the vanity metrics. But it's not say that Instagram doesn't have its place for B2B market because, at the end of the day, it definitely serves the biggest population people, and a large percent of these have to be mixed up in some way in the B2B space. But when you're looking to reach people who actually make decisions, if that has to do with your actual sales process, I don't think that it really serves as a purpose to try and go find those people with specific kinds of content.
Scott Berty: You could try, try and try again, but maybe more so as a touchpoint that they refer to, similar to when students are taught coming out of high school or university, if their Facebook page is full of them drinking and partying and goes out with their friends all that time, that that's not going to reflect well when they start to apply for a job. If you do put yourself forward in the same way that you'd want to be seen on those other platforms, liked LinkedIn and you're not creating, it's like alternative persona for yourself, then at least that's like a crutch that you can always stand on. You know what I mean? Because it is where people spend the bulk of their time on social media.
Stacy Jackson: As far as the personal brand idea and how B2B marketers can make use of their executives or employee's presence, you've done a really great job helping an executive that we all work with, getting his visibility out there. It's definitely helped shape the corporate LinkedIn page too. What tips do you have for other B2B brands when it comes to getting leaders in the company involved? Because some just really don't want to get on there and do video or even post anything that they think could be in the least bit controversial. What is the best advice to both marketers and those executives to embrace personal branding?
Scott Berty: Mainly in terms of what they should be posting? Types of content? Just the whole concept I see as a whole, maybe?
Stacy Jackson: Yeah, we've seen hesitancy of executives even doing it, so how do you encourage them? Because the one that I have in mind that we all work with probably has no hesitancy, but others do.
Scott Berty: That's a good point. That's a good point. Well, first and foremost I want to mention, the one that we do work with, he has done a fantastic job. A big part of our combined success, and I include you two as a part of that as well, is everyone's willingness to push forward in that certain direction and support it in the way that we all needed to. It definitely wasn't just me. I may have helped at a certain point with the execution and some of the content that went along with that, but it doesn't come full circle, especially in terms of optimizing the actual brand's presence on the platform, which was in essence the end goal for creating a personal brand for him.
Scott Berty: If we don't all buy into that vision and put out the content on those different channels the way we need to be doing it, and you two both keep a really keen on the volume of content on the brand page and how that's affecting the views and the engagement that we're also getting that page, because it doesn't just stem from the one person creating personal brand for themselves. He would also point out maybe that I am an expert, quote-unquote, for the social media's personal branding, whatever it may be in terms of advisory on that front. I don't feel as though I am. I definitely think over a certain period of time I did it myself and I was able to pick up on pretty key little principles, even in terms of the ones that people hear all the time, like consistency and things of that nature.
Scott Berty: But because it's constantly changing so much, and because these platforms are driven by algorithms that want to keep people guessing, it's tough to call almost anybody, I think, an expert in that space. I think it's just whether or not you're doing the best job that you can at creating that brand for yourself. When it comes to pushing executives to getting interested in that type of stuff, one, you definitely have to have somebody who does understand the opportunity that sits in front of them. There's an opportunity on LinkedIn, particularly because I believe it's still, and it may not be, but under 1% of 500 million plus users that are actually creating consisting content. When you look at that number, even if it was slightly over 1% now, which I don't believe it is, all of those people that are creating content, only a sliver of them are actually creating original content that's native to that platform.
Scott Berty: What I mean by that is he was a good example of somebody who was creating some very consisting content for a period of time, but that content wasn't actually created. It was aggregated from a source that looks at industry articles and easily can be automated to post those articles on his page to keep up that consisting content. Now, that's not going to get seen by anybody because, hopefully, as most of the people listening to this podcast know, if you're sharing content that is pushing people off of the social platform, then that social platform doesn't really want to get you seen a whole lot.
Scott Berty: My biggest thing up front to him was, "Look, I know that you're 10 year company," the one that he had just joined, which he had been working for, both of you, was it about five-six years when I started to help?
Alanna Jackson: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.
Scott Berty: Yeah, so there was an established presence, marketing maybe wasn't at the forefront of their agenda for a period of time, and that was more or less thrown on your shoulders. There's so much that goes into that that doesn't fall on social media side of things in terms of marketing ops, direct marketing, email marketing, all of the things that you really need to have a proper functioning company, and continue to take advantage of different contacts you have stored in your database. But he knew that they needed to create more a forward facing brand for themselves, and the easiest way to do that as a brand is through the individuals that work for your brand. Because people associate more with people. They don't really associate very much with brands, but if they found the content that a person is sharing from a particular company interesting, then naturally they're going to be a little bit more inclined to learn more about company.
Scott Berty: As that becomes a trickle effect of consistency through the content that that person's sharing to create a personal brand in some thought leadership or subject matter expertise for themselves, then that brand will slowly start to get a constant stream of viewership from the content that is being pushed out through that personal channel.
Scott Berty: First of all, him being onboard with this whole idea and understanding that that was a trend that was going on on LinkedIn, made my job a lot easier because I had a lot less convincing to do, and was pretty up front about this social presence not really being there to some degree, in a large part due to the fact that nobody at the company was creating content. Him understanding that and then being willing to also the things like recording video, creating consisting content, at least most than one to two pieces a week to start establishing yourself in that ecosystem was really important.
Scott Berty: For the executives that are kind of on the fence, or really just don't really see the value of doing that, I question whether or not you see the value of demand generation, because how are you getting the name for your brand out there? Would you trust that it's just through PPC, SCO, potentially Facebook advertising, and a number of other maybe more used alternatives that people have been relying on for the last five to 10 year. Maybe, but you are the face of your brand, so if you aren't making an effort to show who you are and relate some of the things that you're doing back to how the brand is positioning itself in the market, then how will people come to know the new things and the innovation that you are bringing down as a brand? Does that make sense, I suppose?
Stacy Jackson: A logo can take it so far on social. You've got to have the people that there that show, "Hey, we're credible, real people."
Scott Berty: Yeah. 100%. The only thing I was going to add is I think one of the things that we still continue to struggle with to this day is getting total buy-in from the rest of the company. Having one executive do it is great, but that's just one person that's popping up in news feeds of hundreds of millions of people, you can't control who you're seeing. You know what I mean? They're going to give you more views, like you naturally get pushed into the news feed a lot more a human than you do a brand, and that's another huge reason why you need to be creating content from a personal side more so than the brand side. Although, again, it needs to be a combination of both.
Scott Berty: If you don't have multiple people at the company doing it, then there's just a cap on how well you're going to do in terms of the content creation leading to whether it be new leads, or awareness, an action, education, all of those types of things that we're trying to achieve as marketers, you need the people to buy-in who also work under that executive. Whether that's just they're engaging with that content and some of the company content that's on the platform, or starting to create a personal brand themselves, which is naturally going to benefit their position and their success in that role at the company.
Scott Berty: If it doesn't happen then, again, you're just kind of reach a wall at a certain point. It goes without saying that you can't do everything on your own, right?
Alanna Jackson: Right.
Scott Berty: I think we all know that by now, and the more people that do get involved, the more success you're going to have as a group.
Stacy Jackson: I was just going to say, people walk away from jobs or get a winning lotto ticket and you can't just put all your eggs in one social media star's basket, so you've got to have all your executives, or at least several, out there participating.
Alanna Jackson: Right. And consider the fact that he has catapulted the reach for the brand by being that visible person, so imagine if there were multiple people doing it. I think that's what a lot of companies don't get how important that is. I think a lot of them focus on they're scared, because they know how much video is today. Do you think that that is something that holds people back from wanting to be that face?
Scott Berty: Yeah, that's a great question. I definitely do think that's something that holds people back. It held me back initially. I think the same can be said about podcasts as well. You may not even have to be creating video, but just the willingness to put your voice out there and be a little bit vulnerable for a period of time as you start to hone in on the skills that you build as you do record video and more public-facing content. If you're not comfortable with doing that, then there's going to be a natural crutch or, I suppose, faultiness to the type of content that you're going to product.
Scott Berty: At a certain point in time you need to produce video if you're planning on really making a splash in social media. If you don't really feel comfortable getting in front of the camera and sharing a few thoughts, even if those are written out or planned, created for the purpose of just putting it in front of the camera, then you're not going to reach the amount of people that you have the chance of reaching. It's just getting pushed into the news feed more, so you need to create video.
Scott Berty: I'm sure, with the general age gap of most executives out there, it's easy to understand why they might be so comfortable with that facet of media. Put it this way, I suppose, if your company was doing extremely well and you were offered to be on the news as some sort of highlight for some achievement that you'd just come through with as a group, would you say no to that just because you don't feel comfortable on camera? The likelihood is no. You'd probably trip up several times, even if you weren't very good on video, but that would be worth it in itself, even if the content wasn't gold.
Stacy Jackson: You still do it, yeah.
Scott Berty: Yeah, you're still going to go on TV and take that interview. The same can be said about creating personal brand. You don't have to make videos for every piece of content, but make sure that you're doing it and know that, if you're not, you're just not going to be successful as the people, and likely your competitors that are.
Stacy Jackson: Right.
Alanna Jackson: What are pet peeves or big no-nos that you see people making? What are some things that you would tell those executives that are really trying to create that personal brand for themselves to avoid, especially on LinkedIn? Any B2B marketers that are trying to build up their personal presence, are there anything that you see people doing that you just shake your head and are like, "No, don't do that."
Scott Berty: Copying other people's content, generally. When you see a great idea there's a way to spin your own version of that, but when you're just repeating subjects that have come up verbatim on a certain platform, that's not going to really create the personal brand that you're looking for to attract new potential buyers, and things of that nature, to your brand. It's likely that they've already seen it from competitors. What's going to be different about when you put it out? That really gets to me at certain points in time.
Scott Berty: But the other aspect is really how much you're promoting the company versus how much you're actually it to create a personal brand. The company has to buy-in to the fact that the personal brand is going to benefit the company, not only in the long run, but even in the short term, because that is directly optimizing their brand image and their brand presence on the platform each time you create content. Whether that's related to the company and happenings, new sales, experiences, stories, whatever it may be or not, so make sure you have a steady stream of different types of content, and you don't get caught in this kind of hamster wheel of promoting the podcast, promoting your webinars, promoting the latest press release, promoting a new feature update.
Scott Berty: There's so many things that are constantly happening inside of a company that you shout about, but those are also getting shared across the brand channels, and those are also getting shared on press releases, company new pages, different things of that nature, so it's not up to you to just be like the ... What do they call that? Megaphone for the company. What you're trying to do is slowly create subject matter expertise so that people are looking to tune into the content that you're sharing, week in and week out, and start to really want to engage with it so that it starts to reach further audiences that you're trying to reach. You know what I mean?
Scott Berty: Creating content for the purpose of value is definitely something that gets thrown around a lot, but I think that can also weigh on perspective. If you don't have the right perspective around what value means, then you can often confuse that for value meaning all the types of content that are very much driven to educate your potential client. Value is a thing that can often be associated with something as simple as a story, a poem out right now. Value, in itself, can be seen at all levels.
Scott Berty: One time I went to the grocery store and there's a homeless person just across the street from where I live in Toronto at the No Frills, who's pretty much sitting right at the entrance every single day. Most of the time 99% of the people that I see just walk by him, even though he's asking for change. One of the people that I saw coming out of the store one time stopped and didn't give him money, but gave him a little bit of perspective. He said, "Rather than sitting here and asking for people's money when they're walking in and out of the stores, why not go and offer to return the shopping carts that have a 25 cent coin in it each time somebody pushes that out to their car? Because then you get to keep the 25 cent coin, which is essentially what you're hoping for anyways, and you're providing them with a reason to let you do that, basically give you that money, in some cases without maybe even realizing. But you're giving them that value."
Scott Berty: So sharing stories and really diversifying your content so that it's not just about the company is definitely one of the keys, especially on LinkedIn, to creating a very solid personal brand for yourself.
Alanna Jackson: When we're talking about value, one of the things that I've noticed is a huge annoyance of mine with people is when think that they're adding value because they're commenting on a post, and they're like, "Great. Great post." To me, that just is so annoying. Should people do that or no?
Scott Berty: I think maybe going back to the subject of getting employee buy-in and engagement from the surrounding parts of the company if executives are creating a personal brand for themself. If you're using something like a Slack channel as a way to share each other's social content internally with the rest of the company so that you can get engagement like likes, or even comments, for that matter, that are potentially not adding a ton of conversation, then I think that's pretty smart. Because you're trying to spread that content in an ecosystem where each of your employees exists, right? Each of the employees are inevitably connected to people in and around that space, and it's about reaching their secondary audiences and that whole secondary network effect.
Scott Berty: However, I agree with you. I think at a certain point in time you need to start adding to the conversation, versus just adding to add to the vanity that comes with comments, because it adds to the viewership and the reach of each particular piece of content. And some of the things that drive me nuts are those engagement pods. If everyone's in it for the same type of reason, and most of those people are committed to adding solid pieces of value to the conversation, or questions and things that are going to spur on additional conversation and dialogue, discourse, even if it is disagreement.
Scott Berty: That's something that the person who we work with is extremely, extremely good at, and I would almost be that maybe about one-eighth of his network has probably come from a result of seeing his comments and recognizing his willingness to disagree with people who are putting out something that's opinionated, but doesn't actually back it up with facts, then they find that interesting and they want to make sure that following that person they're going to be able to see, in the future, more and more of those different instances across different pieces of content.
Scott Berty: And the way that the news feed works, the last point I'll make on that front, is not only your content, it's when people have comment on certain posts, so if you do go out and leave thoughtful pieces of dialogue and conversation and discussion as a comment on those different content pieces, that's actually going to land in people's news feeds and, as a result, they'll see that content, but they're more than likely going to be interested in reading what the comment has to say. You know what I mean? And then potentially getting more context from that piece of content.
Stacy Jackson: Before we leave the topic of social media for B2B and talk about Trufans, is there anything else you want to add?
Scott Berty: There's not too much that I would add to the conversations that we've had. I would say that if anybody has questions about how they create some subject matter expertise and build a presence around not only their brand, but potentially the company that they work for on LinkedIn and other platforms, I mean, send me a message on LinkedIn, a personalized invite of some sort, just asking about it, saying you heard it on the B2B Mix Show. My name is Scott Berty. Obviously, it will likely be in the show notes or the title, and I'd be more than happy to lend a little bit of my time to help answer a couple of questions or challenges that you may be facing right now.
Scott Berty: I think the biggest thing is just realizing the opportunity that exists out there for creating a personal brand on social media, and how that will in the short-term, but especially, especially, especially in the long-term start to affect your company, and slowly catapult your company into the place where you likely hope to see it. It's not just about social media. Obviously, you still need to do all the other things that lead a company to be successful and land itself on the Fortune list or something like that, but that's a huge piece of the puzzle right now. If you're turning a blind eye to it, you're just not giving your right foot forward.
Stacy Jackson: Okay. I am very interested to learn more about Trufan. I went and watched that Tech Toronto video that Swish, and I can't remember the other person's name, and up there, but I'd love to hear more-
Scott Berty: Aanikh, yeah.
Stacy Jackson: ... from you firsthand. What is the whole premise of Trufan and what's the start-up journey like? I mean, I watch Silicon Valley on HBO, but I'm sure it's nothing as crazy as that, I hope.
Scott Berty: No. I can't say it's as crazy as the show. However, during the very beginning stages of Trufan, and when I kind of was lucky enough to get involved with the project, both myself and each of my roommates were watching that show on a pretty quick pace, so we definitely gunned right through that thing. That's a hell of a good show. It does have some very similar principles and kind of paint a picture that is slightly similar to the situation that we're in right now, but we work out of Toronto. We're a Canadian-based tech start-up, so we're definitely not down in the Valley where things are probably 10X what we have access to and just the kind of culture that you're around here.
Scott Berty: Trufan is essentially a social intelligence platform that we've been building which helps brands and influencers manager their key followers, sell to their top fans, reward the right fans, and find new audiences that are highly primed for conversion on social media. Kind of explaining what that actually means is we're integrated with Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and at the very basis of what we do, we show you who your key audiences are on each one of those platforms, breaking it down into who your engaged fans are, and giving you a look at who, out of those engaged fans, are also influential. Or, at the very basis, who's influential that follows you.
Scott Berty: That helps to expedite a number of different key objectives around the social media marketing space for brands these days. Maybe not as much on the B2B side of things, although we do have a couple of technology clients, but in terms of influencer marketing, the right types of targeting, community is something that a lot of brands are paying a lot of attention to right now, so the community management side of their social presence, rewarding the right types of people. Obviously, customer acquisition being a very big thing and something that most higher level decision-makers are really keen on as a KPI, and another number of initiatives.
Scott Berty: But yeah, that's essentially what we do. It's definitely been a pretty wild journey since I got started, which was late 2017, as a result of networking on LinkedIn. LinkedIn isn't just a platform where you can create brand recognition for yourself, as a company who may be in the B2B space or even B2C space, but it's definitely a great place for personal branding with the purpose of developing your personal career, your professional career, habits, skills and a lot of different things, and just meeting new like-minded people. That's kind of what happened to me and it's been a blessing, although at times I probably don't look at it that way.
Alanna Jackson: It looks like you've worked with some really cool people so far. I saw Ryan Holmes on your website as someone who has somehow been involved in your start-up journey, and different Toronto Raptors.
Scott Berty: Yeah, oh man. We're definitely lucky. We don't discriminate against industries, put it that way. We get to dabble across a lot of different industries, so I touched on how we serve a couple of technology-based clients that are definitely in the B2B space, but some of the other industries that we touch right, in terms of where our clientele exists, about 30% on the agency side. Most of those agencies represent various brands for certain initiatives on the marketing end. We work with MLSE that you mentioned, so they are the governing body for the Toronto Raptors, the Maple Leafs, Argonauts, their MLSE team here, and a number of those farm teams as well as an eSports team which they recently started, so pretty big organization.
Scott Berty: We did a cool little giveaway, in fact, prior to game one of the finals. A little shout out for the Raptors, NBA Champions, that was a pretty awesome time to be in Toronto. And yeah, Ryan Holmes is an advisor on our team. We've been blessed with a number of rock star advisors and investors. We have a couple of NBA players who have invested as angels, Michele Romanow, who is one of the notable Dragons. She was the youngest ever entrepreneur to join the Dragons' Den. A lot of Canadians will know her. If you're in America, just search up Michele with one L, and I would imagine she will top Google.
Scott Berty: Manny Padda, who's an entrepreneur of the year here in Canada, is an amazing angel and venture investor. We've had venture capital commitments from where we now work, which is Round 13 led by Bruce Croxon, who's also a part of the Dragons' Den. Dragons' Den, by the way, for American listeners, it's the Canadian version of Sharks Tank, so some notable entrepreneurs here in the county.
Scott Berty: And then yeah, on the advisory side, Ryan was gracious enough to actually let us work out of Hootsuite when we first had funding. I had moved across the country driving from Ottawa to Vancouver, which is on the West Coast, and less than six weeks later we got commitment at a relatively early stage from Round 13, which led me to driving ... Well, I didn't drive my own car, thankfully. I couldn't sacrifice another week, but right back across the country to five hours past Ottawa and Toronto, which is where I now reside. It's been a crazy journey.
Scott Berty: I'm sure we're getting to the end here, I don't want to take too much longer, but one thing that's worth pointing out, moving back to the purpose of the show, which is B2B marketing on social, is we are a B2B platform predominately. We could be oriented towards the B2C market, and I've touched on the fact that we help influences. But, at this point in time with the limited resources and people we have, it's hard to market to influencers on any sort of one-to-one level. We've focused most of our time on B2B, and one of the things that has really, really helped us is the fact that we're all very active on social media, and particularly LinkedIn.
Scott Berty: It's led to brand recognition that I'm constantly shocked at, to be fully honest. We go to conferences and it seems like everybody in the room knows or who has heard of who we are, so that just goes to show you the power that social media can have for your brand in the B2B world.
Stacy Jackson: Yeah, that's awesome. You guys are doing a great job and we see you all over, and I know that you're traveling a lot because we hear about you traveling. So things are happening and so we're super-happy that things are going in a good direction for you guys.
Scott Berty: I appreciate that.
Stacy Jackson: Don't forget us when you hit really big time.
Scott Berty: I could never. Like I said, some of those Slack chats that we have, I'd pay to be involved with those things on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes I just look at those when I'm having a relatively bad day, but I appreciate the kind words. At the end of the day, you can really create a brand that people think is synonymous with, I guess, success or a very high level of business.
Scott Berty: But look, we're venture backed and we have these great investors but, at the end of the day, our business is actually in debt when you think about the numbers. We're slowly starting to build momentum on the sales side, and we're seeing some really good signs. We're lucky enough to work with some amazing clients at this point in time, but it's really slow building, and one step at a time. We're making progress, but it can seem as though it's going a lot better than maybe it is at times.
Alanna Jackson: And it doesn't happen overnight. I think a lot of people have that misconception. It takes a lot of hard work and time for it to get there, but you guys are doing good.
Scott Berty: Yeah, not an overnight success.
Alanna Jackson: We have one last question we like to wrap our conversations up with, is just for fun questions. If you're were Head of Sales for Trufan, what would be your dream job?
Scott Berty: Oh, an excellent question. I think if I was answering that between the ages of eight and 12, as a Canadian-born kid in Montreal who got raised in Ottawa, I always dreamt of being a pro hockey player at that age. However, that was quickly not working out by the time I was into my teens, so I had to readjust my expectations. I think I've been blessed to work around sports now, and for years I felt as though I was kind of drifting around the professional space not exactly knowing what types of skills I was building. But one of the things that I have always dreamed about is working in and around sports, and it doesn't account for all of our clients, but it definitely has a lot of play what we're doing right now in the professional sports space, and even beyond with sports betting applications, and lots of other companies that are in and around that world.
Scott Berty: I've always thought that being an agent would be super-cool because you get to interact with players all the time. That might have been something that I'd put my marbles into.
Alanna Jackson: I can see that.
Scott Berty: But as long as it really doesn't involve too much of the law side, because I don't think I could have ever put myself through that type of education. Kudos to anybody who really goes full-tilt with the Master's degrees and doctorates and stuff. I've got to admit it, I kind of scapegoated my way into a really time effective post-secondary education route. I got a diploma at a college, which is slightly different here than it is university, and that was for Marketing.
Scott Berty: I took a year-and-a-half off, I was still serving as a waiter, and I took that degree option in Australia because, out of the two years that I was in college, they gave me a year-and-a-half worth of the credits towards the degree, which is only three years, not four, down there. So I had three semesters of university in Australia which, I'm just going to throw it out there, I didn't attend all of the classes. They had these things called lecture capture, and I could listen to the lecture whenever I wanted. If it was a nice day and I had to decide between beach or class, I'll just let you listeners think of which decision I made under those circumstances.
Alanna Jackson: That's a hard decision to make.
Stacy Jackson: Scott, you already mentioned your LinkedIn. Is there any other contact information or social that you might share with people?
Scott Berty: Absolutely. Thank you for the plug. Instagram would probably be the other one. It's Scott_Berty and, at the end of the day, I mentioned if you have any questions or you wanted to reach out and have a quick conversation, to do so on LinkedIn. I would actually preface that by saying don't do it on LinkedIn if you actually want to talk to me. Sometimes I don't get back to requests on that platform as much as I would on Instagram, because I'm really not an influencer by any stretch of the imagination, especially on Instagram. I'm just a normal, everyday user. I'll see a DM if it pops into my request box, or if you start to follow me.
Scott Berty: On the other hand, on LinkedIn, I tend to get sidetracked because some of my work is on that platform and I don't know, it's just messages are the worst. Once you click on that message box if you don't respond, sometimes those things get lost.
Stacy Jackson: Yeah, all right. Well, thank you for joining us, Scott.
Alanna Jackson: Yeah, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Scott Berty: Thank you so much for having me on Alanna and Stacy. I love working you two and I've learned a tremendous amount from both of you, so kudos to starting this show, and I look forward to chatting with you tomorrow.