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girl sitting at desk on zoom

The cat’s out of the bag. Video is the hottest media source out there right now—and therefore, should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.

The challenge that many business owners face, however, is not having the bandwidth or the knowledge on how to record quality video without breaking the bank. (No, you don’t have to pay a professional videographer for three hours of in-person recording…)

If you want to connect with your prospects, you have to use video. So, how can you do it yourself? Here are some suggestions on how to get the most out of a video that is recorded over Zoom, in-person, or even on an iPhone:

The Set-Up

Lighting, sound, and positioning are important. Here are some valuable, simple tips regarding each element.

  1. Make sure light comes from in front of you, not behind. A big window showcasing a garden behind you might serve as a lovely Zoom backdrop, but without lighting on your face, you’ll be washed out.
  2. Give yourself some space around your head. Frame yourself from mid-bicep up with a hand’s width of headroom above your head.
  3. Sit a little lower than the camera. There is a reason selfies are always up at a 45º angle—and while that’s a little extreme, a shot from below is rarely flattering.
  4. Give yourself some depth of field. Leave room behind you, it’s visually more interesting than a blank wall a foot behind you.
  5. When possible, forego the zoom background for something real. Unless you have piles of boxes or a messy bed, a real background looks better. Not going to work for you, we recommend one of these virtual zoom backgrounds. (Plus, they’re free!)
  6. If you have a lavalier mic or a stationary mic, use it. If you don’t, make sure the birds chirping, car horns tooting, and leaf blower blowing in the background is as muted as possible.

The Attire

Dress to the nines! Well, not quite to the nines… But you should certainly look presentable!

The Trunk Club recommends that you choose your meeting wardrobe the same as you would for an in-person work meeting or job interview.

Dress and prepare yourself as you would if you were meeting a prospect for a 9:00 am meeting in the office. 

Men, a collared shirt; ladies, a nice top. Do your hair and—if you choose—makeup.

What to Say in a Video Testimonial

This is where we find our clients get the most tripped up. Firstly, you want to showcase happy customers and success stories of yours. Why? You can build trust in a video testimonial by discussing your ideal client’s pain points and describing how your product or service helped them.

Here are a few examples of what to say in a video testimonial:

Start with your name, your company, and a brief description of what you do. For example: “Hi, I’m John Doe, founder of Awesome Company and we are a full-service Original Equipment Manufacturer located in Orange County, CA.”

State the “before.” When we first met Brent at Innovative Capital, we had been looking for financing for a large equipment purchase to increase our manufacturing capacity in our Santa Ana Warehouse.”

State the problem.We’d been to our regular business bank but, because of other debt and a sharp downturn in 2020 revenue, we were not able to secure the funds the old-fashioned way.”

Explain what the person you’re doing the video testimonial for offers. “We were referred to Innovative Capital by our Bank to help out. They said that Brent knew all about any kind of lending that you can think of.”

Tell the solution. “The whole process took about five weeks from the first meeting to funding. First, they got a ton of information about the company, historical and projected data, and put together a package that he was able to bring to a number of different lending institutions and funds… We couldn’t believe it when he came back with four options each with varying terms and rates after just 10 days.”

Explain how the solution helped you. “Without his help we would have spent countless hours going to banks, jumping through hoops only to get a loan that we couldn’t possibly benchmark against other offers. Brent helped us review the terms and rates and choose the funding source that suited our needs best.”

Share the final result—how did it impact your life and/or business? “We probably saved the business by getting this done so fast.”

How Long Should a Video Testimonial Be? 

No more than three minutes. We believe 90 seconds is best!

Final Tips for Recording Your Video Testimonial

  1. Know what you’re going to say but do NOT write a script. Actors spend a lifetime getting really good at seeming natural while saying memorized lines. The truth is, you will not seem natural and, since this is a genuine message, authenticity is important. 
  2. Make notes, don’t write a script. It’s OK to look down, but do not look off of the screen where your camera sits.
  3. Talk to someone specific.
  4. Don’t look at yourself in the camera. We can tell when people are looking at themselves.
  5. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t record a ton of takes. If you stumble, that’s OK. That’s how people talk in real life (and we want you to come off like a real person, not a perfect, shiny robot!)
  6. It’s not that deep. It shouldn’t hurt, take forever, or be super stressful. 
  7. Have fun! Tell a short story and say thank you. Know that video helps people connect with businesses by increasing trust and reducing stranger danger.
  8. BEWARE OF THE BAD CAMERA ANGLE… Here, our kick*ss Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Amanda Rogers, is here to demonstrate…

A Final Word

There you have it! All of the tools to set yourself up for success when recording a Zoom testimonial for prospective customers to view. Interested in learning more? Read on to hear about the variety of different video types available for your business to record.

Storytelling

It would feel morally wrong to write an article about storytelling and not tell you how our company came to be… Digital Storyteller starts with our Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Amanda Rogers.

In 1997, when the actors union was on strike, Amanda taught herself how to code from a book. (Yes, these were the days before WordPress, Squarespace, and WIX—scary times…)

Anyway, Amanda’s martial arts teacher was an 8th degree blackbelt teaching amazing Tang Soo Do in New York City—and had only five students. Amanda knew he needed a website—so she taught herself to write HTML, CSS, and Javascript to try to help him build a studio.

A year later when Amanda moved to Los Angeles, the studio was thriving. In fact, 80% of the students came to him through the website. She was hooked.

After a few twists and turns, Digital Storyteller was born—an organic digital marketing agency in Encinitas, California.

Today, the team has grown from one to nearly 15. On our team, we’ve got content specialists, social media experts, a client success manager, SEO team, as well as a website and graphic design team to continue what Amanda started.

That’s our story.
If you haven’t already recognized the importance of storytelling within a business, we’ll continue on for you. Better yet, we snagged the CEO and Owner of Digital Storyteller to chat about storytelling on camera, Andrew Marr.

What is Storytelling? 

At its core, storytelling is (you guessed it!) about telling stories. Yoast tells us that storytelling is “about using stories to engage your audience, or to make something more clear.”

As humans, we’re wired for story. From each of our early days, it’s likely we recall our parents and the people around us sharing and telling stories. We love to read books and see movies and musicals—why? Because people are addicted to stories.

But what does storytelling look like when it comes to marketing for your business? When it comes to marketing for financial services companies, we see storytelling as making what you do and the services you provide:

  • Relatable 
  • Easy to understand by your audience

Why is Storytelling Important in Marketing?

Storytelling builds trust. Here are some of the stories you can share in your marketing strategy as well as how you can share them:

  • Share your stories on your website
  • Share your origin story
  • Share how you’ve grown
  • Share the challenges your business has faced (How did you overcome these challenges? Did any positives come out?)
  • Share how you help your clients (A lot of companies don’t share how they help their clients. Come on, boast a little!)

As the old adage goes, sharing is caring… Communicating your story with your audience.

A Word of Advice from Our CEO and Owner

So, how important is it to share your company story with your digital followers? (i.e. prospects, people in similar industries, current clients, etc.)

According to Andrew, it’s extremely important if you want to build trust and if you want to build a following. We believe in the power of storytelling. In fact, we start all of our partnerships with a Brand Storytelling Session.

Picture this: You go onto a website. For ease, let’s say it’s a digital marketing agency. You’re looking at their services, considering partnering with this company but you don’t find anything about their story.

There’s nothing about their employees or how the company came to be. Does that make you want to partner with that company even more? No, of course it doesn’t. That’s not the way things go.

For those who feel like it’s weird to talk about yourself or what you bring to the table as a business, for fear of coming off as arrogant or boastful, think about it… It’s your website. That’s kind of the point! 

Let go of the taboo you were taught in grade school, that it’s bad to talk about yourself.

In business, it’s important that you share your success stories and tell people how you help them.

Lastly, share your company culture. People want to know what it’s like to work with you. People wanna know if your employees are happy. Are they going to do a great job for them if they decide to partner with you? Share stories, story after story.

Interested in learning how to build more trust with your prospects and clients? Check out this article on how pricing transparency builds trust.

new years resolutions cookies and written notes

Happy New Year! Wowza, the holidays are over and it’s officially time for a fresh start. You already know, this means it’s time for some 2022 New Year Resolutions! Hopefully, we haven’t broken them by the time this gets posted… (As long as they weren’t resolutions like no cursing or drinking, we should be on track!)Check out the video below to hear some of our team’s 2022 New Year’s Resolutions! Or, if you’re boring you can read along. Let’s get into it!

Caroline LoPresti, Social Media Manager: “My new year’s resolution is to worry less about the future and focus more on the present.”

Kelsey Arvidson, Content Specialist: “I wanna cook more recipes in the new year every week or maybe every month ’cause that’s more realistic.”

Magdi Cook, Graphic & Web Design Manager: “My new year’s resolution is to get involved in dance classes again and to start a gratitude journal where I journal 10 items that I’m grateful for every night.”

Devin Aubert, SEO Manager: “My 2022 new year’s resolution is to be the coolest, funnest aunt to my soon-to-be-born baby niece or nephew.”

Jackie Berens, Client Success Manager: “My new year’s resolution is to make my life my medicine.”

Madi Lindley, Social Media Specialist: “I want to travel more this year and see new places.”

Beatriz Carias, Content Specialist: “I wanna get more involved in my community and volunteer more.”

Becca Jones, Content Specialist: “My new year’s resolution is to make time for reading before bed.”

Amanda Rogers, Founder & CCO: “I can’t make new year’s resolutions. I’m too old and tired.”


We know, you really enjoyed this. We did, too! You know what else you will enjoy? Our Owner & CEO’s Chardonnay Review Series.

His name is Andrew Marr but we like to call him the ranting Scot (yes, he’s from Scotland). Anyway, there are 35 reviews, so get ready to binge-watch!

Or, if you’re already missing the holiday season, get a load of our team’s favorite family traditions on the blog.

Holiday Traditions

It’s the holiday season—hooray! At Digital Storyteller, we love our team (and no, it’s not just because our bosses got us boujee gifts like custom tumblers and embroidered Lululemon hoodies…)

With Christmas right around the corner, we’re sharing the opportunity to get to know the parts that make our team who we are. I mean, our team is awesome! We hire for people, which yes, we know, is a little unconventional these days… But hey! It’s working for us. We pride ourselves on having amazing company culture. Want to take a peak?

Keep reading to hear some of our team’s favorite holiday traditions, Christmas songs that make them cringe, and for FUN holiday photos!

The Founders

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My mom took me to see the Nutcracker every year at Christmas at Lincoln Center in NYC (where I’m from) we’d dress up and go out in the cold and take the subway up to the theatre. We did that every year for 30 years.  Now, I take Ella, my daughter every year.  The best part is the time together and being unnecessarily judg-y about the dancers! I also love to go get the Christmas tree and decorate while listening to Christmas music and having eggnog with bourbon.” 

-Amanda Rogers, Founder Chief Creative Officer

Q: What do you like most about Christmas?

A: “What I like the most about Christmas is opening gifts on Christmas morning.  I haven’t learned how to ask for something in a way that doesn’t end up with 5 of them.  But I kind of like that. Amanda bought me 5 cashmere sweaters last year. I had mentioned that I’d like a cashmere sweater… We live in San Diego.  Just saying.”

-Andrew Marr, Owner, CEO

The Content Team

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My family spends every Christmas Eve cooking up a huge meal! We make tamales, turkey, ham, pepian, and many other yummy traditional Guatemalan dishes.”

“After cooking, we feast on all of the dishes we worked so hard to make together while catching up with family we haven’t seen in a while. We chat, reminisce over old memories, and play games until the clock strikes midnight. Once midnight hits, all of the kids (yes that still includes me) zoom to the Christmas tree to open presents. We’re all usually up until 2 am playing with our new gifts or still chatting together.

“It’s one of my favorite family traditions because it’s rooted in spending quality time together and making more cherished memories.” —Beatriz Carias, Content Specialist

Q: What is a funny family tradition of yours?

A: “My family always wears these glasses when they pick me up at the airport!” —Kelsey Arvidson, Content Specialist

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My favorite holiday tradition is on Christmas Eve all the young cousins sit together in the master bedroom and read Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (which over the years has been not so subtly turned into a drinking game for adults participating…) We read the story as we listen for Santa’s bells. When we hear the sleigh bells ring, all the kids race down the stairs and run down the driveway to try to catch Santa and the reindeer and find what presents he left them on the front porch. It’s a tradition that I’ve done my entire life and have loved to share with my little cousins since.” —Devin Aubert, SEO Manager

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My favorite family tradition is something my family calls ‘family baking day!’ Every year in December, my family heads over to my Grandma’s house early in the morning to bake over 1,000 cookies! We bake every kind of cookie you can think of. My favorites are the ‘Turtles’—pretzels, topped with a Rolo and a pecan. Then, we package up the cookies for teachers, family, and friends. It takes all day!” —Becca Jones, Content Specialist

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My favorite family tradition during the holidays is Christmas morning. Ever since I was a young girl, we would wake up at 5 am and wait in one of the siblings rooms for our parents to call us down. We would run out of the room, my parents with a video recorder in hand, with grins from ear to ear. After we finish opening up our gifts, my mom starts making breakfast and the smell of bacon flows throughout the house.” —Jackie Berens, Client Success Manager

The Design Team

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My favorite holiday tradition is decorating my home and Christmas tree with my family! Every year, we light the fire pit, blast Christmas music, hang garland and streamers around the windows and staircase, put ornaments on the tree, and drink hot cocoa. And of course, the tradition wouldn’t be the same without our dogs going insane and trying to eat all of the decorations in the process!” —Magdi Cook, Graphic and Web Design Manager

Q: What kind of holiday shopper are you: Black Friday? Christmas Eve? Yearlong hoarder?

A: “I’m a year-long shopper because most of my gifts end up being handmade, and that takes time. So, if it’s a cross-stitch, painted ornament, or re-covered book, it’s a year-long process to get it planned and looking good!” —Shay Larby, Junior Graphic Designer

The Social Team

Q: What kind of holiday shopper are you: Black Friday? Christmas Eve? Yearlong hoarder?

A: “Holiday shopping is my one excuse to shop because it’s all on sale, but that doesn’t stop me from shopping all year round of course… ;)” —Caroline LoPresti, Social Media Manager

Q: What is your favorite family tradition? And what Christmas song makes you cringe?

A: My favorite family tradition is taking snowy walks in the city to get hot chocolate when I go home to Boston. The Christmas song that makes me cringe is… nope, can’t think of a single one they are all amazing…especially the Michael Bublé Christmas album (obvi)!” —Chris Preller, Social Media Coordinator

Q: What is your favorite family tradition? 

A: “My favorite family tradition is our white elephant gift exchange that we have on Christmas Eve. Everyone contributes very random gifts, some good and some bad. My favorite gifts that I’ve ended up with were the Snoop Dogg cookbook and a blanket hoodie!” —Madi Lindley, Social Media Specialist

Are you in desperate need of some last-minute gift ideas? Check out this article where we detail holiday gifting strategies for B2B businesses!

Andrew Marr

Who can resist a good story? Character development and relationships, drama, adventure, and suspense all contribute to a reader’s desire to have a vested interest in a story. In fact, it’s a scientific reality that stories light up the human brain in a unique way that draws us in and mirrors the neurological activity of the storyteller. We are not just sociologically wired for story, it’s neurological as well.

Organic Marketing Team

Marketing is a complex and ever-changing industry. Trying to keep up with the times is a challenge that may not be within the capabilities of your business. So you may decide to outsource your marketing. But even then, there are multiple options available to you.

Emotional Intelligence

The dynamics of a startup culture are unique and pose various challenges that larger businesses are less likely to experience on such a significant level. Being a new business barely past its first anniversary of operation, our goal at Digital Storyteller is to combat these challenges and come out even stronger. And if we do say so ourselves, we’re doing a d*mn good job at it.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’re sharing the opportunity to get to know the parts that make our team who we are. We’re honoring the Valentine spirit by sharing some insight into what our team loves. Keep reading to learn more about what warms our hearts!

Christmas gift wine

Holiday gifting can be overwhelming. Check out our B2B gifting suggestions to make your life easier this holiday season!

goals

3 best small business marketing ideas so that you can fall in the small portion of startup businesses that don’t fail. Originally posted by Express Text

Team meeting

As our world transforms rapidly around us, the quote “culture trumps strategy” has become more relevant and more powerful than ever. The importance of building a strong strategy is impossible to deny — organizations must establish their goals and create plans of action to achieve them. However, the importance of culture exists as the manifestation of what those people are actually doing. While the gap between those two things can be wide, success in today’s market depends nearly equally on both.

In a time of rapid change and shortening reaction windows, solving the culture problem becomes even more essential to big corporations and their smaller counterparts. In order to excel, you must create a corporate strategy that responds to immediate disruptions without overlooking the importance of planning for future growth. And while innovation and digital transformation enable this dual strategy objective of seizing the upside of disruption, culture must deliver.

1. Inspire urgency for flexible growth.

Success frequently complicates and hinders the objective of culture change. Years of success can hold many organizations back from moving forward when the need to innovate arises. Companies like these rely too heavily on what’s worked in the past and often miss opportunities for positive change.

Whether you’re an established company with a history of success or a newcomer to the market, urgency is more important than ever in today’s rapidly changing economy. Inspire your employees to act urgently and reward them for their commitment to team growth.

2. Learn from every failure.

If your organizational perspective on failure is that of fear, then it’s time for a culture change that will improve the lives of your employees, clients, and leadership — look at failures as the natural outcome of experimentation that fosters agile product development, facilitates diverse thinking and encourages new idea generation.

While “celebrating failure” is by no means a new concept in business, giving your employees permission to experiment, fail, and make adjustments in their job can be challenging for both you and them. The best way to make your employees more comfortable in this department? Strong communication. 

Communicate consistently throughout the organization in a way that recognizes that failure is an inevitable part of risk-taking. Communications should not only celebrate successes but also discuss why an idea or effort didn’t work and explore the lessons learned from them.

3. Use outside sources to inspire a new mindset.

There are some things your company cannot do on its own — and overhauling your company culture is one of them. If you truly want to prime your organization for innovation, it’s important to outsource inspiration and provide a range of perspectives.

Leaders and teams must get out of their comfort zones and interact with outside innovators to recognize their company’s culture gaps and identify the new attributes that need to be cultivated inside the organization.   

As the CEO of your company, you have likely led a number of initiatives for change at your company. However, when it comes to changing your corporate culture, nothing is more important than action. Looking for new ways to communicate your culture? Reach out to Digital Storyteller today!

business

As our world becomes more and more fragmented, the economic slowdown is having an unprecedented impact in nearly every country around the world. At the same time, many brands and employers are attempting to put their purpose at the center of everything they do — those with a clear purpose are prospering, while many corporate “dinosaurs” that refuse (or are unable) to adapt are dying off as the rate of change increases.

Organizations of the future need to embrace fully the concepts of empowerment, learning, and balancing technology with the individual if they are to succeed, by using the power of technology and automation to rehumanize — rather than dehumanize — the workplace.

These major changes are being driven by a few important factors in consumer behavior:

Generational gaps are closing in the workplace.

More generations are working together than ever before, with different expectations and attitudes. By 2025, experts expect millennials to make up nearly 75% of the active workforce. Outside of the workplace, life expectancy is continuing to rise and up to two-thirds of babies born in the last year could live to be 100. In the older generations, people are retiring later or not at all. All of these changes mean we now have an environment in which older workers already report facing prejudice at work and millennial executives struggle to gain acceptance from older colleagues.

Flexibility and job changes are more encouraged than ever before.

By 2020, almost 20% of US workers — or 31 million people — will be “contingent” rather than permanent. If that sounds like bad news, consider that 80% of today’s contingent workers appreciate the flexibility. Most of Uber’s growth has come from drivers who use their own cars, and 75% of them have other jobs. (What happens when a job for life becomes a job for a day?)

The model for success isn’t cut and dry anymore.

New, innovative business models are springing up all over the world, many of them rooted digitally in the “sharing economy.” Nearly half of American business leaders think that their current business models will cease to exist within the next five years.

Robots are taking over (sort of).

Artificially-intelligent supplementation devices could replace 33% of jobs by 2025, and Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England stated earlier this year that almost 15m UK jobs could be “hollowed out” with the workforce being replaced by robots: “Alongside its great benefits, every technological revolution mercilessly destroys jobs and livelihoods … well before the new ones emerge.”

While these trends will affect everyone, it is especially pertinent to keep up with these changes as the leader of an organization — this could be the wake-up call you’ve been waiting for.

To thrive in the new era, we must rethink the role that organizations and their workforce play in driving competitive advantage.

Thriving will mean adapting to the changes, facilitating the interconnections between humans, and investing in their uniquely human attributes. If you are struggling to take your company into the digital space, reach out to Digital Storyteller today!

golfing

There are a lot of reasons to start playing golf — whether you enjoy meeting new people or blowing off some steam, there is definitely something for everyone in this sport. However, there are some important business lessons to learn from the game that are often overlooked, including tenacity, constant learning, honesty, and achievement orientation. All these can be tapped to generate sound business acumen.

Our CEO, Andrew Marr is a PGA professional and a lifelong advocate for the sport of golf. His passion is firmly rooted in a love for the game, but his commitment to playing is fueled by golf’s positive influence on his business and leadership skills.

In business — like in golf — the tools you carry matter a lot, but they are often imperfect. We are often given misinformation or a lack of support and then asked to do things that seem impossible. However, as an entrepreneur, we understand the importance of getting things done, even if that requires some creativity.

To summarize the mental challenges of golf, Arnold Palmer famously said, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.”

Being mentally strong is equally important in golf and business, as is having a certain level of discipline when practicing and competing. Golf is a unique sport since you are your own umpire and referee. Vaibhav Dayal, Co-founder and Managing Director, V Resorts, says, “In golf, a player keeps his own score, and there is no second eye to monitor moves. It is played with an immense level of integrity and personal honesty.”

Lessons from the first tee-off to the 18th hole

Most golfers’ favorite aspect of the sport is the instant feedback received after each stroke — something successful players use carefully as they progress. The high-level of challenge and opportunity for course correction ensure the constant possibility for improvement. “Golf shows you that there is no perfect strategy, and all you can do is giving it your best shot. Then, you assess the result, figure out what you need to do to improve the execution, and then take another shot at greater success,” says Saurabh Saklani, Co-founder and Director, inme.

By far, the biggest lesson that can be taken out of golf is that of tenacity. “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots, but you have to play where the ball lies,” said Bobby Jones in regards to the determination required to be successful in the sport.

While every sport teaches an important lesson in some way, Golf, by its very nature, provides a sustained learning experience with regular ups and downs. Playing two good holes of golf (read: two good quarters of business performance) is often followed by two terrible holes, where people start questioning their skills and abilities. In other words, someone who excels at golf would probably possess an innate desire to learn and re-learn.

In business, this lesson is taught through repeated failure, which can deter many great minds from entering the world of entrepreneurship. Despite our best efforts, the result of business-related decisions is not dependent on the decisions of one person — a humbling realization for many leaders and an important opportunity to practice open-mindedness and flexibility. Golf teaches one to shed baggage, re-think, re-invigorate, re-strategize, and execute with a hope of success.

Build a network of like-minded individuals.

Every great entrepreneur understands that business cannot solely exist within the confines of a boardroom or office and many opportunities are found in some unexpected places — like the golf course. 

The following story is from a man named Stan Hanks who has been helping build the internet since 1981:

(A week after learning to golf) I’m sweating my way through 18 holes on the Pecan course at the Sweetwater Country Club with a VP from a Fortune 50 company, one of his technical leads, and my VP of Sales. It was an interesting experience — a huge learning experience for me. Pat, my VP of Sales, did this all the time. He managed the conversation in many ways, going from what do you think about brand X balls to how ’bout them Astros to why building a SAN in-house was a better solution given the parallel I/O requirements of the supercomputer cluster that the company was using.

It kept things casual but made room for getting in key points. It also gave us all a chance to meet in a no-ties, no-press-of-business environment. We literally got nearly four hours, un-interrupted, together. And then on to happy hour afterward for another couple of hours.

Nothing “happened” that day. No contracts were signed, no deals were made. But it was significant in a very large number of ways. The VP got to see me in action, got to hear me think on my feet (which frankly is my strongest suit), got to see me deal with frustration and things not exactly going my way. I got to spend time with him and see what he valued and prioritized, whether he was a “go for it” guy, or a “let’s keep this in the fairway” guy — which is really important to know, when you’re pitching a deal.

As you can see, the golf course can be an essential part of your business, especially when landing new clients or acquiring funding for a new project.

Beyond landing new clients, the golf course can be an essential part of your hiring process. If you want to be successful in today’s competitive market, you have to make investments in people. If it fits your company’s culture, try using the game of golf to demonstrate your skill and competency that will ultimately lead to associations. Finding the balance between treating golf as business and leisure is where one can find success.

Turn your passion into profit.

No matter their skill level, playing golf with clients and colleagues gives you additional insights into their personalities. Similarly, playing the game will give you insights into your psyche, too. To become good at it requires time and patience. Golf can also become that common interest that creates the bonds that last a lifetime. If you haven’t already, pick up the sticks. It just may improve your business and your life.

podcast

At Digital Storyteller, we’ve always got a new podcast in our ear, but lately, we’ve been listening to a few specific shows more than the rest. Whether you’re looking for some entrepreneurial inspiration or a heavenly combination of seedy language and insider sports knowledge, you’ll find something you like in this list of our favorite podcasts: 

How I Built This by Guy Raz

I’d listen to Guy Raz talk about anything — he’s perfectly calm in his demeanor, yet he’s got a voice that keeps you engaged for an entire hour-long episode (sometimes several.) However, it’s Guy’s guests that keep me coming back for more. Many are the founders of brands we interact with every day — Wikipedia, Bumble, Beyond Meat, to name a few — and all have stories that will leave a lasting impression. Be prepared to take your entrepreneurial spirit to a new level with this one. 

The Barstool Rundown with Dave Portnoy

As a former pro golfer, it only makes sense that CEO Andrew loves listening to Dave Portnoy talk about sports. Dave’s straight-forward (to say the least), somewhat crass, and completely informed on everything sports. Listen to this one when you’ve got headphones on — or your kids do — and get ready to laugh your way to the Fantasy Football championship. 

I Love Marketing with Joe Polish

Joe Polish and Dean Jackson have been having killer conversations about marketing for over 15 years, and now we get to share them. They use their podcast to talk about new marketing ideas, direct mail ideas, lead generation, lead conversion, getting referrals, stick strategies, email marketing, psychology, books, people, and overall productivity. As they say: “Every week is a new adventure…and it will always be fun.”

Planet Money

Planet Money comes from NPR (who also happens to be the creator How I Built This) which means you can guarantee three things: top-notch production quality, universally engaging guests, and informative content that you’ll actually listen to. Their podcast Planet Money is the economy explained. The format is this: Imagine you could call up a friend and say, ‘Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.’ Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening.

ESPN 30 for 30

30 for 30 is a unique podcast amongst the rest, as it is formatted differently depending on the season. In some seasons, each episode is dedicated to a different topic, while several seasons have deep-dived into specific moments in sports history in the fashion of a weekly series. While any sports fanatic will be dying to listen to them all, our favorites episodes include the entire “Sterling Affairs” series (season 5) and “Yankees Suck” (season 1, episode 2.)

Freakonomics

Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers. Special features include series like “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.” as well as a live game show, “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.” We like it because it makes us feel smarter every time we listen (or at least more interesting, anyway.)