From Solopreneur to Agent of Change with Rich Brooks

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Imagine this: you find yourself at a crossroads, yearning for a change and seeking a path that leads to entrepreneurial success. You’re not alone.

Many of us have experienced that relentless drive to carve our own path, to create something remarkable out of our passions. And in the realm of digital marketing, one name stands out as an unexpected entrepreneur who defied the odds and built a thriving agency from the ground up: Rich Brooks.

Rich Brooks, the founder of Flyte New Media, embarked on a remarkable journey that turned him into a successful digital marketing maven. In his quest for entrepreneurial triumph, he discovered the power of being remarkable, finding unique marketing techniques, nurturing cultural fit, fostering teamwork over superstar mentalities, and the art of delegation.

boss your business podcast episode 38 from solopreneur to agent of change with rich brooks

Being remarkable in today’s saturated market is no easy feat. Rich understood this and forged a path that was truly his own. He didn’t settle for cookie-cutter marketing approaches but instead embraced creativity and innovation. His agency, Flyte New Media, stood out by delivering exceptional results and creating memorable experiences for clients.


Moreover, Rich recognized that cultural fit and teamwork were instrumental to his agency’s growth. He understood that building a team of individuals who complemented one another’s strengths and skills was the key to success. Rather than seeking individual superstars, he prioritized the collective strength of his team, fostering an environment where everyone had a role to play and contributed to the project’s success.


Throughout his entrepreneurial journey, Rich Brooks discovered that remarkable marketing, cultural fit, teamwork, and effective delegation were not mere buzzwords, but fundamental principles that could transform businesses. His story serves as a testament to the power of taking unconventional paths, staying true to your vision, and surrounding yourself with a team that shares your passion for success.


Join us as we unravel the lessons and experiences of an entrepreneur who defied expectations, proving that with the right mindset, determination, and a remarkable approach, anyone can create their own path to entrepreneurial triumph.

📕 Show Notes 📕
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🏆 Highlights 🏆
00:00 | Introduction
02:00 | Rich’s journey of starting Flyte New Media
05:00 | Maintaining a small, effective team
08:00 | The importance of being remarkable and finding unique marketing techniques
13:00 | Cultural fit and teamwork over superstar mentality
19:00 | Delegation and focusing on business development
23:18 | Rich Brook’s tech stack
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📄 Video Transcription:

[00:00:00] Yvonne Heimann: Hello and welcome back to another episode of Boss Your Business. And today, I am being joined by Rich Brooks. And if you have not heard about him, what? What are you guys doing? We are all on social media. If you’re on social media, you need to know Rich. Um, which is the Founder on President of Flight New Media, a digital agency in Portland, Maine that has been in business for over 25 years. That in itself is an accomplishment. He is a national recognized speaker on entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and social media, which you also found at the Agents of Change, which we will be talking about just a little bit. And then that is an annual conference and a weekly podcast that focuses on search, social, and mobile marketing, which you are also the author of the Lead Machine, the Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing, a popular and well-received book that helps entrepreneurs and marketers reach more of their ideal [00:01:00] customer online.

[00:01:01] Yvonne Heimann: Not only that, considering you are in marketing and social media, you are regularly appearing as the tech guru on evening news shows. 207, which airs on NBC affiliates and Maine. Um, for everybody that’s overseas, for my Europeans, we actually have from the big stations, also small stations, which that is.

[00:01:22] Yvonne Heimann: Um, you have also appeared in Inc. Magazine, the Huff Post, Fast Company, CNN, the Social Media Examiner, and quite another few sources. Happy to have you and welcome here at my podcast, Rich.

[00:01:36] Rich Brooks: Yvi, I’m really excited to be here. Thank you so much.

[00:01:39] Yvonne Heimann: That’s quite a list of accomplishment.

[00:01:41] Rich Brooks: We gotta shorten that up.

[00:01:43] Rich Brooks: That is just too long. I don’t know.

[00:01:45] Yvonne Heimann: Considering we are, we are going for the, uh, and why I did not mind a little bit of longer bio because it always, it gives us an intro of, holy moley, he’s doing quite a few [00:02:00] things, which leads me right into my first question of, how did you get here?


Rich’s journey of starting Flyte New Media

[00:02:06] Yvonne Heimann: Audience, guys, listening, you know, we are looking into something that has been years in the works. So how did you get here?

[00:02:14] Rich Brooks: Yeah, I mean I gotta update my bio. It’s actually 26 years, so it’s 26 years ago I started this company. It’s crazy to me. Um, and I certainly didn’t think that I was going to be in business 26 years, uh, from the point where I started.

[00:02:28] Rich Brooks: I remember very distinctly saying I’ll probably be in business for two years. At that point, either the programmers are gonna learn how to design or the designers will learn how to program. So I, I, now, I call it a digital agency, but when it was just me in my apartment in Jamaica Plain, which is part of Boston, um, I was just developing websites and it was, you know, brand new. I had to explain to people what a website was and for other people why they needed a website. It was an uphill battle for sure. Um, and over the years [00:03:00] I started adding more services and kind of expanding. So, uh, part of what was going on is I realized that beyond just designing and building websites, there was search engine optimization.

[00:03:11] Rich Brooks: And just to put, not to put too fine point on how old I am. Like when I started, I have so many stories about when I started, but when I started we weren’t talking about Google. Like Flyte New Media is older than Google, right? So when, when I first started talking about search engine optimization, it was AltaVista and Yahoo, right?

[00:03:29] Rich Brooks: You know, Yahoo is not really a search engine, it’s a directory, but it was treated the same and, and AltaVista is long gone. But those were the kind of things that I was trying to, to educate people about when I was talking about this. So I kind of expanded into doing some search engine optimization at the beginning, and then over time I got into blogging, usually pushed by a client or email marketing, social media, all these things. And so I started adding more services and at a certain point I actually had a client of mine who said, we need to give you more work, but [00:04:00] you can’t take on any more work. So if you don’t hire somebody, we’re gonna have to find someone else. So a lot of people are like, how do you decide when you’re gonna hire your first employee? That was it for me. It was basically an ultimatum from one of my clients.

[00:04:13] Yvonne Heimann: Well, your client already told you like, you gotta scale, you gotta hire.

[00:04:16] Rich Brooks: Right. You gotta scale. So, um, and it was a good steady gig and I liked working with the company.

[00:04:21] Rich Brooks: They were cool. So, you know, I, I did, and at first it was just part-time and it, I was working outta my apartment, so they would come over and then I moved into a house. They would come over to the house. It was just weird. And so ultimately, I had to move out of, I had to move the company out of my home cuz it’d be like, oh, I gotta go to the doctor’s appointment.

[00:04:38] Rich Brooks: Everybody go home for the day. Like, I don’t know why I didn’t let people stay at my home, but whatever. Um, so yeah, it was just, it was weird. So we moved into the old port, which is the hip part of Portland, Maine, and I started hiring more people. We started doing more services and over the years, we just kind of developed a reputation and we’re still a small shop.


Maintaining a small, effective team

[00:04:57] Rich Brooks: Um, we should be at 10 right now we’re at [00:05:00] eight. We’re, we’re looking to bring on two more people. Um, and, but I wouldn’t wanna get much bigger. Like my goal is maybe 15 to 18 people. And even that feels a little big to me. It’s really just about being the right size for the kind of work we wanna be doing.

[00:05:13] Rich Brooks: So, But yeah, I mean there’s a lot more to it than that, so I’m happy to answer any follow up questions, but that’s basically how I got started and then just continued on and, and got better at finding people who could do what I couldn’t do or do it better than me, so that I was able to kind of scale up and get to the point where I am right now.

[00:05:32] Rich Brooks: And it’s, it’s been an interesting journey and where I am today is much different than where I was five years ago and certainly much different than I was 26 years ago.

[00:05:40] Yvonne Heimann: I actually do have a couple of follow up questions. I wanna get back to the, uh, I had to educate people what they need. And I think a lot of us run into this thing of, we know it’s coming, we know you need it.

[00:05:54] Yvonne Heimann: I’m like, it’s still happening to this day, even though it might not be as big anymore as you need a website, the [00:06:00] newspaper ads are gonna go away. Right? Um, How do you remember how that was being kind of like at the forefront of something like that where it’s like right now it’s kind of like the AI scene where it’s like you should use it and there’s still people fighting it and I guess it was probably similar for you back in the day, building websites.

[00:06:23] Yvonne Heimann: How, how did you get your clients to, to realize they should be doing that? Do you remember? Or do you run into the same thing now with AI?

[00:06:34] Rich Brooks: Well, I’m not selling AI, although we’re, I’m definitely a big proponent of AI and we’re using it more and more at our agency. Um, and we talk a lot about it on the Agents of Change, both the podcast and the conference.

[00:06:47] Rich Brooks: But for me, at the beginning, it was partially just because I didn’t have a lot of work, right? So I was just like, I was doing content marketing, but it wasn’t called content marketing back then. It was just kind of like, if I’m gonna be [00:07:00] designing and building websites and I want this to be something that people, if they spend money with me, I want them to make more money on the backend. Like that was a big thing for me. I’m like, I don’t want to just design some website and not have it do what the business needs it to do. So that’s when I started getting interested in search engine optimization, which was probably the first thing I did outside of just designing and building websites.

[00:07:20] Rich Brooks: So I got into SEO really early and I would send out, um, educational pieces cuz I liked writing. I’ve always been a good writer. In my newsletter. And when I say a newsletter, this was a print newsletter. Cause again, this is how long I’ve been doing it. Um, and so I would literally, I mean this was me in my, my apartment in jp.

[00:07:40] Rich Brooks: I would write it up in Microsoft Word. I would kind of design it a little bit. I’d print up a copy and then I would go to my parents’ house, to my dad’s office and I would print up like, I think it was a hundred, 200 copies, fold them all myself, stuff, the envelopes myself, put the stamps on and mail them out myself.


The importance of being remarkable and finding unique marketing techniques

[00:07:57] Rich Brooks: People loved them though. Um, and it was just [00:08:00] really something that, it was a physical thing that I would send out. And I remember when I used to send out proposals, same thing. I would send out the proposals on letterhead and it mailed to people. And they would say, this is so much better than the email I got from somebody else where they just kind of put some things together.

[00:08:15] Rich Brooks: Now that wouldn’t work today. That’s not remarkable. Um, or maybe it is because nobody does it anymore.

[00:08:22] Yvonne Heimann: But interestingly enough, I see quote newsletters come out physically again, where people are going back to that, that additional, it’s different now, right? Because nobody is doing it anymore.

[00:08:36] Rich Brooks: So that’s a great point.

[00:08:37] Rich Brooks: That’s a great point. So I do think it’s really critical to be remarkable and to find something that differentiates you from everybody else. And if it’s going back and doing print newsletters again, or sending messages via smoke signals, if you’re the only one doing it or one of the few, it actually is a good marketing technique.

[00:08:53] Rich Brooks: Um, but so educating people was part of what I wanted to do [00:09:00] anyways, and what I discovered is that was what now is called content marketing. So by putting it out there and writing about it and then ultimately starting to put all that content up on my website, which was as it turned out, good for SEO, um, that was some of the ways that I started making those inroads and started getting, uh, the business that would start to propel my business forward. Also, a couple years in, I ended up moving up to Maine I, and which is where I live now. And when I first got to Maine, every story here take makes me sound so old , Yvi. When I got to Maine, what did I do? I opened up the Yellow Pages, which is this big brick of…

[00:09:37] Yvonne Heimann: Which, which we now use as a stepping stone.

[00:09:42] Rich Brooks: Um, so, but I opened it up and I went to graphic designers and I literally called every graphic designer listed in Portland, Maine. And I said, hey, um, I am a website designer. I am a terrible designer. Um, But I can make websites. So if your clients are starting to ask me for websites, but you’re saying no, you don’t do that.[00:10:00]

[00:10:00] Rich Brooks: You say, yes, from that one. I’ll build out whatever you designed. And from that, I mean, I literally called everybody, um, cuz you, at the beginning you got a hustle. Yeah. And I did that and I only got a couple of, of people who were, who followed up with me and, and we did something. But each one of those led to like three or four different projects with that person.

[00:10:18] Rich Brooks: And that’s how I started to build up my reputation. And ultimately, I was also getting my own business. That was really the beginning of my success once I got established here in Maine. So there was a certain amount of hustle, there was a certain amount of partnerships and outreach. I’ve always been a big proponent of, rather than go after the individual fish, you go after the, the, how am I gonna finish this metaphor? Uh, I’ll start again. I, I always like going after the refers. Yeah. And so when I’m talking to clients about like, how we’re gonna market their business, I’m less interested in the one-off clients. I’m more interested in, like, I’m less interested in the home buyer.

[00:10:57] Rich Brooks: I’m more interested in the real estate agent or the [00:11:00] broker. You know, it’s the person who’s gonna gimme 10, 15, a hundred jobs, not the person who’s gonna gimme one job that I’m most interested in. Not that I’m not happy to get the homeowner to do business with, but it’s the whole idea of go where people can help you multiple times, and where you can help somebody multiple times as well.

[00:11:18] Yvonne Heimann: You are, you are being more efficient, where it’s like, rather than going one by one, I’m like, we still do this to this day where we are tapping in somebody else’s audience. Yeah. So rather than going one by one, can you hold a masterclass for a specific other group? Can you, can you reach other coaches? Can you reach certain niches where it’s like, again, as you said, going after a real estate office rather than the single real estate agent.

[00:11:47] Yvonne Heimann: Right. Exactly. It’s just efficiency. Exactly. So love that. With, with that growth and with your hustle, um, you mentioned your first story of, hey, you need to hire somebody, or we [00:12:00] can’t give you more work. Right. That was kind of like the wake up call of, hey, we need to hire somebody. How are you making hiring decisions and growing your team decisions nowadays?

[00:12:12] Yvonne Heimann: Because I’m assuming your clients don’t have to tell you anything.

[00:12:15] Rich Brooks: No, no, and it has evolved dramatically. Like I wish I could go back and talk to that younger Rich Brooks, right? Because I literally took out Nedd in the local rag. Um, and just said, you know, hiring web developer, whatever it was that I did.

[00:12:29] Rich Brooks: And I usually get a few people, I talk to a couple of them and just make a decision. You know, I didn’t test them. I didn’t come up with any sort of plans. I didn’t use there, there, there was probably Monster back then, and I think there was a site called Hot Jobs. I wasn’t using any. Mm-hmm. I didn’t know any of this.

[00:12:43] Rich Brooks: I didn’t have any HR experience. I’d never taken a business course in my life, so I was making it up as I go along. Now, as time went on, I started to get better at, you know, like, doing things that would get me 50 or 80 or a hundred resumes for a given job. And as we started to become a [00:13:00] bigger, um, more well known entity around town, that also helped as well.


Cultural fit and teamwork over superstar mentality

[00:13:04] Rich Brooks: Um, these days, I’m only involved in the very last part of the hiring process, so most of the hires right now, cause right now we’re looking for a Junior WordPress developer and a Junior Marketer on our team. Um, The people who are in charge of those departments, they’re the ones, I mean, I help them figure out what we need, but they’re the ones who are doing, um, all the outreach.

[00:13:27] Rich Brooks: They’re the ones who are doing the vetting, the first or second rounds of interviews. I’m only brought in at the end just to make sure that there’s a cultural fit. Um, because with a business as small as ours, it’s not that you need everybody who thinks alike, that’s not at all a good idea, but you need to make sure that that person is gonna come in and be a good fit for the company because one bad employee in a small company can disrupt everything and just make it an unhappy place to work.

[00:13:54] Rich Brooks: And I’m a big believer in, in teamwork over this superstar mentality. And [00:14:00] I’m not saying that one is better than the other. I’m just saying for me and the kind of business I want to grow, for me, it’s more about like, we work together as a team, which means there’s no superstars on the team and everybody brings something to the project.

[00:14:12] Rich Brooks: So these days I’ll just come in and I’ll just make sure that I don’t see any red flags. Like, uh, somebody comes in and they’re super arrogant, or they’re not that shyness is necessarily a bad thing, but like if they can’t answer the questions or I ask ’em a strange question, they’re like, literally how, you know, blank look on their face and they don’t know how to answer it. Like these are things where I’m like, okay, maybe this is not the best hire for us.

[00:14:33] Yvonne Heimann: Interestingly enough, I love how you look in the team for value and energy alignment. Um, interestingly, I literally just came across some numbers yesterday where if you are around productive people, you will be… simply just by being around them, be 15% more productive. However, if you are around people that don’t like their [00:15:00] job, that are complaining, you will be 35% less productive.

[00:15:04] Rich Brooks: So that’s a huge swing.

[00:15:05] Yvonne Heimann: That that whole alignment right there is it, it’s a make or break. So I think we, we both really closely align in that.

[00:15:14] Rich Brooks: Yeah. And I think what people who are listening to this need to also take away though is I’m definitely not saying that you want a bunch of people who think exactly alike. No. Because that’s also problematic. In fact, uh, my Director of Operations, Lindsay’s been, she’s been with me for over 20 years. Um, she’s amazing because she’s so different than me. I have a million ideas, like I’m like, oh, we should do this, we should do this, we should do this and let’s do this. And she’s like nods her head and then basically ignores almost 90% of what I say cuz she’s gotten so good at realizing when I’m really serious about something and when I’m just having one of my flights of fancy. She will then take that one, five, 10% of stuff I say, assign resources, organize things, make sure it gets done, which is not a [00:16:00] skillset set I have. So you need to find people that play different roles in your team. For sure.

[00:16:05] Yvonne Heimann: And I know I’m like, um, in, in the show notes, guys, you know, I get show notes from every of my guests in the show notes you mentioned the, the first big thing of hiring an ops manager, and that’s, that’s what just came to my mind because we know I’m the same way where it’s like, oh, I wanna do this and that, and here and there, and I get into my CEO brain and I’m having fun and I’m, I’m playing out all of those ideas doesn’t mean that they all have to happen now or that they all have to happen, right?

[00:16:33] Yvonne Heimann: So having that counterpart that’s like, okay, which you go, you go play, which it’s all good. Have fun. I’m cool.

[00:16:40] Rich Brooks: You get up on stage, you think big stuff. I’ll actually get some work done. I mean, I literally, Lindsay runs the company day to day. I mean, I, I don’t even have any qualms about that. And this came out of a book called, Rocket Fuel written by the same guy who wrote Traction. And basically it is about the visionary that all great [00:17:00] companies, the idea is have a visionary and an integrator. And although I don’t like the term visionary, cuz it sounds like I’m making more of my myself than I am, the idea is somebody who likes being the center of attention, likes being on stage, has a million ideas, can’t get stuff done right? Like a lot of us, um, the integrator, which is so critical, is that person who shies away from the spotlight, um, will, but is the one who creates systems and creates order out of chaos and makes sure that the trains run on time.

[00:17:29] Rich Brooks: And when you have a good relationship where those two people respect what the other person brings to the table, that’s magic. Or as the book title says, that’s Rocket Fuel right there.

[00:17:39] Yvonne Heimann: And it’s interesting because I’m literally on that same journey right now where I do have a team that takes care of my content and thinks I don’t like doing, and I’m like, things are falling off the deep end because I need that implementer.

[00:17:53] Yvonne Heimann: I’m, I’m a quickstart. I’m one. I do. Now I need somebody that actually can do that [00:18:00] little stuff, the follow up and, and, and keep me in order on, tell me what the hell I’m supposed to be doing.

[00:18:06] Rich Brooks: Right. It definitely makes a difference and it allows us to think those big thoughts and see the big trends and make big decisions about the future of the company and the direction of the company, which is critical. And sometimes I feel bad because I’m like, oh, I’m giving her all the grunt work. She loves that work. Where she looks at me, she’s like, oh my God, how can you get up on stage and talk like that? I’m like, oh my God, that’s the easiest thing in the world.

[00:18:29] Rich Brooks: I just get up there and start talking.

[00:18:31] Yvonne Heimann: Put a microphone in my face and I won’t stop talking.

[00:18:34] Rich Brooks: Right, exactly. Um, so it’s really, it’s, it’s finding those people with complimentary skills. Mm-hmm. Not a bunch of Yes men. Yeah.

[00:18:42] Yvonne Heimann: And with that, we already started talking about a little bit about processes and workflows that are allowing you to do what you wanna do, specifically with Lindsay, who is picking up the things, who is taking care of you, not being in all of [00:19:00] those processes and workflows because she loves doing it.


Delegation and focusing on business development

[00:19:02] Yvonne Heimann: Yes. What are some other things that allow you to run your business how you wanna want it to be on stage? To even put on Agents of Change, which is like a huge conference and I’m like, I’ve done it once. It’s, you guys have fun with it, right? I come in as a guest.

[00:19:21] Rich Brooks: Yeah. Um, I think a lot of it does come down to delegation, not just to Lindsay, but developing out a team. Over the past few years, I’ve done less and less client facing work like I do business development, cuz I’m still loving it and I’m good at it. Um, and people usually want to talk to me at some point, especially if they saw me speak on stage. Um, and I’m also good at like kickoff meetings and content creation, that sort of stuff.

[00:19:48] Rich Brooks: But you know, I shouldn’t be the one running Facebook ads for any of our clients. Like, that’s just not where my skills lie. That’s not where my passion lies. So I think the biggest thing is just getting people trained up in [00:20:00] creating these systems or having somebody on your team who can create these systems so that there’s delegation.

[00:20:05] Rich Brooks: So you can, depending on what you wanna do, there’s less and less on your plate. So for me, I just decided last year, I’m like, with this one particular client, I’m like, this is the last client I work with. Like, I am done. I’m not saying I’m not gonna be part of business meetings or things like that. And if there’s ever a problem with a client, I’m really good. If things go wrong, like I can usually figure out a solution that makes everybody happy or happy enough but, um, I just don’t wanna be responsible for any workflows.

[00:20:30] Rich Brooks: And so we did it, we just, we’ve got the marketing team, we’ve got the web dev team, and they’re basically running themselves and, you know, they come to me for advice or whatever, but I’m not involved with the processes at all. And that’s been huge. And then I have a, a virtual assistant, actually she’s an executive assistant cuz she’s not virtual.

[00:20:48] Rich Brooks: She’s downstairs from me right now. She’s my girlfriend, but she also runs a transcription and VA service. So, um, and that’s helped. So she gets me on podcasts like this one. She gets me speaking gigs. Uh, [00:21:00] she follows up with a lot of our podcast guests and take care of a lot of those sort of things. So all of the things that either, I don’t want to do anymore or I’m just not the best suited to do it, or I need to free up my time and energy to do something else.

[00:21:14] Rich Brooks: I’m actively getting those things off my plate. And also now we’re looking at more automations as well, uh, especially with AI where I feel we’re just scraping the surface on what it’s capable of and what it’s not capable of. Um, but getting a better understanding so we can become more efficient with our time.

[00:21:30] Rich Brooks: And again, put our brains towards more creative work rather than more rote work. Like, oh, let me come up with an, you know, seven social media posts for this podcast, or something like that. Like that’s just, at this point, that’s just, I don’t know, not, I’m not gonna say not important, but it’s, it’s not creative.

[00:21:49] Rich Brooks: And that’s something I feel okay, outsourcing that to ChatGPT and just be like, give me, gimme a few. I still like writing and I even like coming up with the subject lines. Actually, somebody said a great AB split test for [00:22:00] subject lines is you write one, ChatGPT writes one, you see which one wins, which I thought was kind of a fun thing to be able to do.

[00:22:05] Rich Brooks: So I may start doing that.

[00:22:07] Yvonne Heimann: And it’s like, for me, AI has done the job of being stuck in ideation where it’s like it’s, it’s been a threat to all of my content as of late. I’m like, I’m reactive. I am better when I get triggered outside by ideas. So literally, we use AI. Um, where I literally just jump in, I take the transcript, now, give me some ideas, and I pick and choose and I polish and I do.

[00:22:36] Yvonne Heimann: But I have that initial trigger that’s like, ooh, I don’t like that. I like part of this. And, and pick, pick and choose where I’m not sitting here for hours, writer’s brain blackout where I’m like, uh, I don’t know what to do. Yeah. That’s where AI has been amazing for us or really just deciding on, okay, what are the best pieces out of this podcast for us to repurpose and make more [00:23:00] of it.

[00:23:00] Rich Brooks: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:23:02] Yvonne Heimann: It’s, it’s really fun. I’m like, we’ve been testing a lot of stuff of really helping with that ideation piece. Now you mentioned ChatGPT. What are some other tools that you use regularly in your tool stack to help you?


Rich’s tool stack

[00:23:18] Rich Brooks: So there’s definitely. Well, in general, um, I mean, the ones that I use the most are probably not the most exciting ones.

[00:23:26] Rich Brooks: Um, I will say that, you know, I use Evernote and Google Docs primarily for like my content creation and for, um, my podcast, I’ve actually just started playing around with Fathom, which is actually part of the Zoom world and I found that to be really interesting. The first podcast I did was not the greatest AI summary, but then I did a sales call and I asked my, the person [00:24:00] across the table, so to speak, if they minded if I recorded and the conversation was all over the place. When I got the AI summary, I’m like, this is amazing, cuz I’m always like, so much is lost in those phone calls.

[00:24:10] Rich Brooks: So from now on I’m gonna ask permission with everybody and I’m just gonna have it write up a summary and I’ll send it off to the person, you know, after the fact. Um, That’s, that’s an interesting tool for me too. Um, but, you know, because I’m doing less work, it’s a little bit easier for me. We use Basecamp for all of our project base work, um, Basecamp three at this point.

[00:24:29] Rich Brooks: So, Yeah, we use MailChimp, but only because we haven’t yet switched over to Active Campaign, which we’ve owned for three years and we’ve got, we’re just so busy. COVID was a, the pandemic was, yeah, definitely something that got people to pay more attention to their digital marketing website, so it was a very busy time for us and we’re still staying busy.

[00:24:47] Rich Brooks: That was the goal this year was to get Active Campaign active, but it looks like it’s a 2024 call at this point.

[00:24:53] Yvonne Heimann: We just, we literally just made the switch back to Active Campaign.

[00:24:55] Rich Brooks: Oh, okay. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So I mean, those are some of the tools that I use on a [00:25:00] regular basis. Um, but again, because I’m not in it as much, I know that my team uses Ahrefs because we do a lot of SEO work.

[00:25:07] Rich Brooks: Yep. Um, and that’s a great SEO tool. Um, sometimes we’ll use something like Answer the Public too, but, uh, haven’t been using that quite as much anymore. We used Moz for a while too, but we just found that we were using Ahrefs more. And that’s not to say one’s better than the other. It’s really what my team just feels most comfortable using.

[00:25:24] Rich Brooks: As far as the stack goes, it also includes all the Adobe products. We have, like the Adobe subscription for almost everybody. Of course we use Canva too, especially with client work. Um, So, yeah, that’s, that’s a lot of what we do. And you know what I’m embarrassed to say, we use Skype.

[00:25:43] Rich Brooks: Everybody makes fun of me. Like Skype, who uses Skype anymore? I’m like, well, first of all, it’s a thousand times better than Teams, which is awful. Um, it’s absolutely free and we use it in the office all the time, like for quick messaging instead of Slack or for video conferences, we use it, too, when we’re not using Zoom.

[00:25:59] Rich Brooks: So, and of [00:26:00] course we have like three licenses for Zoom because we have so many meetings going on.

[00:26:04] Yvonne Heimann: I actually still use Skype to call my mom every single day.

[00:26:07] Rich Brooks: So there you go.

[00:26:08] Yvonne Heimann: That’s, that’s the, that’s the last one. I don’t understand. Actually use it.

[00:26:12] Rich Brooks: I don’t understand. Microsoft bought Skype. It’s an amazing product.

[00:26:17] Rich Brooks: The video and audio quality is so good. Why is Teams so awful? Whenever I get the invitation from somebody to use Teams, I’m like, do you mind if I send you a Zoom invitation? And then sometimes they don’t care. And other times they’re like, we’re by law, have to use Teams on all of our meetings.

[00:26:31] Yvonne Heimann: Fine. And I, I always have issues and it doesn’t matter for me if it’s Teams or Google Meet, both of them.

[00:26:38] Rich Brooks: Neither of them are fantastic tools.

[00:26:40] Yvonne Heimann: Oh my God. And it’s not that difficult anymore. I know. With that, tell my audience a little bit about Agents of Change. Yeah. Who should come, why should they come? I know, because I freaking love Agents of Change.

[00:26:58] Rich Brooks: Yes. So [00:27:00] obviously we’ve got the podcast that’s been going on forever.

[00:27:02] Rich Brooks: So the conference was something we had put on eight years in a row and then, the pandemic happened, so we put it in a back burner. Uh, and this was the first year we decided that we wanted to bring it back. And we made some major changes to it. You know, we didn’t know are people going to want to come to live events?

[00:27:17] Rich Brooks: And to be honest, I’ve seen a mixed bag from different events. Mm-hmm. Um, but we are bringing it back. It’s, we’re in a very cool new space. Uh, we’re gonna do single track. We’ve got digital marketing experts from all over the US and Canada coming to Portland, Maine, October 4th and fifth we’re gonna be, uh, dealing with subjects like, marketing and artificial intelligence. We’re gonna be talking about, uh, Google Ads. We’re gonna be talking about local SEO, video for SEO. Um, we’ve got a Facebook ads expert, uh, coming to. We’ve got neuromarketing experts coming to talk about what makes your clients’ tech just a full day of inspiration.

[00:27:51] Rich Brooks: And, and the brand Agents of Change has always been about what do you need to know to succeed today and what should you be paying attention to in the future? So that’s really the vibe [00:28:00] of, it’s, it’s a very cool, everybody who comes is always like, oh, this is like a great conference. It’s not too big, it’s not too small.

[00:28:07] Rich Brooks: I got a full day out of it, and then the following day we do what we call our deep dive workshops, which are three hours. Small classroom style, very hands on, bring your computer or your phone, whatever it happens to be. And that’s where we get some of our experts to just really sit down and like one woman’s gonna do a paid search audit.

[00:28:25] Rich Brooks: Another person is doing oh GA4 stuff, you know? So really optimizing your GA4 experience. Mercer, who’s just a brilliant, but we’ve got all of our speakers set up now, just officially as of yesterday and, uh, feeling really excited about it. We’ve already sold more than half of the tickets. Um, we’ve got regular tickets, VIP tickets, and then for people who for some reason won’t make it to Portland, Maine in October, despite the fact that that’s the best time of year to have lobster and all the leaves are changing.

[00:28:51] Rich Brooks: Um, we do have a digital pass that’s good for the first day, so you can learn all about it on the agentsofchange.com website. [00:29:00] And yeah, so if you’re an owner or a marketer, or an entrepreneur, definitely check it out and hopefully we’ll see you in Portland, Maine, in October.

[00:29:07] Yvonne Heimann: You guys will find the link in the description and there might be even a little savings there for you.

[00:29:14] Rich Brooks: Yes, if you use the discount code, ASKYVI. So A S K Y V I when you’re checking out, you’ll save $25 off of any ticket at any price, so make sure you remember that code.

[00:29:29] Yvonne Heimann: And guys, there is no question. So no matter if you are joining digital or if you are joining in person, it is an amazing conference.

[00:29:38] Yvonne Heimann: And I’m one I love in-person conference because the energy is just completely different, catching up with everybody. Um, so we’ll see if it fits on my calendar. A whole bunch of things and conferences going on. With that everybody, as always, you will find Rich’s information, all the links, all the things right in the description.

[00:29:57] Yvonne Heimann: And I’ll see you for the [00:30:00] next episode. Thanks for joining me, Rich.

[00:30:02] Rich Brooks: My pleasure. Thank you.

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