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As human beings, we all crave genuine connections and meaningful relationships. But in this day and age, with technological advances that allow us to communicate from miles away, it might feel like we’re losing our ability to create these bonds.
That’s why meeting Ethan Beute is a breath of fresh air. Ethan is the Chief Evangelist of BombBomb, which you probably already know as an innovative video-messaging company. But Ethan isn’t here to talk about video messaging as we know it. He is here to show us that video messaging isn’t about the video itself, but rather how it can be used to build human connections and foster meaningful relationships.
Ethan’s story of transitioning from driving a school bus for Microsoft to other media jobs before finally being BombBomb’s chief evangelist might give you an inkling of the kind of journey that he’s been on. He’ll talk to us about cross-mapping and how it can be useful when running a business, as well as what exactly made him leave his secured job to join BombBomb, a small company back then.
Ethan will also discuss why it’s essential for businesses to focus on developing warmth and competence, as well as the tools and processes that allow him to accomplish things while still being able to take a sabbatical.
If you’re interested in learning more about why video messaging isn’t about the video itself, then this blog post is definitely for you. Join us as we explore Ethan’s story and his insights on how to use video messaging to create meaningful relationships.
Show Notes & Links
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/ethanbeute/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ethanbeute
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ethanbeute/
Human-Centered Communication (ebook) freebie – https://bombbomb.com/freebook/
📄 Video Transcription:
[00:00:00] Yvonne Heimann: Hello and welcome back to yet another episode of Boss Your Business. And today I am really excited because first of all, I got an amazing guest. And second of all, because he is not your standard entrepreneur, so expect this episode to be really fun. So let me introduce you to Ethan Beute by the way, with the last name.
[00:00:22] Just another reason I love having you on today. Um, Ethan is the Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, um, Wall Street journalist, bestselling author. I need to get better at that as I’m releasing my own. So I can say that for myself and where I’m really excited about, he is the bestselling co-author of Human-Centered Communication.
[00:00:43] And if you have been around, you know, a big focus of mine is really keeping the human and all of the efficiency and automation we are doing. You are also the host of. The Chief Evangelist and the Customer Experience [00:01:00] Podcast, which I have been a guest on your Chief Evangelist one as the evangelist of ClickUp.
[00:01:06] Now, enough of my rampant of telling you how amazing Ethan is. You guys need to meet him. Ethan, I am so happy to have you here. Right after you just did your, your sabbatical, taking some time off, and you were busy with the podcast and you were busy with the books and you were busy with being chief evangelist.
[00:01:27] So thank you so much for making the time today and joining me.
[00:01:32] Ethan Beute: Thank you so much for the invite. I love your energy. I love what you’re about. I loved our conversation on Chief Evangelist and it’s fun to be on the side of the microphone or seat or whatever.
[00:01:44] Yvonne Heimann: Or standing. I think you have a standing desk too.
[00:01:46] Ethan Beute: I do. I stand all day.
[00:01:50] Yvonne Heimann: Like I record my video standing. But the podcast, I always just like to have my ass in a chair.
Um, Ethan, my first question to my guest [00:02:00] always is, how did you get here? So I have, I already have a little bit of background story. Again, because we’ve been around for a little bit now, chatting on LinkedIn as well as me being on your podcast.
[00:02:11] You know, you had quite an interesting story how you made your way to be Chief Evangelist, have a quite interesting life. You got family and all kinds of things, and you were able to take hiatus. So we’ll get into all of the nitty gritty, but let’s start with the, how did you get here?
[00:02:33] Ethan Beute: Okay, I’m gonna start probably farther back at a lot than a lot of people, but I’ll do it really fast and then we can dive into anything you think would be interesting.
[00:02:41] So I loved school. I was really good at school. I enjoyed it very much. I had no Id idea what I wanted to do. Um, so I wasn’t a natural entrepreneur. I wasn’t a natural business person. I just liked school. So I went to the University of Michigan cause that’s where I grew up in the state of Michigan. It was, you know, it’s affordable to go in-state.
[00:02:57] It certainly was much more affordable back then. [00:03:00] Um, and just studied whatever I wanted to study. And so you finish with a degree in Communication and Psychology and all of a sudden you’re like, oh my gosh, I need gainful employment. So , I, I, I happened to find my way into an internship at a local television station in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I grew up.
Driving a school bus for Microsoft
[00:03:16] So I wound up parlaying that into, and I’m skipping over a really fun job where I got to drive a giant school bus around Canada and the United States for a year, for Microsoft.
[00:03:29] Yvonne Heimann: You can’t, you can’t, you cannot throw that at me. And then how do you end up driving a massive school bus through the US and Canada for Microsoft?
[00:03:40] How does that fit together?
[00:03:42] Ethan Beute: Uh, a woman that I knew, um, in fact I had interned, uh, with her, knew the Microsoft rep who was, who had this like, interesting idea to take a full size school bus, gut it, turn it into a mobile computer lab, wrap it with graphics and the way to get the funding was to make [00:04:00] it an entire central region project.
[00:04:02] So markets from Ottawa and Toronto, uh, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, all the way down to Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, like that kind of central stripe. So it included like St. Louis, Kansas City, Nashville, Louisville, uh, just a whole Indianapolis, bunch of awesome cities. And so I had to get a commercial driver.
[00:04:24] So they were looking for someone who was young, who was able to hit the road , um, who was willing to do all this for almost no money, by the way. Um, and uh, so I had to get a commercial driver license and figure out how to drive this massive bus, which I did. And then I had to learn all the software and so I would drive it to like, I would get to the city.
[00:04:45] I would connect with the Microsoft rep there and they, they knew that they would have me for like eight days or 12 days or whatever, and they would program me however they saw fit. And so I was at Comp USAs and Best Buys. I was at zoos and museums. I was at [00:05:00] schools. Um, sometimes I was at office buildings cuz I had everything on there like I had kids educational software. I had the flight simulator, I had all the office suite. My, I had God, um, a lot of this was, this was almost all on CD ROM at the time. So I had Encarta there, encyclopedia, like so, and there was no mobile internet. And there was no Google Maps. I had to study the maps the night before I was, cause I did half the time I had a partner, but my partner’s never stuck.
[00:05:26] I don’t know if it was me. But, uh, or if it was just the challenge of the project, but, you know, half the time, half of that year, I was just out there on my own. So I had to like know where I was going in cities I had never been to, driving this behemoth that had a governor on it. I could only go 55 miles an hour, like on the interstate.
[00:05:44] So like it was, and it looked like people told me, I’m, I’m, I’m not young, but I’m too young to really know the Partridge Family. But people told me that it looked like the Partridge Family Bus cuz of the graphics on it. So it was, it was super fun. It was crazy. It was, [00:06:00] um, I l it was a, it was amazing. Um, and I, I would say that was my first software evangelist job.
[00:06:06] Yvonne Heimann: I would, I would say that definitely sounds like quite the experience. I’m happy I asked that question because I’m like, damn, now that’s a story right there.
[00:06:16] Ethan Beute: Yeah. I’m like, we could spend an hour like getting into the weeds on it if you wanted to, but that’d be a waste of our time.
[00:06:22] Yvonne Heimann: No, just, just the idea of you remember back in the day when you actually had to fold open maps and find your way and nowadays that was it.
[00:06:30] What did we do before the iPhone? Yeah, I’m happy we got sidetracked on the story would definitely worth it.
[00:06:37] Ethan Beute: Yeah, it’s, it’s one of those things and just to turn it into a broader like observation or lesson, it’s so interesting for any of us. Like the fun way to do is to look back and say, oh my gosh, can we believe, can you believe we used to do this thing this way?
[00:06:52] But you’re capable of so much more than you’re aware of. And I think as we get older, we, maybe, [00:07:00] now this isn’t necessarily as true of an entrepreneur community. We do a ton of work with a lot of entrepreneurs at BombBomb. Yeah. For example, every real estate agent, uh, is functionally an entrepreneur that’s one of our, you know, one group of people that really likes what we provide.
[00:07:13] So I’m sensitive to that lifestyle, but I think as we get older, I think we tell ourselves increasingly stories that were not as capable or we should be more fearful, or like, I think it’s a biological and like preservation thing. Yeah. Um, so I was like 22. I didn’t know any better. I didn’t think it was a, I, like, I knew it was cool and fun, but I had no idea like how challenging it was.
[00:07:34] And in hindsight it looks just crazy challenging, but I’m still capable of the equivalent of that today. Even if I don’t, yeah, allow myself permission to tell myself that story.
[00:07:46] Yvonne Heimann: Yeah, I think when we get into this quote, comfortable level of, I literally went grocery shopping at some point and I looked up what the food is that I was finding, I’m like, what is this thing, right? And I’m [00:08:00] like, what did we do before iPhones? Guess what? We just bought it and we tried it. So I think it’s more of a convenience thing where we are like, how the hell did I do that? No, you did it and you would do it again if you would have to. We are just more convenient just grabbing our iPhone and doing it, right?
[00:08:20] Ethan Beute: Yeah, absolutely. So with that diversion aside, really quickly, running as fast as possible to Chief Evangelist of BombBomb. So I, I did an internship in a local TV station, like in the local Fox station in Grand Rapids. And I ended up getting a full-time job there. So I was a like a writer, producer, and editor of spots and campaigns.
[00:08:39] So I was making like ads basically, but on behalf of the TV station to promote its own programming and its news and weather and sports and all this other stuff. And I ended up doing that for four different station groups over a dozen years. And I was running teams of people doing that type of work, and I just got kind of bored of it.
[00:08:56] It’s very cyclical. The product itself is not. It [00:09:00] just wasn’t intellectually engaging to me at all. It’s kind of a dumb product on average. And so, uh, I was exploring a lot of different things.
I was working on my MBA, uh, and I was doing project work for, you know, four or five different people. Just kind of explore like, what do I really like doing?
[00:09:19] What will people pay me for? What skills are transferable? That’s another thing I would say for folks. You think of what you’re doing and you think of it in the context that you’re doing it, but typically so much of what you’re learning to get good at is so much more widely applicable. So I didn’t know that consciously, but that’s what I was exploring at the time.
[00:09:36] Yvonne Heimann: And I, and I think a lot of us running, running into this, where I had to realize myself that that cross mapping that you are talking about, I often see that in in processes or in my ClickUp templates even where it’s like, just because it’s specifically done for this kind of target market, I easily can cross map this to different [00:10:00] applications where sometimes my clients just glaze over because I’m explaining a use case scenario to them where we used it and they cannot do that cross mapping. That is, that is a big one I think where, where we entrepreneurs, if you can do that cross mapping and it doesn’t matter if that is a skill. If that is a hard skill, if that is a soft skill, if that is a template, if that is a process, doesn’t matter. If you can train yourself to do that kind of cross mapping, you are golden.
[00:10:31] Ethan Beute: Yeah. Really good call. And that’s actually gonna fold into where I’ll get in just a minute too.
Leaving job security and going for something risky
Um, so one of the companies I was doing project work for was, uh, BombBomb. I, I had met the two co-founders. Uh, the company was very young at the time. It was legally founded in oh six. This is like more 2009, 2010. And I just really liked who they were, what they were about. I was writing landing pages and email sequences, and of course I was very adept at, uh, shooting and editing video. So I was producing some of the early videos for [00:11:00] them. And at a certain point, um, one of the two co-founders sat me down and just gave me this kind of vision speech of like, this is where we’re going, this is what we’re doing.
[00:11:08] I wanna bring you on board, et cetera. And so one day that call came and it was like, It’s time for you to pack up. You need to come join BombBomb. And it was a pretty big risk. I mean, I, I knew that I, the, the bigger risk, of course, was staying where I was and doing something that didn’t bring me to life anymore.
[00:11:22] I mean, that was like that would’ve been like a long, slow death march, I think. But, um, it was a 60 year old company owned by 120 year old company. Um, you know, I had a pension plan. I ended up just cashing it out because, who knows where.
[00:11:37] Yvonne Heimann: Like you were leaving that security. And it’s like, for, for me as a German, I’m like, that’s what we grow up with. That’s what we were pushed for, for that pension plan and that retirement plan and, and having your savings and all the things and you just left it behind.
[00:11:54] Ethan Beute: Yeah. To join a company with almost no revenue and almost no customers.
The BombBomb buy-in trigger
[00:11:59] So I’m [00:12:00] not the entrepreneur in this story, but I certainly joined. Yeah, I mean, I, I, I took a lot of the same risks that a lot of people do, I guess. And I had to have that vision and I had to see where we were going and be lit up about where we were going and bring it to life and make it to happen from nothing because it just didn’t exist.
[00:12:20] So there are some entrepreneurial elements there.
[00:12:22] Yvonne Heimann: I have, I have a question for you.
[00:12:24] Ethan Beute: Please.
[00:12:26] Yvonne Heimann: So because we can cross map this, right, the other way around. It’s, it’s obvious. BombBomb did something that allowed you to see the vision, to have the passion, to leave that security behind and take that risk. Do you know? Do you think you know what they did to, to transfer their passion to you and for you to see their vision? Because for us as entrepreneurs, that’s what we are trying to do with our team, with our community and everything. So [00:13:00] do you, do you know, do you think, you know what that piece was that that triggered your buy-in?
[00:13:05] That was like, oh hell yeah. I’m leaving everything behind. I’m taking this job.
[00:13:10] Ethan Beute: That’s a great question. I have never answered it before, but it makes me think of a few things in particular. First, I had the benefit, and this was something that they did by design of having slow, steady, risk-free exposure to who they are, what they’re doing, what the work would be like, et cetera. Because I was doing at certain point, I committed to work for them 10 hours a week, and I just dropped one of the classes I was taking to my MBA program. Cause I had put about 10 hours into that, you know, two and a half hours on site and some work, you know, throughout the week on, you know, the schoolwork.
[00:13:43] So I was like, well, I’ll just drop a class and invest the 10 hours into this company. And um, so that was one. Right. So this idea of allowing people to participate without putting any real, like what’s my risk? Uh, you know, this isn’t working out.
[00:13:58] Yvonne Heimann: You just got to test drive it.
[00:13:59] Ethan Beute: Three [00:14:00] weeks from now will be my last week of giving you 10 hours.
[00:14:02] Like there’s no risk for me whatsoever. So that was one smart thing they did. But they were very clear on the vision. They weren’t exactly sure where the product itself was going. They knew what it was at the time. But the key thing was there was like the founder’s vision, which is, um, and it’s super interesting because here we are now, more than a dozen years after the time that we’re talking about right now, like video, email and video messaging in 2009, 2000. Like, it wasn’t a thing. It didn’t exist. Like that’s why they had to make it. And so, so the founder’s story of, you know, I like a lot of salespeople, he, he joined this, he was selling out.
[00:14:40] I’m talking about Conor McCluskey, one of our two co-founders. , he became a salesperson for Lamar, an outdoor advertising company with more popularly known as billboards. And so like any sales job, they give him a list that’s just barely enough to keep gas in the tank, keep the lights down, and pay the rent, right?
[00:14:57] So he inherits a basic list that he can go work. [00:15:00] Um, some of them are already advertising, but he, he very quickly grows his list to a point where he just can’t stay in front of everybody. We’re in Col, Colorado Springs. And, you know, end to end on his territory, it could maybe be 90 minutes to two hours.
[00:15:13] And so you just think about growing your, growing your customer list and your prospect list such that you just straight don’t have time to get in front of them. But you also know intuitively that when they buy billboards, they’re not just buying billboards, they’re buying you. They’re buying how you make them feel about their business.
[00:15:30] They’re buying your strategy, they’re buying your mind. They’re buying a variety of different things. It’s not a pure transaction of square footage on a billboard, on a particular rotation, on these different highways and byways, right? It’s not that. They’re buying you. And the same thing is true of every salesperson, and the same thing is true of every entrepreneur, and to the degree that it isn’t true it’s a product-led motion or the bot is doing the selling. If a human is involved, and a human should be involved and they’re buying you as part of [00:16:00] the yes, so he knew that intuitively, couldn’t get in front of everybody. We all know that face-to-face is best. We didn’t have Zoom at the time. You know, either or Microsoft Teams or StreamYard or any of these other platforms.
[00:16:12] So, um, he thought, what if I could just send myself for birthdays? Or contract renewals? Or appointment confirmations? Or appointment follow ups? What if I could just send myself in email and it didn’t exist, and so I bought this idea of we’re better in person. People are a key part of the reason that we say yes.
[00:16:31] And so we need to find ways to make sure, and I mean, again, we weren’t nearly as digital then as we are today, but even then I felt the writing on the wall. I felt the movement of the people being removed from the process and the people in particular being removed from the message. And what I’m talking about there is faceless emails, faceless text messages, texting.
[00:16:54] Wasn’t that as big then as it is now? None of this was as big as it is now, but um, . I, I felt so [00:17:00] anyway, that, that was it. And then, so then, then there was also the rah rah speech. You know, it’s like the Connor dedicated time, like, cuz we would like, we would meet, we would talk about what’s going on and we’d brainstorm some work projects.
[00:17:12] We would agree on them. And then I would leave and then like two weeks later I’d come back with some deliverables or that kind of thing. So I’d see them in person, you know, once or twice a month. And I’d be working in between and we’d be in contact in between. So one of these times I come in and he just like, you know, hey, put all the, all this stuff down that we normally do aside, and I just wanna talk to you about this.
[00:17:30] So he dedicated one of those meetings to this kind of like vision speech, this rah rah vision speech. Like this is what we’re doing. I hope you see it. I hope you see yourself a part of it. I see you as a part of it like this. So he prepped me, and this is several months before they actually said, hey, we can afford to make you a somewhat competitive, and by the way, it was not very competitive.
[00:17:52] We can make you a somewhat competitive offer. Would you come join us? And so those are so, and, uh, mission and values [00:18:00] changed a little bit, but they’re still very much today what they were, uh, a dozen years ago. So I’d say being clear on your core values and what you’re actually trying to do as a business in a way that transcends the product or service itself. If you get married to the solution, you’re really putting a really hard timestamp, date stamp, lock on what your business is capable of. Whereas if you’re much more married to the problem or to the person…
[00:18:28] Yvonne Heimann: The impact you are having solve…
[00:18:29] Ethan Beute: Yeah, that it leaves you all this room to continue to grow. So, and but you also need that foundation of, this is who we are. This is what we stand for. This is what we about, what we’re about. This is kind of the values or decision making filter that we’re gonna run all of our decisions through. The more clear you can be early on, and the more consistent you can be in running your ideas and decisions through that filter, the more integrity you’ll have.
[00:18:55] And I, and I mean that in the fullest sense of the word. The more integrity you’ll [00:19:00] have and the more integrity you have, the more obvious it is to other people that even if you’re not perfect for me, you’re very, very clear and I can get behind who you are and what you’re about. So I might not buy from you, but I would be proud to refer you to someone who is.
[00:19:17] Yvonne Heimann: And for everybody listening guys, that’s actually a piece that I’m working on myself right now to really own that vision that I do carry inside and share more of that. Um, next to Ethan’s link, I will plug in a link to a book called Vivid Vision that allows you to do exactly that and guides you through the process of building that vision because I was hoping this is what happened to you. I didn’t know, guys, we didn’t have this conversation before. Ethan didn’t know this question was coming. Um, but that’s usually what happens, how, how companies can build that connection, can, can build that vision and [00:20:00] get buy in on, on a technical term and really just share their passion and get other people to, to experience that same kind of passion.
[00:20:09] So with all of that, I know there’s complete buy-in with you, BombBomb, and you still being there and still working there.
Evolution as Chief Evangelist at BombBomb
What are you doing nowadays in your position as, as the Chief Evangelist at BombBomb?
[00:20:27] Ethan Beute: Yeah, that was an evolution. Um, I’ll take one step back and then jump, jump forward to today. So, I was the first and only marketer and the most important thing I did, because I wasn’t like a hardcore digital marketer, they didn’t hire me because I was like a, you know, an early stage Google ads wizard or anything.
[00:20:44] They just liked who I was and, and knew that I was a, a relatively sharp person who put a lot of effort into what he does and is thoughtful about it. Good team player or whatever, whatever they saw in me. And so I just a tip for everyone. I mean, [00:21:00] the, the most important thing I did with a company, with no revenue, no customers was I lit up all the social channels and I reached out to as many customers and then even people, we have a free trial model where you try it free for two weeks and then, um, buy it or, or not. And I would talk to as many of those people as possible. And who are you? How did you find us? How are you using this? Um, is this additive to what you’re doing? Is this an extra step or does this replace some of what you’re doing?
[00:21:29] Why did you replace some of what you were doing? Is it because it saves you time? Is it because it gets you, it actually takes you the same amount of time, but gets you better results? Like all of that stuff, right? So that was the foundation for all of the blog posts, all the social posts, all of the webinars, eventually it turned into stage presentations. Uh, as soon as we started getting, you know, opportunities to present in front of audiences, like I was the person tapped to do that. Um, and so it was a lot of that. Then we hired a CMO, my longtime friend and team member, my co-author on both books, Steve Pacinelli, [00:22:00] and together we kind of built the team out.
[00:22:01] I took kind of the, um, the content, social marketing, ops, marketing, uh, automation. You know, nurturing, communication side of stuff. Um, and he took everything else. And, um, and at a certain point, we had a strong enough team in it and really good, um, frontline managers.
Entrusting important matters to faceless interactions
And a couple of things happen that I won’t bore everybody with, um, that created the opportunity for me to detach from operations day-to-day and become a chief evangelist. Uh, essentially at a high level. Uh, the answer to your question in the, in the highest sense is I’m out evangelizing this problem of entrusting your most important and most valuable messages to faceless type out text.
[00:22:49] I could express that a variety of different ways, but that’s one way I can do. It’s like people don’t even think about the consequences of entrusting their first touch, their first follow up, their [00:23:00] thank yous, and all these things to just like, the same black text on the same white screen.
[00:23:05] Yvonne Heimann: Why, why I made, why I made that noise is because as, as if, and listener has been around for a little bit, and you know it, English is not my native language and I have the British humor, which doesn’t always come through.
[00:23:20] So I, I personally have experienced, and that’s why I have the YouTube channel, is what it means trying to convey something in a written language, where today, still to this day, I often get perceived wrong simply because my humor doesn’t come when I’m writing it. I cannot convey exactly what I can when you actually see me and you see if I’m just making weird faces, you know, I’m being sarcastic and there is, there is so many nuances of being able to just be on video. It’s conveying your messages clearer, people being [00:24:00] able to connect with you. They see you. It’s, it’s just more real. As much as real as you can write, it’s different than having this conversation, even if it’s asynchronous. It’s just a complete different impact.
[00:24:15] Ethan Beute: Absolutely. It is very well said. You took, uh, a lot of the words that I would’ve said in different words or in my own way, um, very well expressed. And so, so it’s that. Right? So at the time, uh, the first book, Rehumanized Your Business was about to release, I had already kind of unplugged from the team. I wrote most of it on my own time, but when we, when the company committed to get behind it and that it was gonna be a BombBomb project, not just an Ethan project. And that, that, that book is really the what, why, who, when and how with video, email and video messages, like, what is this?
[00:24:46] Why does it matter? Who’s doing it? So it’s filled, I think I referenced 38 or 40 customers in the book very specifically. So this was built on all of the work that I had done leading up to it. And we were also, uh, we had also decided to start a podcast, [00:25:00] which I, um, picked up on the subtitle of Rehumanize, which was how personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience.
[00:25:07] So I didn’t wanna create the video email show, um, that would just be like kind of an echo chamber. My goal was to talk more broadly about customer experience, cuz it truly is every one of our last differentiators. Um, and by the way, uh, in a lot of cases, depending on the product or service you’re delivering, especially on the service side, who you are is your differentiator.
[00:25:29] You are the experience. Yep. Or you’re fundamental to it, which then also ties in with video too. So it’s adjacent. It has a lot to say about it. So those two things were happening already. And then we had come across this idea of evangelism, this idea of appointing someone into a role, detaching them from day-to-day operations and letting them do this.
[00:25:47] So I’m, I’m, I’m working internally with our sales team and our customer service and customer success team. I’m still part of the executive leadership team and some of the strategic planning and conversations there. Um, but I’m also doing this. I’m getting out, I’m [00:26:00] sharing the story. I’m learning from other people.
[00:26:02] I’m connecting with customers. Um, I’m building curriculum. I’ve since written, of course, a second book. I wrote what I call a half book in between those two books. But we ended up laying out, laying it out on about 124 pages. Um, so it’s, it’s learning and teaching around the philosophy and practice of rehumanizing our digital communication.
[00:26:25] To be more effective and to be more successful, and to find more satisfaction in our work. So that’s it. It’s really to embody and carry forward in all the channels, on social, in, I do a lot of writing, still email. I, I’ll even write emails, um, creating webinars and other educational materials, um, and talking with as many people as possible.
[00:26:44] I send a lot of videos too. I mean, sending videos is a great way to help people understand the benefits in a very tangible way. By the way, I would offer anyone, send me an email, Ethan, [email protected] and I’ll send you a personal video back. Ask me a question or share a story or whatever, and I’ll give [00:27:00] you something back in a video so you could tangibly feel the difference.
[00:27:03] I do that all the time too. So like, so that’s another thing, you know, a lot of, a lot of, um, uh, people will hide from, and now an entrepreneur probably wouldn’t, but a lot of, you know, managers or executives will hide. Like I just gave you my email address. I want to hear from people. So that’s like, like that’s another thing that I’m doing.
[00:27:23] Like, I wanna know what people are doing. I wanna know what they’re thinking. I wanna know what they’re afraid of. I wanna know their failures. I want them to, I wanna know why people think video emails a stupid idea. Like, I want all of this.
[00:27:35] Yvonne Heimann: And you, you are living it. It’s like we’ve, I don’t even, I don’t even remember how, oh, we connected through an evangelist thread where we were talking about should be, should an evangelist be an employee or 1099? Something to that extent.
[00:27:51] Ethan Beute: Yep.
[00:27:51] Yvonne Heimann: That’s how, that’s how I connected with Ethan and he is like, you see him and hear him on this podcast. [00:28:00] To this day, it’s like, hey, Ethan, this just popped up. Or do you have an answer here? Hey, I’m testing this. Hey, I’m doing this. And I love just seeing him pop up with the GIF initially, where it’s like, I already can see, he’s sending me a video message again, and I just click the button and I can reply with video back.
[00:28:18] It’s like I don’t have to type. I don’t have to think about it. I can just talk about it. He is as busy and as responsive. He’s responding. Like he’s talking about it. It, it seriously is. You are living in your DMs. You are living in your email. You are always replying. You are always there.
[00:28:37] Ethan Beute: Yeah. And it’s, um, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll layer on.
[00:28:40] I’ll pick up on something you said a little bit earlier and later on, a tip for people, uh, in general, which is that, you know, in this conversation, this podcast I host that you were kind enough to guest on where we talked a lot about this like internal, external, direct employer 1099. Um, as an evangelist, what something that comes up a lot, there is this [00:29:00] idea that the founder is typically the first evangelist.
[00:29:03] Um, And, but not everyone has the personality for it. Sometimes they do. At a certain point, you run out of time to do this kind of thing and be available to engage the market, to get feedback and all these things, and you might need to appoint someone to do it. Point being is that no matter how you do this or how you structure it, you’re probably doing it naturally already.
[00:29:26] I’m gonna step back and give a piece of science and then button it, button it up and give it back to you.
Warmth and competence
So every single social judgment is made on two criteria. Every human being is judging every other human being on two criteria. And this could be if they’re watching you on video, it’s if you’re on a Zoom call, it’s if, um, you know, they experience you on video message, or if you meet face-to-face, it’s warmth and competence.
[00:29:53] And warmth trumps competence. The colloquial way, way we say this is people don’t care how much you know [00:30:00] until they know how much you care. Care, right? So warmth is how much you care. Warmth is your intent, your motivation, your sincerity, your gratitude, your, uh, enthusiasm, if that’s appropriate, et cetera.
[00:30:12] They’re, they want to know the motivation. Do you care about me?
[00:30:16] Yvonne Heimann: Am I just a number?
[00:30:18] Ethan Beute: Yep. Do you believe what you’re saying? Uh, do you seem to understand me or want to understand me? Is this for me or about me? And can I trust this situation? That’s that. And before anyone feels that, and none of this is conscious, this is all subconscious and it’s very automatic and instantaneous because you’ve all had that feeling, ooh, I don’t know about this dude, right? Like or, mm-hmm. , gosh, I don’t really like her. She’s awesome. Like that, that snap judgment that we make, that we don’t always even verbalize, consciously think in our own minds, we feel it immediately. And so this idea of like, you have passion, you gave something up probably to pursue this idea, this solution, [00:31:00] this possibility, this imagination, whatever you’re pursuing as an entrepreneur, you naturally have this warmth piece, but unless you make it foreign about other people, and unless you find ways to authentically and sincerely put that in front of people, they don’t really care about any of the details. Again, to the degree you can put that forward, you’re gonna create advocates even if they don’t turn out to be buyers.
[00:31:25] And so, you automatically have in you. It’s just inherent because you made the sacrifice to pursue this thing as an entrepreneur at some great risk to yourself and probably to the people immediately around you, your family or your friends, or whoever else you’re taking time or money or attention away from in order to bring this thing to life where it didn’t exist before.
[00:31:48] No one cares about the competence piece until you’re able to put that forth. But the thing is, you have it in you naturally. So you just need to find ways to express, and it doesn’t have to be big. You and I, Yvi, both have [00:32:00] kind of like, we’re enthusiastic and expressive. Not everyone is that way. And so I just wanna say to the the, to the quiet, analytical person, it’s still the same thing.
[00:32:09] You care and people can feel that you care. Therefore, they’re more interested in what you have to say, what you have to share, et cetera. So, that’s another reason that evangelists matter is that, that, um, that warmth and, and that’s what I’m trying to convey with the level of responsiveness that I have to people.
[00:32:25] It’s like, what am I doing here if not to engage and educate and appreciate and learn from other people, like, and that is part of my job the way that I see it. It’s not on my scorecard or job description, but it’s like that. Like if we’re not, if we don’t prioritize that, no matter our title or our role, um, I think we’re putting ourselves at a deficit and we’re playing the wrong game.
[00:32:52] Yvonne Heimann: Oh, I feel that deeply. Yes, I do. Um, I mentioned, I mentioned earlier [00:33:00] you were actually able to take a hiatus, which funnels perfectly into the general topic of the show because my last question to you is, how, what kind of tools and processes in all of this. I’m like, when I listen to you and I know it, again, I experienced it.
Tools and processes
[00:33:18] You are constantly responding. You are constantly replying to people. In DMs, emails and on social media and all the things. That’s a lot. That’s more than just a full-time job. So what kind of tools and processes do you use to be able to handle that, still enjoy what you are doing and take your hiatus on top of it?
[00:33:40] Ethan Beute: Yeah. So, um, that five week sabbatical was a company program, not nearly as many people as should take it, have taken it. Uh, and I know that it’s a practical impossibility for most entrepreneurs, at least early stage. Um, and we’re even, we we’re still struggling too, to figure out how to get some of our very tenured sales people [00:34:00] to be able to take that too.
[00:34:01] Cause like what? Like how do you, anyway, so that was an absolute privilege. Um, I’m not a super tool tech person. I try to keep it really simple and most things that I add are out of desperation. I think, um, you know, where I’ve hit the point of, okay, this no longer, this definitely no longer works. Um, and I think one of the benefits of doing that, this is just a higher level tip, is like, I think a lot of people are looking to scale and automate things that they haven’t felt the real pain of yet.
[00:34:31] And I think until you understand what’s actually going on here, you know, why, why do I really need this? What are people really struggling with? We wind up scaling or automating mediocrity at best because we haven’t done the hard manual work. That’s, that’s why it’s was so important for me a dozen years ago to get on calls with customers over and over and over again to like, who are you? Who are you? Who are you? [00:35:00] How did you find us? How did you find us? How did you find us? What are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing? He’s like, could I have just put out a survey and said, hey, type into this box and just send it to literally every single one of our customers in our free trials and our expired free trials.
[00:35:14] I could have done that, and it would’ve been faster. It’s definitely a scaled approach, and I would’ve heard from more people, but the quality and the depth of understanding that I would’ve received as a consequence of the amount of effort I put into it would’ve been reflective. I wouldn’t have gotten nearly the insights I couldn’t have had all these stories in my pocket, the examples, the permission to share their videos with whoever I get in front of on a stage or on a webinar, et cetera. Anyway, I digress. Um, I real, I’m a really simple person, so, you know, I obviously use email a lot and BombBomb is in my email. We, we use Gmail. Yeah. So the BombBomb Chrome extension works directly inside Gmail.
[00:35:52] So I send most of my videos in my Gmail inbox or with the Chrome extension in LinkedIn messages or in Slack or [00:36:00] whatever. I do use, um, Google Sheets a ton, um, and Google Docs. I know that’s kind of a simple solution. I know there are sexier ones that are more visual and all of that.
[00:36:09] Yvonne Heimann: Um, I’m in there with you. We are, we are full on G-Suite over here.
[00:36:13] Ethan Beute: Yeah, so, so for example, fun thing that I did recently, Um, I took a list of, uh, you know, high value opportunities people, um, that we generated internally here at BombBomb. I was like, you know what? I’ve got a little bit more time into my schedule this week. I’m gonna go take that list.
[00:36:32] I’m gonna reach out to every single one of those people on LinkedIn and everyone who connects with me, I’m gonna send them a personal video and I’m not gonna sell them anything. I’m not gonna push them to get on a call with one of our people. I’m just gonna introduce myself and share a couple of things that I’m passionate about and tell ’em why I connected with them.
[00:36:47] Um, and I decided to do that in a spreadsheet so that I could keep track of, okay, these are all the people I reached out to, which ones actually accepted? Which ones did I send the video to already, and which ones do I still need to send a video to? Who [00:37:00] watched the video? Who responded to the video? And I don’t know what I’m going to learn there, and I know that that’s a privilege.
[00:37:05] It’s a gift to be able to run some time against an idea like that. Um, I’m doing that all the time anyway, so periodically I’ll take an opportunity to say, I do this all the time, but let me do it now in a more structured way. But I’m using simple tools to do it again. Um, Google Suite as a company.
[00:37:21] Salesforce, uh, Marketo for marketing automation. Um, we use outreach for some of our cadences on the sales and on the customer service side. Um, those are a few of our bigger tools. Of course. Um, we have a whole dev team cuz we’re building products, but I don’t know their tech stack that well. We use Slack internally.
[00:37:39] Um, and that kind of like any tool that has so many capabilities. It’s wonderful and terrible at the same time.
[00:37:48] Yvonne Heimann: Yeah. Ain’t that the truth? Um, no, I love, I love where you took this and for everybody listening, they couldn’t see me nodding my head. Um, when you talked about some people are going into automations [00:38:00] way too early.
[00:38:01] Uh, I, yes, I was nodding the whole time simply because I have so many clients that come to me. I’m like, can we just automate this? I’m like, do you really need to? First of all, sometimes some things are easier done with just a simple VA, where yes, you still can hand it off, you still can run them because automating that specific process would just be way too intricate and way too much potentially breaking.
[00:38:28] But also, if you automate crap, you gonna duplicate crap. Meaning go through the process, go through the workflows, learn the ins and out, make sure you are polishing this thing up before you setting it onto autopilot. So yes, I was, I was all the way nodding over here and I’m like, yep.
[00:38:49] Ethan Beute: One more caution to add onto that.
[00:38:52] Most people, let’s just say you automate well, you’re like, this deserves to be automated. We’ve learned enough about it. We tried it this way, we tried it that way. We [00:39:00] think when we implement this in an automated way, it’s going to be very effective cuz we’re gonna take a, you know, this collective learning and implement it in this automated way.
[00:39:08] Awesome. What most people don’t do though, is continue to budget the time to do the gardening on it. And by the gardening, I mean, , look at it, pull out the weeds, tend it a little bit, prune it when necessary. Give it a little bit of love and attention, basic optimization of this thing that’s designed to get, you wouldn’t have automated this if it wasn’t getting something done for you in your business, but it might not be as effective today as it was when you set it up two weeks ago or two months ago, where God forbid, two years ago.
[00:39:39] And so. No one budgets the time and we, we’ve been terrible at this ourselves. We’re so good at bringing things to life, um, at BombBomb, but it’s really difficult to have the same excitement and as a consequence then discipline to, to invest the time to, to maintain and improve these automations that we set up.
[00:39:59] And [00:40:00] so, if you automate something, put time blocks on your calendar just to review it on an some, whether that’s monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, whatever, at least time block to give it a look. And that’s another thing. Is this even working? Oh my gosh. It stopped running.
[00:40:21] Which is, oh, we changed this one thing and that actually affected this other thing, but we didn’t know that that would affect it. And so we didn’t realize that this customer communication hasn’t been going out for a few days, or heaven forbid, a few weeks or a few months. So it’s like so tho so that stuff like takes, if you set something up, time block and make sure you’re paying basic attention to it.
[00:40:44] Yvonne Heimann: And I might have, you have, have to have you on for another episode on that because we literally can spend hours and hours on that.
[00:40:50] Ethan Beute: Totally.
[00:40:50] Yvonne Heimann: So guys, take away from that, just as you learn on my YouTube channel. If you are setting up an automation, you also need to set up a recurring task in your ClickUp to [00:41:00] remind you to check on this stuff and polish it up. With that, guys, if you wanna dive deeper into more of the building relationships and humanizing all of the things you’re doing, make sure you go listen slash watch to my episode with Chelsea Peitz who was talking about how to really bring your personality and your brand into social media.
[00:41:22] And with that, Ethan, where can people find you? And you do have a freebie for your audience, and I think guys, you actually gonna get a whole book for free.
[00:41:31] Ethan Beute: Awesome. Yeah. Chelsea’s awesome too, by the way. I love that. Uh, I love that tie in. Um, so you can find me. I’m just Ethan Butte. Last name is BEUTE, uh, or Boya in the German.
[00:41:44] My wife is a flight attendant years ago, and they’re like, oh Beute do you know anything about? So she brought back all this information. I didn’t even know about my own name. Anyway, um, and so I’m on all the social networks.
[00:41:59] LinkedIn [00:42:00] is probably best, uh, to connect with me. Um, I already mentioned you can email me [email protected]. We are Bomb Bomb on all of the social networks. Um, and what I brought is our Wall Street Journal bestseller, Human-centered Communication. We wrote it, uh, we released it in October of 2021.
[00:42:16] In October of 2022, we were like, these ideas shouldn’t be hidden behind a paywall, right? So we internally at BombBomb, we enhanced the digital version of it and just made it free. And so, if you want to learn from me and Steve and 11 other experts, primarily sales and marketing, but a wide variety of awesome people on how to build human connection across the digital divide, uh, just go to bombbomb.com.
[00:42:39] That’s just the word bomb twice, bombbomb.com/freebook and you can download our Wall Street Journal bestseller, Human-centered Communication, absolutely free.
[00:42:50] Yvonne Heimann: Thanks so much for that freebie. And guys, you know, the links are always in the description, so go on over there, I’ll have all of the description for you.
[00:42:59] Um, [00:43:00] Ethan, thank you so much for joining me and everybody listening. I’ll hear you in the next episode.
[00:43:05] Ethan Beute: Thank you.
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