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From Non-Profit to Digital Marketing Maverick: A Journey of Authenticity and Growth | Brooke Sellas

Today’s Guest Brooke Sellas

Brooke B. Sellas is the spirited CEO & Founder of B Squared Media, an acclaimed digital marketing agency specializing in social media endeavors. Embodying the motto “Think Conversation, Not Campaign,” she penned a book, Conversations That Connect, illustrating her marketing ethos. Besides leading her agency, she hosts the Marketing Agency Show by Social Media Examiner and enlightens virtual classrooms at the University of California in Irvine with her digital marketing savvy.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The Power of Authenticity: Brooke discusses her initial reluctance to be labeled as "likable" in a professional setting. She later realizes that her genuine personality and ability to authentically connect with people are crucial assets, teaching us the importance of embracing our true selves in our careers.
  2. Aligning Values with Business: The conversation highlights how brands like Nike and Patagonia resonate with their audiences by standing firm on social issues. Brooke's insights into the alignment of personal and brand values offer a fresh perspective on how businesses can genuinely connect with consumers.
  3. Life’s Influence on Career Paths: Brooke's move from Texas to the Northeast and her passion for horseback riding are not just personal anecdotes but pivotal moments influencing her professional journey. These stories underscore the significance of personal decisions and relationships in shaping our professional trajectories.

Links for Brooke

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Matt: [00:00:00] Well, hello and welcome to Push To Be More. I'm your host, Matt Edmundson, and we are about to dive into another fantastic conversation about the journey called life. Oh yes, and joining me today, I have an exciting guest, Brooke Sellas from B Squared Media. We're going to be diving into her unique. Life Experiences, The Hurdle, That, or The Hurdles that Brooke has had to push through, What She Does to Recharge Her Batteries, and What Steps She is Taking to Be More.

Now don't forget you can find all of the detailed show notes and a complete transcript with Brooke and myself, the whole conversation at PushToBeMore. com And whilst you're there, why not sign up to the newsletter and each week we will email you All the show's insights, links, goodies, all that sort of stuff, direct to your inbox, totally for free.

How cool is that? [00:01:00] Oh yes, let's just turn up the music a sec. Oh yes, look at that. Now this episode is proudly powered by Aurion Media, the magic behind the scenes that lets entrepreneurs and business leaders like you and me amplify our voices. By hosting our own podcast, but you might be thinking, why would I do that?

Well, apart from the really cool music? Ah yes, let me tell you, the podcasting journey for me has been nothing short of transformational. It's not just about marketing, although that's a big part of it. It's about community. It's about connection and amplification. It has given me a platform to celebrate my customers, my team, my suppliers.

And it's created a ripple far beyond what I could have imagined, so, you know, it's an awesome thing to do, but I get the technical stuff might be a bit daunting, the setup, the distribution, the tech, the strategy, and nobody, but nobody, including me, likes production. Uh, but there are a few, [00:02:00] apparently. They do do it, and that's one of the things that Aurion Media does.

They step in, they're the backstage crew that makes sure your show goes on flawlessly. You get to do what you love, uh, engaging with incredible people, and they take care of all the nitty gritty details. So if you've been wondering whether podcasting is the missing puzzle piece in your growth strategy Check them out, www.

aurionmedia. com, that's A U R I O N, www. aurionmedia. com. So that's the show sponsor, let's talk about today's guest, oh yes, the bit we've all been waiting for. Brooke B. Sellas is from, or is, sorry, should I say, the spirited CEO and founder of B Squared Media, an acclaimed digital marketing agency specialising in social media endeavours.

Oh yes, embodying the motto, Think Conversation and Not Campaign, she has penned a book titled Conversations That Connect, illustrating her marketing je ne sais quoi. Now [00:03:00] besides leading her agency, she hosts the marketing agency's show by Social Media Examiner. She is in fact a podcaster, oh yes. It's a fellow podcaster and enlightens virtual classrooms at the University of California with her digital marketing savvy, Brooke.

Welcome to the show. Great to have you. Love the bio. Excited to talk to you. A fellow social media enthusiast. Oh yes. How are we doing?

Brooke: We're doing great. We're already connecting on so many levels. The social, the marketing, the podcasting. I love it.

Matt: The accent. Yeah, everything. It's


Brooke: Yes. I think, uh, I better not try my, my accent. It's not very good. I have a Southern accent. I could really, you know, beef up if we need to.

Matt: okay. Is that because you lived in the South or just something that you've learned over the years?

Brooke: No, I'm from Texas, I lived there for 29 years, so I actually tried very hard to lose most of that accent.

Matt: Okay, okay, well [00:04:00] I quite like the Texan accent, I've got some good friends in Texas, but not as much as I like the barbecue, I'm not going to lie.

Brooke: Oh, man, yeah, I really miss the barbeque.

Matt: that, and Tex-Mex

Brooke: Yeah, yes, thank you, I love that you said Tex Mex, the best, uh,

Matt: We have a, a young lady who, uh, works with us, part of our team, and she grew up in Texas, lived in North Carolina for a little while, moved over to the uk, married an English fella, uh, ended up, ended up working for me. God bless her. She really needed. Anyway, uh, she's got over that. She still works with us, but she has moved back to North Carolina.

Her husband and the family have, have now moved to the states. Uh, and um. She was like, yes, she wanted to be near family, but Anna Grace was like, I so want good Tex, Max.

Brooke: I mean, I'm gonna, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret, most of the secret sauce of Tex Mex is just lots of cheese, [00:05:00] I mean, that's really it.

Matt: yeah, well, why would it not be? Good cheese, put cheese on everything. Why not? Why not? Uh, so, you actually, you know, let's start with our usual question, but you have your own podcast, which you do with Social Media Examiner, which, just explain who Social Media Examiner is, what your link is for those.

Beyond That Circle Who Might Not Know,

Brooke: Yeah. So, Social Media Examiner is one of the biggest media groups who really only talks about social media. That's their, that's their gig. That's their whole spiel. And they also produce the event, Social Media Marketing World, which is the world's largest social media marketing conference, I believe. This past year or this year was their 10th anniversary.

I think next year will be the 11th year that they put it on. And that happens in sunny San Diego here in the States.

Matt: yeah, absolutely, [00:06:00] and so you host this podcast for them, and one of the questions we like to ask guests, Brooke, to open up the conversation, now you've obviously had a lot of guests on the show, so maybe you've done this already, but I, I like to ask, if you could have anybody on the show to interview, Have a conversation with, uh, past or present.

The only caveat being that they must have had a big influence on your life. Who would you have on the show and why?

Brooke: I think I would go past. And I would want to talk to the person or persons at John Deere

Matt: Uh, okay.

Brooke: of the front runners to create content marketing, right? They really kind of formed that whole idea of producing content to market their products. That was content, right? It wasn't just sales messaging or advertising.

It was content, helpful, valuable information that led to them getting in front of more people and getting more people to buy from the brand. [00:07:00] So I would just wanna, I would love to know, like back in that time, gosh, I think it was like, Early 1900s, or it might have been late 1800s. I can't remember the exact timeline, but I would just love to know, like, how did that conversation even happen?

Because now it's so popular, and I think we probably take the origin story for granted.

Matt: Yeah. That's a really interesting No, I'm not gonna lie, no one has ever said John Deere and the founders of John Deere, uh, when I've asked them this question. Maybe mum and dad, but never John Deere. Now, I have, um, a beautiful memory where John Deere is concerned. Uh, I, yeah, I, it's interesting, uh, you, you've just triggered this, uh, memory in my head where When I was 18, I actually moved from the UK to the States.

I lived in North Carolina and I volunteered. Working at a children's home, okay,

in North Carolina, Nazareth Children's Home, it was called. [00:08:00] And, uh, as is typical with, uh, places in the South like that, they had a lot of land, uh, and a lot of grass to mow. And so, I would spend, I'd spend all the time Either helping the kids learn maths and English, uh, or when the kids were off doing other things like at schools or whatever, I would be sat on a John Deere tractor mowing acres and acres and acres of grass.

Now this was in the early nineties when I did this. So you know, there was no phones, there was no MP3 players. I had a Walkman, a Sony Walkman, you know, with the old cassette and I would sit on the tractor listening to the cassette. I would. You know, I had a Walkman where you didn't have to flip it over, it flipped itself over.

And then every now and again I'd change the cassette out for something else and I'll just drive up and down these fields in beautiful sunshine, cutting grass, and it was marvellous. Absolutely marvellous.

Brooke: yeah. I wish everyone could have that [00:09:00] experience. I mean, you're probably scratching your head if you haven't had that experience, but like for someone who lives in the South, the tractor experience, right, is just kind of part of our world. And it's almost like, gosh, you're making me nostalgic, like I wish, I wish we all could just have a few moments a day to sit on a tractor, mow some grass, and listen to some good music.

It's like meditation.

Matt: yeah. No, it's powerful. Powerful stuff. Uh, powerful stuff. So the founders of John Deere in relation to marketing, excuse me while I drop my pencil, uh, in relation to content marketing, not helpful if I want to take notes. Um, so you, you obviously, do you have these memories yourself then, uh, associated with John Deere?


Brooke: Yeah, I don't know per se that it was a John Deere tractor, but my grandfather had a farm in Texas. Um, Grandfather Stevens, he's since passed, but that was our thing. When I would go visit them for the weekend and [00:10:00] stay with them, I always was like, can we go on the, I want to go on the tractor. Can we get on the tractor?

So, you know, I was little at the time, gosh, I was probably like somewhere between the ages of like maybe five and seven. And he would just. Sit me up on his lap and we would get on the tractor and we would drive through the fields and they had a little hound named Monday and Monday would kind of chase along with the tractor and those are really fond memories, just like you said, it's like just nostalgic I guess for me because I haven't been on a tractor.

I really can't remember the last time I've been on a tractor, to be honest.

Matt: yeah, yeah, I think the last time I was on one was in the early 90s, so a fair while ago, yeah,

Brooke: while for me, too.

Matt: So you, you, you started off in Texas, obviously your, I mean your grandfather had a farm there. Um, so I'm assuming you're 3rd, 4th generation Texan, um, how come you, you moved away, uh, up North and tried to rid yourself of the accent?

Brooke: Ah, well, um, I moved to the [00:11:00] Northeast when the bottom fell out in 2009, so the economy tanked. I was working in non profit at the time. Um, they told us that layoffs were coming, so I knew. You know, I might start to figure out what I wanted to do next and I had one regret that I lived with my early life and that was not finishing school.

I had left my one year left of college for a boy, which was really stupid, but you know, Things happen. And my parents, uh, I called my parents on the phone just to kind of consult with them and say like, I think I might get laid off. And they always said, well, what do you want to do? And I said, you know, I really would like to go back to school.

So I'm trying to figure out, you know, what can I do to, you know, work, but also go to school at the same time. And they said they had moved up to Pennsylvania by this time. And so they said, Hey, why don't you just come live with us, take a year off from working and just finish out school. And you know what?

As you're taught in the South, you never looked a gift, you never look a gift horse in the mouth. So [00:12:00] I said, done. And when I got laid off, I basically picked up everything and moved to the Northeast thinking I would go straight back to Texas when I was done. But I met another boy and this time we ended up getting married.

So I stayed up here.

Matt: That, well, fair enough then. Fair, I was just about to say, is this, is this a tale of boys just scattered around the States? But no, no, good, no, we're, we're good. Okay, good. Um, so you finished school. So, and you've ended up in the world of social media. You now As we read in the bio, you have the company B Squared Media.

Um, why B Squared? Where did that name come from?

Brooke: Oh my gosh, this is the. Not a really exciting story, so I apologize for those of you listening or watching. But, um, before I was married, I was Brooke Ballard. And my, one of my nicknames, one of my many nicknames was B Squared. And so when it came time to come up with a company name, I [00:13:00] obviously didn't know anything about SEO at that time, but I decided to go with B squared media and now there are like B squared burgers, B squared this, B squared that, but I stuck with it because, you know, it is what it is.

Matt: Yeah. Why not? Right. Why not? Uh, so you're the CEO then of B Squared Media, uh, which specializes in social media. Um, was that what you did at college or was there a bit of a quantum leap from one to the other?

Brooke: No, actually, when I worked in non profit, before I got laid off, I worked at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Dallas and I had 12 events and I was responsible. for raising close to about a million dollars a year through those 12 events. And one of the things that they said to me when I first started working there was, we're hiring you because you're young, you know, you're connected, and we really need to figure out how to get young people involved with the charity because You know, historically, it had been like parents of children with [00:14:00] CF and their grandparents.

So it was a much older audience and they knew that they needed to, you know, get the attention of the young people to have continued support. And very long story short, I decided to form a committee of people my age, a young Young Professionals Committee, and as we started to talk about, you know, what can we do that will get people's attention, because it wasn't going to be the story of cystic fibrosis, right?

That only affects 33, 000 Americans, not enough people know what it is, so beer was the obvious answer to how to attract young professionals to cystic fibrosis, and we decided to do a pub crawl. And, um, we actually used Facebook, a burgeoning Facebook. This is before they had, you know, pages and advertising.

It was just profiles at the time. But we created a profile and we used it much like you would use a page, a brand page today. And we were able to recruit in only three months time, [00:15:00] 7, 500 people to attend our pub crawl and raised 60, 000, which is 12x what most first year events ever do revenue wise. So the seed was kind of planted then and I had already had a, you know, communications and marketing track with school.

I went back finished and then, um, and then, yeah, everything else followed from there.

Matt: So did you leave school and then start the business or was there something in between?

Brooke: I worked for another company in Texas, uh, and she was an entrepreneur who does, uh, sales, like frontline sales for entertainment companies. So like laser tag, bowling, movie theaters, things like that. And um, she had asked me to come in and kind of build out a revenue stream. For her clients that involved social media, helping them with their social media.

So I did that and it was going very well, but as we kept closing clients [00:16:00] for her, it was a seven day a week service. So every time we closed a client, I should have been excited, but instead I was like, Oh no, that's another hour or two on Saturday and Sunday that I have to work. So once I got to the point of like working 80 hours a week, My family and my boyfriend, now husband, started to come to me and say, You got to prove your concept on someone else's dime.

Now it's time to move on and just kind of do it yourself. And finally, with enough pushing, actually I think they had to push pretty hard, I jumped and, and started B Squared.

Matt: Fantastic. And is it, has it been a sunshine and rainbows ever since?

Brooke: Oh, always. Yeah. No. No, of course not. Um, you know, it's, it's, it's all of the weather. Uh, Patterns, Cyclones, Hurricanes, Tropical Storms, Tornadoes, but also really sunny nice days. So,

Matt: Yeah. All the seasons, all the seasons. So if you, I mean, you know, you've, you've obviously moved across the States. You've, um, [00:17:00] you finished school, you've got your business, you're, you know, you've got, um, It's all going on. I'm curious, in that, what are some of the big challenges that Brookes had to face, um, that, that maybe defined who you are as a character or as a person?

Brooke: Yeah. That's a great question. I think one of the things that I constantly hear, which I don't necessarily love, but I do understand, is that people say, oh, well, you're likable. I want to work with you because you're likable. Um, and in some ways I felt like, well, well, that's not good. Why am I, you know, am I smart?

Am I not organized? Can I not get the job done? But what I really came to learn and understand over the years is that likeability, likeability And really what it is, is being my authentic, true self, is really what draw people in. Um, it's that the person that you see on this podcast right now and the person that you hang out and have lunch with or [00:18:00] text mex with, um, it's the same person, always through and through.

And I think It's really less about likability and more about being your true, authentic self. And as an aside, I've done a lot of testing, um, through some organizations that I work with. Uh, I work with Best Buddies, New Jersey, which is a, a charity. And they gave us all a test called the Predictive Index Test.

I don't know if you've heard of it, but ultimately I scored and am labeled as someone who's an altruist. I'm altruistic by nature. That is who I am. And I think that. You know, learning that likability was maybe an ugly word for me in the beginning, now I've come to realize that it's not really that you're not smart or you're only likable, it's that I'm my true authentic self.

And my true authentic self is just here to help you succeed with social media.

Matt: So, um,[00:19:00]

I'm curious, if someone said to me, oh, you're a likeable person, I, I, I My first response would not be to go, I'm not quite so, you know, I don't know what's wrong with you. Um, I'm curious, why, why did you struggle with that?

Brooke: You know, I don't know. It just felt like Anybody can be likable. It didn't feel unique. It didn't feel serious, you know. When you talk about someone who you want to work with, who you want to invest in, imagine taking 100 and giving it to someone to invest in them. To me, you're like, I'm going to invest this 100 in you because you're likable.

It just didn't feel serious, right? Um, it didn't feel like something people would bet on. And, um I just thought it was fluffy, too fluffy, but I think what I've come to realize is you know, only marketers really going, going around talking about authenticity and being authentic. You know, [00:20:00] most human beings who are living in the normal non marketing world just say words like likable or likability.

So I think that's what I had to come to grips with.

Matt: I'm reminded of that phrase by Zig Ziglar which said, you know, people buy from people they know, like, and trust, and, um, you know, the, the know, like, and trust factor, I hear that phrase a lot, you know, that you've got to be liked, um, but I get what you mean, it, it's, I, I always struggled with the word nice.

When people said to me, Oh, you're nice. I'm like, I don't want to be bloody nice. I, I, I want to be, it just seems a bit, a bit beige to me, you know, a bit kind of, and so I get what you mean. And there are certain words where you just go, Oh, what? That's, I don't want to be that. I want to be slightly polarizing.

I want, do you mean? And there's, there's all those kinds of things that, uh, that you sort of react to like that. So, so here you are, you, your true authentic self. [00:21:00] What does that mean to you though? Because it's a, I have to be honest with you, it's a phrase that I think is banded around because it's

fashionable, right?

Live your truth, you know, your true authentic self. It's like almost as an excuse to it, if I can put it that I'm not, obviously not all the time, and I'm not accusing you of this, but it's a phrase I hear to almost justify a way of life without responsibility. I'm just being my

true authentic self, right? I'm living my truth. And so I'm kind of curious When you say that, what, what does that mean to you?

Brooke: For me, it means that the core of who I am is how I live both personally and professionally and you know, all of the personality tests I've taken and the predictive index test that I told you about which is more of a professional side all lend to that my internal motivator [00:22:00] altruistic. I want to help people.

My happiness comes, you know, if I'm in a group setting, I'm the person who wants to make sure everybody in the group gets a say on what we're going to go eat, right? Even though I want Tex Mex, if, you know, four other people want barbecue, then barbecue it is because The group as a whole, democracy, I guess, is very important to me in my world, fairness and democracy.

So I think part of that lends to me in a business sense being very curious to understand what the goals are of the client and what goals I have for maybe that client, but then working together to make sure that we find a common ground to. You know, get those business outcomes that they're looking for, but doing it in a way that I know is going to work best, right?

It's not my way or the highway. It's not your way and the client's always right or the customer's always right. It's a democracy. Let's [00:23:00] work together to get to the common goal.

Matt: Yeah. Okay. So, has this, um, it sounds to me, I, we used to use this word a few years ago, um, values. You know, you live according to your values and the, and your, your compass, your values or your compass and all this sort of stuff. And it was great. And I, I remember, you know, I've, I've done speaking events on values, you know, and culture and values, and it's been great.

And I've had prime ministers listen to me talk about this. But let's not go there. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, claim to fame. Not really. But anyway, um, it, it's very much understanding. These are my values. This is what I resonate with. This is what I stand for. And therefore this is what is going to permeate in to my life and using those to understanding those and enabling those to have power over decisions that you make.

Um, and it's in a certain guidance. However. It's very hard for most people, if they've not taken the time to [00:24:00] think about it, to define their value. I think they've become evident, but it's, it's hard to define them. And sometimes it's not always easy to live up to them. And I'm wondering if that has been the case for you, uh, with discovering this.

Brooke: Yeah, I think it's so interesting with the thread that you're pulling on because I talk about this a lot in my book actually, um, that brands today have a much different, um, position in the world, right? They used to tell, you know, this is what our brand stands for, here's our brand promise and people believed them.

But today, you know, 60 percent plus of consumers, at least in the U. S. You know, I think clients are distrustful of brands because they don't do what they say. And I think a lot of what brands are missing out on and part of why, you know, I think clients like working me other than the fact that I'm likable is that I make them look at what you're saying.

What are your brand values? What are your core brand values? Because we cannot move forward and look at [00:25:00] creating audiences and from those audience community members and from that community customers if we don't know what our brand values are. Because today's consumer wants to connect with the brand.

Based on those values, that's literally what's driving them. It's not necessarily price. It's not the bells and whistles and all the buttons. It's really the experience that they have with that brand and that spirit experience needs to have both values of the customer and the brand align in some way.

Matt: Yeah. Absolutely. It's a really interesting thing, isn't it? And I. I remember, um, I remember this becoming evident years ago when we just started out with our little web design agency. I'm just getting into website design. Um, I've got my son, my first born son, who was just, He was, he was a fairly new baby at the time and we'd started this business.

We had no real money coming in and we were broke and I needed to feed the, you know, the family. [00:26:00] And somebody approached me and said, listen, I need, I've got a website project that I'd love for you guys to do. And we all got very excited. This was like the answer to my prayers, you know, cha ching. And, anyway, the guy that, the guy asked me to do a porn site. Okay, so now you're faced with this real dilemma, okay, um, this dilemma which says, well actually my, my personal values are, hell no, I, I need to run a thousand miles away from this, this is just wrong on so many levels. My head is going, but this is going to be very lucrative, right, and um, it's this really It was the first time I think in business, Brooke, that I'd ever really been tested, you know, when you're broke and have no money and there's a large pot of money on the table to turn it down on the basis of, actually, no, this is just, this is not me, it doesn't, it doesn't fit with who I am as a person in any [00:27:00] way.

And I think it's in those moments of pressure, of test, when you really find out whether you can do this, right? It's under the They always used to say to me, I say they, I'm trying to remember who it was that said it to me. It was a beautiful analogy. They said that, um, you know, you have a ketchup bottle, it's red on the outside, it's got a ketchup label on the outside, but it's not until the pressure's applied and it's squeezed that you find out what's on the inside. Um, and I thought it was very true, and so, um, I, I'm very thankful that today I can sit here and say I said no to that project, um, a sort of a values based decision. Have you come across, have you, have you experienced, not necessarily porn sites, but have you had times yourself where actually sticking with your values has cost you?

Brooke: Yeah. In fact, it's funny that you say a porn site because I had someone come to me in the very early days and they wanted us to help with [00:28:00] social media content for Hustler.

Matt: Oh, well, okay,

Brooke: So um, you know, would have been extremely lucrative as you know, and ultimately we decided, you know, not to move in that direction.

And I'm really happy that we did. And I'm still, listen, I'm, I'm almost 12 years into my business and I'm still. figuring out who the best clients are to align with, right? Sometimes we're surprised. Um, sometimes someone can pass off as very likable and very wonderful. And then when you get down to it and you get into the deep work, they're not.

who they presented themselves to be and I think, you know, this also lends back to that, the thing that I mentioned earlier about so many people distrusting brands, like just be who you are because people will align to you even if there are people who don't align to you and there's enough to go around. So, you know, I think.

That is [00:29:00] not an easy task, but it's one that I'm willing to get on my soapbox for because I have proof upon proof upon proof of brands who really said, Hey, you're not our customer. We don't care if you buy from us and succeeded nonetheless.

Matt: hmm, mm hmm. Who do you think's doing it well at the moment? Mm.

Brooke: know, one of the examples I use in the book is Nike. Um, everybody was up in arms when they did that campaign with Colin Kaepernick, right? So, if you don't know the story, Colin Kaepernick is an African American football player. He decided to kneel during the anthem, um, to basically, you know, protest silently, respectfully, in my opinion, against police brutality with African Americans.

And Nike, you know, stood behind him. And the news that we saw, the stories that we saw in the media, were people burning their Nike shoes. But what you didn't see in the media was that Nike actually, their stock went [00:30:00] up by several percentage points and they made more money than they ever had because Nike knew who their audience was.

They knew who their customer was and they were willing to say, Hey, guess what? Go burn your shoes. By the way, we already have your money for those. And we're just going to align more closely to the people who appreciate

Matt: who we support and what we do

Yeah. Yeah. That's right. Sorry, I shouldn't laugh too much, but that is quite funny. Yes, go and put on those perfectly good pair of shoes, which you've purchased.

Brooke: You already purchased them, I

Matt: yeah,

Here's a coupon for the next pair you want. Oh, wait, no. No, you have to pay full price. Um, and it's, uh, it is quite fascinating. And I think it's interesting.

One of the things I think I've noticed, I read a report, oh, I'm trying to remember desperately who it was, the Global Trust Index, where the trust, uh, in politicians was at an all time low. Um, and yeah, the trust in corporations was [00:31:00] low, but it was higher than The Trust in Politicians, right? So, uh, and so what we, what I've, what the, the article was talking about was basically if you lead a corporation, you probably have a slightly higher responsibility to lead well right now, um, because you can actually impact positive change, uh, whatever positive change means, you know, it's an interesting phrase, isn't it?

But, um, and so you, I do notice now a lot of the larger companies are starting to be more polarizing in their opinion. Um, uh, and are starting to get involved in aspects outside of their, uh, product as a way of protest, as a way of, um, support. I'm thinking perhaps with the brand that I'm thinking of the most at the moment is Patagonia.

So, you know, the, the guy gives away all the shares to, in effect, Earth, wasn't it? I think he said, he said, and so now planet Earth in effect owns Patagonia, which I think is, [00:32:00] is quite a, I take my hat off to him because the man has lived totally according to the, the values and principles that really mattered to him.

And he's had a big impact as a result, right?

Brooke: yeah, oh, a huge impact. You know, two things, I, I also talk about Patagonia in the book, but if you look at who their audience is, right, these are people who really love outdoor activities. They really love nature. So he knew intrinsically. Intrinsically, but he was only aligning himself closer with the ideal customer profile that Patagonia was looking for.

And on top of that, I think he and Nike and other great brands that are doing these, you know, more opinion and feeling type, um, you know, core value. Moments. Um, understand that dissolution is not a bad thing. Dissolution is actually good. We cannot be friends with everyone. We cannot sell our products to everyone.

We want to sell our products to the people who are most [00:33:00] closely aligned to our core values as a brand, because those people spend more, they buy more, and they tell more of their friends about your product or service.

Matt: And do you think, um, this is a fascinating conversation, but I'm totally enjoying

Brooke: Thank you.

Matt: Um, uh, we've totally gone off on a tangent, but that's okay. You know, it's my podcast. I can do it. Like, um, uh, how do we as leaders of and owners of small, I don't own Nike. I'd love to, you know, uh, and I, if I own Nike, I would definitely do things.

You know, in an interesting way, I'm sure, but I don't own Nike. I own a few eCommerce businesses, a podcasting agency, and blah, blah, blah, blah. How do I, how do I have that positive influence? How do I have that positive impact, do you think?

Brooke: I think first, Know thyself, right? Because inherently your businesses are a piece of you, right? So whatever your [00:34:00] personal brand is and whatever makes Matt, Matt, you know, that already has leaked into those businesses. They were built from Matt. They were born from Matt. So know thyself, you know, what are your core values personally?

And then what do you want the core values that you have personally? to be inside of those companies or those entities that you own. What's the, you know, what's your big thing? Maybe it's, you know, nature. We give back and we plant trees. Or maybe it's clean water. You know, we make sure that we are, are giving some of our profits to make sure that clean water is accessible everywhere in the world.

You know, whatever that is. Find that lane and then stick to it and that also can get sticky. I'll tell you with one of our clients, you know, they are really big on clean water. They're really big on, they have a big pride, um, uh, community within their company and they support pride. But then they started getting asked by employees to support other causes.

And [00:35:00] ultimately, you know, as we were consulting through this, you know, trouble spot. I just said, look, you've already identified what your core values are and the pride community and the things that you do for, you know, recycling and Mother Earth are the other vein. These, you know, if you were to get involved with every single thing that every single employee wanted you to get involved with, you would really not be who you are, right?

You'd be diluting the brand core value. So dissolution with customers and sometimes, unfortunately, with your internal communities. Throughout the business happens, as long as you stick to those core values and you know what they are, and you know that your audience, your ideal audience is going to align with those, you really don't have to worry about that dissolution because you'll always be attracting the right.

Energy, right? Energy attracts energy. So if you stick to that, you don't have to worry so much that someone doesn't like you [00:36:00] or you weren't able to provide, you know, this community to this person.

Matt: So, bringing it back to b squared then, what would you say are the values in your business, the things that you really want to hone in there?

Brooke: Yeah, we actually have a bunch of them written out and I'll just go over a couple of them with you. But one is we call it, um, think conversation, not campaign, right? That is our tagline also. But what that means is yes, ultimately we're helping our clients. You know, build campaigns in many of our services.

But really, how can we both have that conversation internally with the client to really align on what they're looking for? And how can we then turn that campaign into a conversation? You know, for the brand. Because if you think of it as a campaign, I mean, as a conversation versus as a campaign, you're asking for opinions and feelings.

You're sharing opinions [00:37:00] and feelings. When you share opinions and feelings as a brand, it's easier for you to get Opinions and feelings from your audience. And what does that do? Well, it helps you build trust, right? But it also helps you collect voice of customer data. So if I know the opinions and the feelings of my audience through these conversations, the campaigns almost become invisible.

Because they're happening through conversation, which is very natural, right? This is what we do as human beings. One of the other ones we say is build a better mousetrap. And, you know, I hate being the boss, quite honestly. I, I, I wish everybody could look at me as just another team player because I know I'm not the smartest person in the room.

And I know that if we come together as a group in a community and we have these conversations. We will find ways to improve on what we do. Um, and then the last one I'll say is just open early and honest communication. Like I don't care [00:38:00] what it is. As long as you come to me early and you're open and honest about whatever that it may be, that's all I can ask you for.

I can't ask you to change your circumstances. I can't ask you to be a different person, but I can ask you to come to me and be open and honest. Early with any problems that you've identified.

Matt: So does that mean then that you are Or maybe let me phrase the question slightly differently, do you find it easy to be open and honest early yourself? Do you find it easy to model that?

Brooke: Yeah, I think that's what some people would say is maybe a fault of mine is that I'm, I'm honest. Some of my friends call me the velvet hammer, um, cause I try to deliver it very nicely, right? I'm a likable person. Um, but I tell the truth and sometimes unfortunately the truth hurts. And I think that's the same with brands, you know, clients often come to us, we, we, [00:39:00] we help them with social care, meaning we're their front line on social media for like acquisition and retention type questions.

And they'll be like, Oh, we don't, uh, we don't look at the negative, you know, we, we, we hide those comments and I'm like, what? That, what? That's just crazy to me because, so you're showing your stakeholders all these wonderful things that people say about you, but guess what? If you are perfect and wonderful, there's no catalyst for change and you don't need a job. However, if you look at the negative and you can find the root cause of what's really making your customer unhappy, you can fix that root cause, they'll know that you are listening and they'll continue to come back and buy because you fixed this root cause thing. Like the negative is where the superpower is.

It's the only catalyst for change, right? There's no catalyst for change in, in the good, unfortunately. It's the bad that helps us see how to change and be better.

Matt: That's a very, I like that, that it's in the negative that there's a catalyst for change. So let me ask you [00:40:00] if I can, and maybe a slightly deeper personal question. Has someone been that to you, where they have given you the negative that you didn't necessarily like, but that has catalyzed some kind of change in your life?


Brooke: husband.

Matt: ha ha. Yeah.

Brooke: People ask me, like, how did the two of you end up together? Like, they just can't see it. And we are very opposite. He's really critical. He's more of the, like, honest. He's the hammer without the velvet.

Matt: Right.

Brooke: Um, but we've learned how to communicate to each other to where he can give me this feedback and just make me be honest with myself, you know, because we.

We, you know, we're human beings. We, we have our own perceptions. We live in our own worlds. It's our own reality. And sometimes we do need that counterpoint person to be like, hey, so you're heading down this path in your own little world, [00:41:00] and you're really not being true to yourself. So I think it's important that everybody have that person.

Um, you know, because even though I think I'm being true to myself, We all have like little masks that we put on in different parts of our lives and you just have to have that person there who knows you inside and out and can tell you. I also have a best friend, uh, who's very much like that. She's further away, I don't spend as much time with her, but like, I think it's important to collect people who will kindly tell you when you're being a jerk or when you're not being yourself.

Matt: I love that you're just being a jerk. Ok fair enough.

Brooke: Yeah, well, yeah.

Matt: Yeah, it's with this, um, this new ideology of being authentic to yourself, living your own truth, it can quite often, I think, lead to a state of delusion, right? So you, you, you believe certain things to be true, which just clearly aren't, but you're justifying it by saying, I'm living my truth and actually having somebody in our [00:42:00] lives like your husband, like your best friend, my wife is the same.

Break. I'm not going to lie. She will just tell me straight as a die. This is, you, you are being a plonker. So I'm like, okay, uh,

all right. Uh, yeah, yeah, Yeah,

It's not pleasant to hear. Uh, but it's, you can't go by a fair play, right? We've been married 25 years. Um, I figure she probably knows something. And so I'm a lot more than me to be fair.

Um, but I think without that accountability, it becomes, it becomes quite tricky, doesn't it? Um,

Brooke: Yeah.

Matt: Fill your, let's switch tracks a little bit. I'm, how do you fill your tank? How do you recharge your batteries?

Brooke: Nature. Uh, I love nature. I've always been an animal lover. I am the person who watches a, a movie and you know, all the people have died and everyone else is crying, but I die when like the horse dies or the dog dies. Or one funny story that my husband loves to tell is we were watching the Simpsons one time, a cartoon and a whale died in the Simpsons and I cried.

[00:43:00] Like, so, so animals and nature are definitely like. Those fill my tank. So if I can be around nature or make sure I put my feet in the grass once a day, that really fills me up.

Matt: Yeah, that's just, it's a really interesting thing that a lot of, that's an answer that a lot of people use. Just getting out for a walk, getting in nature, getting in the hills. I'm converting my, I have a van at the, uh, I got rid of my car and I got a van with the idea that I can put an office in the back of it so I can drive up to a place in England called the Lake District, which is about an hour and a half north of where I am.

And it's stunning. I mean, it's one of the most beautiful places on the planet and, uh, just because there's just something about it. And I take the van and I, I'll often go drive down to the river. And there's a spot in Liverpool where there's no traffic down by the river so you can just open the doors of the van and you're right by the river and you can just sit and work and read and contemplate.

And there's something deeply powerful about that, isn't there, about getting back to nature that just fills [00:44:00] your tank to supernatural levels. It's amazing.

Brooke: Yes. I horseback ride and, you know, a lot of riders at my barn really do it for the sport of riding. And I, I, you know, Groom my horse thoroughly before I ride, and again, thoroughly after I ride. And a lot of times I'll hear the other rider say like, why do you spend so much time on that? I was like, 'cause for me, it's not about the ride, it's not about the sport, it's about the connection that I have with my horse and that fills my tank.

Right? It's not really about the ride, it's just about being. in control and also like best friends with an animal that can clearly kill you, but loves you too and wants to do what you say. Yeah.

Matt: Is that, uh, the horseback riding, is that connected somehow to your grandfather's farm? Not that Grandfather, a different one, but yes, it's interesting, just bringing that back to the start of the story. Brooke, we've now got to the part of the show, because [00:45:00] I'm aware of time, uh, where we do the question box. A bit everybody is slightly nervous about, but actually really enjoy secretly.

So this is where I take my box full of questions, uh, I'm going to flick through them. You're going to tell me when to stop, wherever we stop, that's the question we're going to hit.

Brooke: Oh, I like this game. Okay. Stop.

Matt: Okay. Okay. So, this is an interesting question. Do you feel happier spending or saving?

Brooke: Oh man. Okay. Yeah. Well, I'm a spender at heart. My husband is a saver, so I've gotten better, but ultimately like. Okay, what is the saying, he who dies with the most toys still dies, like, that's how I feel, like, what are we going to spend it on when we're not here anymore, like, what's the point?

Matt: it's very true, I can't take it with me, can I, no, I

may as well spend it.

Brooke: Might as well spend it. As far as I'm concerned, we have this one life, as far as I know, [00:46:00] you know, so like, let's just live it up. Let's just do it.

Matt: It's interesting, isn't it? I, I don't know how I, how would I respond to this question? I'm, cause I think I'm a good mix of both. I can definitely spend money, usually on tech and gadgets cause I'm a bit of a, yeah, why would you not, right? Um, you've got a new Shure microphone in front of you and it's just things like that, right?

Just all the time, just all the tech. I've just gone and bought a new sound desk that arrives tomorrow, which is great. I'm not so bothered about cars anymore, hence the reason I have a van. I've got to the stage where I, I've. I've got that out of my system. I just want a van. Van's cool. Um, it's, but it's interesting.

So I can spend money, but I'm also that phase of life going, Hmm, I wonder if I should start thinking about a pension at some point, you know, and, and, and, and all that sort of thing.

Brooke: Yeah, it's true. But also, like, horses, unfortunately, are expensive. So even if I want to relax and meditate, I have to spend some money to do so.[00:47:00]

Matt: Oh, my wife is definitely the saver. Um. Uh, amongst us, my wife, we've been married 25 years, my wife's never had a credit card. Um,

Brooke: Wow.

Matt: yeah, she's never been interested, I mean we have a debit card, so she'll only spend what we have, you know, we've had this sort of, uh, thing about debt, um, but yeah, she's, she's incredible and so every now and again I'll say to her, I think I'm gonna get this and she went, she'll go, no, I don't think so, and I'll, okay,

Brooke: But we have to have those people. I mean, it's just like, you know, the truth tellers, right? Like, we need those people to be like, hmm. I

Matt: yeah, absolutely. Otherwise I think I'd be flat broke by now. There's just no doubt,

Brooke: A thousand percent without Alex, I would be, I would be broke. I'd be happy with my horse, but I'd be

Matt: broke,

Yeah, fair play. If money was no object, what would be the one thing you'd buy tomorrow? [00:48:00] Okay,

Brooke: stable, my own, like, riding arena and stable. And, and if I really have unlimited money, like all the different horses I could ever want.

Matt: okay, okay. Me, I'd buy an island in the Caribbean, probably.

Brooke: that sounds lovely too. You can

Matt: know how I'd get there, but at least I'd own the island, I don't know, um, next to Richard Branson. You know, I could wave to him. Hello. Um, listen, Brooke, if people want to reach out to you, people want to connect with you, what's the best way to do that?

Brooke: You can google Brooke Sellas B R O O K E, last name. S E L L A S, it's the easiest Greek name on the planet. Or you can go to our website, bsquared. media, or you can just search me on LinkedIn. That's probably where I'm most active and I'm happy to talk about any of these topics and more.

Matt: Fantastic. Fantastic. We will, of course, link to all that information [00:49:00] in the show notes, uh, as well. Listen, thanks Rich for introducing us. Thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. Um, I've enjoyed looking at those paintings behind you as we've been chatting as well. They're quite mesmerizing. I'm not quite sure what's good.

They look like oyster

Brooke: Oysters. Yes, correct. Yeah.

Matt: They're

very, yeah, it's lovely. Um, but, uh, that aside, uh, thank you for joining me on the podcast. It's just been an interesting conversation and, and actually quite fun. And, um, and thank you for coming on and putting my thinking.

Brooke: Oh, well, thank you for having me and thanks for making it fun. I had a blast.

Matt: Well, that's good. That's, we've achieved our goal, uh, which is awesome. Uh, so thank you very much. Thanks Brooke for joining us. I think, oh, I like to do this thing. Hang on. So let me get the sound effects. Do you have the right? Uh, Procaster on your desk, is that how you do sound? Or do you just straight to the computer?

Brooke: No, just straight to the computer.

Matt: So I have this desk that when I press this button it does this. Yeah, [00:50:00] yeah. Huge round of applause to Brooke for joining me today. Yeah. Oh, right. So, uh, I just totally lost my track of thought then, uh, thanks Brooke for joining me today. We will of course link to Brooke's information in the show notes, which you can get on the website, pushtobemore.

com and also a huge thanks today for our sponsor, Aurion Media for all you change makers out there contemplating podcasting as your new vehicle of expression and connection. Definitely connect with them at aurionmedia. com and of course, we'll link to them on the podcast website as well. Remember, keep pushing to be more.

Don't forget to follow the show wherever you get your podcasts from because we've got some more seriously compelling conversations lined up and I don't want you to miss any of them. And in case no one has told you yet [00:51:00] today, let me be the first. You are awesome. Yes, you are. Create it awesome. It's just a burden you have to bear.

Brooke has to bear it, I have to bear it, you've got to bear it as well. Now, Push To Be More is brought to life by Aurion Media. For transcripts and show notes, swing by the website pushtobemore. com Big kudos to the team that makes this show possible. Sadaf Beynon and Tanya Hutsuliak and a shout out to Josh Edmundson for our incredible theme music.

So from Brooke and from me, thank you so much for joining us. Have a fantastic week, wherever you are in the world. I'll catch you on the flip side. Until then, keep pushing. Bye for now. [00:52:00]