Transparent Marketing Strategies: Timeless and Sustainable for Business Growth from the In The CLEAR Business Podcast with Justin Recla”
It’s a noisy world out there, especially in the very saturated online world. How, then, can you make yourself be seen, heard, and found? In this episode of the In the CLEAR Business Podcast with Justin Recla, Tracy Hazzard provides the ways that are not only trendy but also timeless and sustainable. At the heart of it are the transparent marketing strategies that she not only preaches but also practices. She shares some of them with us while also letting us in on the world of podcasting, the things to do and should not do, and more.
Listen to the podcast here
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We are talking to one of my favorite people on the planet. She is the CEO of Hazz Design. They run their podcast, Feed Your Brand podcast and Product Launch Hazzards. Our guest is Tracy Hazzard. She is one of two partners in a dynamic duo with her husband, Tom. They do many amazing things in the product space, podcast space, our power partners, and power parents as well. I’m honored to have her back on the show with us. Tracy, how are you?
I’m doing good. Thanks for having me, Justin.
Thank you for being on the show. I love the fact that we get to not only connect at CEO Space but that we can connect in-between times as well here in the podcast space as well, which is always fun. Tracy, tell us a little bit about what you’ve got going on.
What don’t we have going on? It’s a noisy world out there. It’s hard to be seen, heard and found. We’re always looking for ways to do that that are not trendy, timeless, sustainable, and that do it again and again. The big thing that I say all the time is when you’re going to hire someone, you want someone who’s been there, done that again and again. That’s why I love working with you because you guys have a strong, deep history of what you do.
Speaking to that, our readers want to know a little bit more about your background and your history, especially around the Product Launch. Tell us a little bit about what you’ve done with launching products.
Tom and I have been doing this for way too long, launching products the hard way before the internet exists. It’s a combination of doing a lot of original product design, which is what we specialize in. Inventions, we have 37 patents. We might even have more. I lost count. We’ve been doing that for this whole time, but it’s shifted. The marketing of it has shifted. The way things go to market. We used to be able to license. It’s hard to do licensing agreements now. We used to be able to walk into Target and they would take a meeting with us. They don’t do that anymore.
The whole dynamic of how things have happened have changed over time. We have evolved in a way that has managed to keep up with that. It’s mainly because we’ve been at the forefront of doing a lot of the internet things ourselves. We’re building our own businesses online and doing a lot of marketing that way. Because of it, we’ve stayed in touch with what’s working and using these good principles that we’ve espoused since the beginning. If it works offline, it will work online too. You just have to find the method to make that communicate and come across.
That’s one of the reasons why I love not only having you on the show, but the fact that we were connected in the business world like this. That transparency piece is something that is essential and something that I know that you have leveraged throughout the course of your business careers. I know that you’ve assisted your clients with something that you not only preach, but it is what you practice, as seen by your profile in the Clear Business Directory. Let’s talk about some marketing strategies through transparency. How can businesses market themselves transparently? What are some of the methods that you’re assisting people with?
This is the thing that I have done since the beginning and it’s one of the reasons why we were attracted to Clear Directory. We put out a lot of information and everything is linked. I have 37 patents and I’m not kidding. You could go to my site. The majority of them are linked because sometimes they’re not published yet. As soon as they get published, I link them right up in there so you can find them and you can verify. You can check on me that that is true and you can see what they look like. They’re not all designed patents. They’re utility, which has a deeper meaning to many people and many inventors who are attracted to us.
We try to put information out there. We’ve done that from the beginning, being transparent about what you’re providing, but also being prolific in that. When someone wants to do business with me, they can find me on the internet and they can find all of my information. I put it out there. I have a column. I write a column for Inc.com. Every single week, there’s an article coming up that shows my expertise and that I exist in the world. That’s where I feel like we’ve gotten into this place where some “gurus” out there just put out ClickFunnels pages. They’re espousing some course that they won’t reveal to you.
They write a book that is a glorified sales letter and that’s not what we’re about here. We’re about the opposite of that. We’re about providing you almost too much information sometimes. I’m accused of that all the time. In an effort to get people to find us and seek us where they are in the process because we can do many things. Design is one of those things that is hard to quantify. Did you get value for it? You know, because you’ve had a hard time vetting web developers and web designers. I know this from personal experience.
There are always a lot of complaints about them because the communication between them and their clients is not as clear about did you get value for that? Websites don’t usually transact and perform just because they’re a pretty design. It doesn’t work like that, so does product. It’s not quite at the beginning. Eventually, it should but it’s a little harder to do that. In an effort to market ourselves, we market ourselves openly.
That transparency piece is what translates into a lot of your success. It’s because you show up authentically and transparently. You’re raw and real with your clients. That goes a long way, especially in the product industry. Where can people go to find more information about you?
We are talking to Tracy Hazzard about transparent marketing strategies and some of the things that they used in their own marketing, and some of the stuff that they’re doing with their clients to help them operate in transparency and connectedness to highlight who you are and what you do. Tracy, can you tell us a little bit more about your podcast and what that serves for your clients?
We started podcasting a few years ago. We have one podcast that I didn’t even mention here that’s about 3D printing. It’s techie and it was our dry run podcast test. We did over 535 episodes. It’s a little on hiatus as we’re reforming it and somebody else is going to take over in my place. I know you know Steve Crimi. Steve and Tom are going to take over the podcast, so we’re reformulating for that. That’s how we started. We were like, “Can we get a lot of information out? Can we learn while we’re getting information out? Can we be ourselves and will it attract people?” It was a test early on.
It works so well that people were coming to us and saying, “What do you have for us to buy? Where’s your course? Where’s your book? Where are your products? What can we buy from you?” We were like, “We didn’t think about that when we started that podcast. We have design services if you want that.” That’s how it began and we realized that there’s a lot more here and a lot more that we can do because they see the value and they become attracted to you. Our whole goal at the end of the day is to attract the right people. What it turned into for me was that we not only started that podcast but I guested on a bunch of other ones.
I did a dozen in three months’ time and by the end of that year, when I calculated the business that came my way, it was $120,000 in straight business that came from someone who heard me on one of those podcasts and had been searching and looking for what I had to offer. I had a 100% close rate. Can you imagine that? It was unheard of in my business because it used to take me about 6 to 9 months to warm up a new client. Granted, these projects were a lot smaller than I was normally doing, but they were valuable and we were enjoying the work. It was a great variety.
I said, “I want to do this all the time. How can I do more of this?” We started doing a lot more of what it is now, Product Launch Hazzards. At that time, we were testing out YouTube. You’ll see a lot of YouTube videos there too. We’ve translated that into a podcast and we already have over 100 episodes. It’s a lot of fun. We get to talk every day about how difficult this is to launch a product. It’s not easy, all the hazards of it.
You talk about all the things that you shouldn’t do or the things that you can do and all of the things to avoid.
Our tagline is Launching is Hazardous For Everyone Else. It’s fabulous because I have seventeen experts who I work with every single month on this and everyone does a podcast hour a month. It’s fabulous because they offer Q&A. It’s a chance for people to vet and screen themselves. The epitome of what I’ve learned over the years has culminated into this podcast itself. I love how it’s going and I love the traction. We have not spent a single dollar on marketing and yet, I have referrals happening every single day to one of those seventeen experts because someone said, “I found you. I listened to you. I saw your videos. You are what I’m looking for.” That to me is the ideal. We’re putting out the information that people are desiring. They want it so badly and they want to come to you and start to trust you by the amount of information, by the detail of it, and by the transparency of it.
From a collaborative standpoint, that’s what too many people struggle in business once you hoard their information to themselves.
That’s a classic inventors thing. I talked to inventors’ groups all over the country and they try to keep it completely secret all the time. What I’ve discovered over many years of doing this is the more vocal you are about it, the less likely it is to be stolen, and it is absolutely essential in creating a better product that will sell better. That information-gathering process in it is key to what we’ve been doing all along. It’s in contrast to what everyone else does, which is part of why we stand out.
From a business sense, it’s almost counterintuitive because it’s one of those things where if I tell you what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it, people aren’t going to hire me then if I’m giving it away. That one is a scarcity mindset but more importantly, in sharing it and giving it away, you will get more business in anything because at the end of the day, people don’t want to do it alone. They want somebody to hold their hand to the process. They’re going to turn to those that they consider to be the experts who operate in transparency and authenticity. That is something that like you, what we’ve done with our business and it’s the backbone for our own success. I love the fact that you and Tom are bringing that to the product design world and the podcast world. It’s helping many different people along the way. I’ve been honored to be able to watch you grow from when we first met to the behemoth of a podcast organization that you have now.
That was one of those things where we went kicking and screaming into starting a separate business.
Moving to another one, right?People don't want to do things alone. They want somebody to hold their hand through the process. #InTheClearPodcast #JustinRecla #podcastinterview Click To Tweet
Exactly. You know that as well as I do. Tom and I are all about the infrastructure systems team, and the whole thing. We developed a whole system and we developed a process. We aren’t capable of sitting back and saying, “What’s out there is good enough.” If we need to reinvent something or invent something brand new, we do. We invented an admixing system for a podcast so that you could mix your ads across all of your episodes. We call that Podetize now, which I love that name. I’m fond of it. This is a good example of where you can rebrand yourself and it’s no problem because the information is about you and all out there.
It doesn’t matter what the name of the product is at the end of the day. We did all of that. People kept saying, “If you’re doing that for yourself, why don’t you do that for me?” It was that pushing their business on us. We were like, “We need to start opening it up and get it out of beta.” We did that and we now have about 150 podcasters that run on our network. Everything from Esquire, O Magazine, and Popular Mechanics to entrepreneurs and energy healers. We have doctors and chiropractors on our platform who are utilizing it for their everyday marketing because they don’t want to think about this. They want an engine that runs for them.
To that end, what I realized along the way was that they needed way more support than just a system. They need a hand-holding and coaching. How do I grow my business? Where does marketing come from? It became a referral-based business for us. For every ten requests or ten people that come into us, we probably refer nine of them and only take one of them and say, “We can do this for you.” That’s the power of what we do with Feed Your Brand as a podcast.
We’re out there saying, “If you’re interested in growing your show, more than crank away and put great information on your site out there for you, what else should you do? How should you grow your show? Who else is there for you? Who can take you to the next level?” That’s what we’re all about there. It’s the same model. The model isn’t different no matter how we operate our business. It is making sure that we provide deep services and deep information from a place of experience.
If somebody is wanting to work for you, who would your ideal avatar be? Somebody that’s looking for podcast services and marketing strategies. What is that person looking for and how can they find you?
It’s those that are trying to build a platform. If you know what that term means, you probably are right for us. It’s typically authors and thought leaders. When you want to get lots more speaking events and all of those kinds of things, you have to have what I call a platform. It’s like a stage. It’s no different. You need it to grow and be large, but you need it to be focused. If you want to do business from it, if you want to make money from it, whether it’s feeding your existing business or your existing brand or you want to expand your network and grow your business into a new arena, there are two different strategies. We look at that, but it still means you’ve got to have a website. You’ve got to have social and you’ve got to have a lot of transparent and great valuable, authentic information that draws people to you because, at the end of the day, that kind of business is a you-first business. I want to do business with you. I don’t just want to do business with what your service is.
Tracy, I love these conversations. You and I could probably talk about this for weeks. That’s one of the things I love about you and Tom. You’re both processes, systems, and infrastructure people. The same thing for Tony and I. It’s like a disease. You go out to dinner and you’re like, “I’m looking at the waiter and I’m wanting to know how to do these things.” I’m dissecting the business model.
It’s the co-creation process. It happens between the two of us just like it does between the two of you.
I love that because I see how you serve your clients and the value that you bring to them. It’s absolutely huge. Tracy, thanks for being on the show. Where can our readers follow you?
Is your contact information on those sites?
Of course, there is and there’s a link too in the Clear Directory.
Until next time, if you’re wanting to grow your business, uplevel your game and your marketing strategy in building your platform, make sure you reach out to Tracy. You can find her profile and Tom inside the Clear Business Directory. Before you get involved with anybody, make sure that business is in the Clear.
- Hazz Design
- Clear Business Directory
- Feed Your Brand – Apple Podcasts
- Product Launch Hazzards – Apple Podcasts
- Stitcher – Product Launch Hazzards
- Steve Crimi – LinkedIn
Watch the episode here: