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There are always excuses for not getting involved in your community. Time, money, effort. Builders also don’t want to be seen as greedy, just in it to make a buck.

But your community needs you. You can share your skills and talents in a way that benefits everyone.

In this episode, consultant and community manager Whitney Brown discusses how to find the right projects to get involved in, how to help your community without coming across as selfish, and how to motivate your team to make your community a better place. 

Show highlights include:

  • The Win-Win Method for local involvement that benefits the community and your business (4:33)
  • How to give back to your local community without feeling like an opportunistic leech (5:58)
  • Why publicly sharing the ways you give back is win for you and your community (6:20)
  • The Community Marketing checklist every builder needs to successfully get involved with their local community (12:03)
  • Why your budget doesn’t matter for genuine community involvement (29:21)
  • The easiest way to start getting involved with your community even if you’re new to the area and have never done it before (32:58)

To get the most out of this podcast, head over to buildernuggets.com and join our active community of like-minded builders and remodelers.

Read Full Transcript

“This takes a village.”

Welcome to another episode of Builder Nuggets, the show where builders and remodelers discover how to build thriving businesses while working less. I'm Duane Johns and together with Dave Young, we share the elements of success that have helped hundreds of contractors like you build better lives. [00:18.0]

Duane: With a deep love for community and over a decade of experience, a master plan development and business operations, today's guest strives to help other organizations use their talents to not only further the success of their business, but also the success of their community.

Dave: You were about to get some serious wisdom from a woman who dedicates her life to the empowerment of others. She's done this in multiple countries and has now become an expert at helping construction companies, show who they are. You're going to hear firsthand how to attract top talent to your mission by getting involved in your community. [00:50.4]

Duane: Today, we welcome Whitney Brown of Immeasurably More Consulting located in the high country of North Carolina. Whitney’s firm is the regional community manager for 10 construction offices in the Carolinas. Community manager is a fancy name for the person in charge of the budget strategy and implementation of a community focused marketing plan.

Dave: Duane, you forgot to mention that she's also a key motivator. When inspiration doesn't work and let's face it, sometimes it's hard to get builders all doing the same thing very well, Whitney turns to persistence and in some cases, even nagging, would you say that's fair Whitney?

Whitney: Yes. That's definitely fair.

Dave: How, how hard is it getting builders started on something new? [01:30.6]

Whitney: I think sometimes it's hard for builders to see the larger picture of something and feel genuine about something or they're passionate about something, but they don't want to add that extra work to their day to day, or they don't really know how to implement that. So I think my role really is to challenge and encourage them to use their talents and their network to better their communities. They already have those qualities and resources they need, but sometimes they just need help seeing that and seeing that they can use those talents to inspire change and to really develop outside of their business and actually helped to develop the community around them.

Duane: That's true. Many of the builders we work with already are significantly involved in their communities, are looking at ways to develop their team and their brand and themselves through engagement. How did you get started on all this? So what's your background? [02:25.5]

Whitney: So my background is Master Planned Development. I did that for over a decade. Honestly, I think like many of us, I just woke up one day and, you know, you work in this industry for so long, it burns you out a little. And I just woke up and I realized that all the resources that I had and the talents that I had and this huge network that I had, I wasn't really using them to do good in any way. And so for me, it just kind of inspired this passion in me to look at, Hey, I have this huge network and I know all of these amazing people that also have networks and how can we use that to give back to our communities to empower others, to create change. And so I just kind of hit the ground running and I met you and Duane, and we just kind of formed this plan and this thing, and not really knowing at first where it was going, but just seeing really over time, the impact that we could make just with even such a small group of people, how one individual can really create huge change just by kind of that domino effect.

Duane: What sort of change have you seen? You started out with builders who maybe had a little bit of involvement in their communities, but what sort of change have you seen since you started working with? I think it's around 10 offices you're working with. [03:47.8]

Whitney: Probably right off the bat, I started working with a builder here in the high country and he's a very passionate person. I think anyone who runs into him or meets them I mean, that's instantly the thing that you think is this is a very passionate person and he had never really been fully involved. He loved his community. And so we really just kind of hashed out this, Hey, let's do a community challenge. And what is something that you're really passionate about and how can we give back? And then we filmed that and we just pushed it out on social media. And we did hashtag community challenge and he just recorded kind of a snippet of himself saying, Hey, I challenge you; I challenge other small business owners, other leaders in our community. Now you go and give back and record it and put it out there and use this hashtag. And so it created this huge chain effect of people going out in their communities and doing good and recording it and just continuing to inspire and inspire and inspire. And it was this small thing that really costs nothing but his time. And he was already passionate about it. And so it was just inspiring others to go out and do the same. [04:59.4]

Duane: Wait, what do you think was stopping him from doing it on his own before?

Whitney: Honestly, I think the fear of not feeling like I'm going to do this correctly or how do I do this, or what's the right platform to do this? I think to a lot of people, not just builders feel like does this seem opportunistic, or am I doing this for the right reasons? And I think the biggest thing for me and, and once the very, actually the very first thing that I ask of anyone I consult with, and Duane can definitely say, this is true, but I say, before we do anything, you have to identify something that you're genuine about. And I won't work with you if you can't tell me why you're genuinely, interested in this, why you're passionate about this, why you want to give back to this specific thing.

Because then it really jumps starts them and they realize, Oh, if I'm genuinely involved in this, it's not because I enjoy this and I'm doing it for the right reasons. [06:01.0]

That's the biggest thing is helping people get over that hurdle of, I'm not supposed to talk about this thing that I'm doing when in reality, let's talk about it. Let's use it to inspire the world around us to get involved. Because they might not know how to do it. And so if you share with them how you did it and how you achieve these goals and you got involved, that's going to inspire them to go out and do the same thing.

Dave: Yeah. Who have you seen it spread to? [06:30.1]

Whitney: So I guess specifically, like in that instance, it was other builders, other people in the same industry, which you don't see often. I mean, if you're in this industry, you know, we're competitive, right? So I think this particular group of builders, you know, in the three of us, we always kind of are around collaboration and, and Hey, let's collaborate and let's get involved. We're not competition. And so that's another thing, as we always say, community over competition. We've seen market partners get involved, so actually just a few months ago, back in July, a builder that I'm working with, down in upstate, this family that he knew through church lost their home in a house fire. He called me and he said, this terrible thing happened. And I love this family and they're wonderful and they're contributors to their church and their community. And this awful thing happened to them. [07:21.9]

And I said, well, let's change it. And at first it was this huge thing of, I can't do that. Like that's so big and that's so beyond me. And so I said, but we can write like one foot in front of the other. And so we sat down and we looked at, Hey, we have this huge network of market partners. And we reached out to them and, and it was this overwhelming response of, Oh my gosh, what a wonderful family. And we had no idea. And we had people donate plumbing and foundations and sinks. And I mean, everything, everything you could think of down to the driveway for these people. And they ended up just getting this amazing home just from this person being passionate about wanting to care for them and wanting to help them. And at the end of it, he just said, I can't believe that we did this. And we wouldn't have been able to do it without those other people jumping in. And the thing was is we never had a, no, we don't want to help or no, we don't. These people just didn't know how to help. And so we gave them the opportunity to give back and get involved in this big way that, I mean, truly will impact this family's life, not just now, but forever. So that was huge. [08:37.5]

Duane: For our listeners out there, we have an episode called ‘The Unsolvable Problem,’ and the first builder that Whitney was talking about was the guest on that episode. And it's interesting how many people can have a problem that they feel is unsolvable. Whitney he has done a great job of digging into what that might, especially on that, that marketing and messaging side. And as she said, I think that's the big thing once you find something that you're passionate about, suddenly you find the bandwidth, the time, the energy to start solving their problem.

Dave: Whitney, does it always have to be something so grandiose? [09:11.9]

Whitney: No, definitely not. I mean, we have, again, there's a, the builder up here in the high country. We last year, he did this small thing, you know, and he jumped into a frozen Lake. But him doing that raised money for an organization that he loves and he's very passionate about. And again, we put it out there so that other people in it, and that just generated so much love for this organization. We're still working through the pandemic to figure out ways that we can give back to this particular; it's the hunger and health coalition here. And so he said, Hey, let's, you know, join with the local chamber and get together. And they do these concerts. And, and we've kind of turned that into a way for people to give back to the local food bank who during this time, as you can imagine, they've lost a lot of their normal funding and, and that type of thing. So it doesn't always have to be huge. It doesn't have to be building a whole house for a family, but I think starting small is always great. And people are always gonna get behind you and jump on board if you're doing it for the right reasons. [10:18.5]

Duane: I can certainly attest to that. One of the things that Whitney has challenged, all of us is something very simple, this week's construction appreciation week. Earlier today, stop by my office and my team had one of the carpenters, he loves doing barbecue. And, you know, he went ahead and put together some fixings and brought it to the office. We invited trade subcontractors came in and you know, that's a little thing and it's huge. They, everyone that attended was just over the moon and the fact that we invited them there took a little time out of the data, appreciate their work. As Whitney said, it can be the little things.

Whitney: Absolutely. Construction appreciation week is always a big one for me, for builders, just because it's already there, it's already happening. And it's a great way for us to take the time out, to show our trades and our market partners that we love you. And we're thankful for you and without you, we, this, none of this would happen. And I think those small gestures go a really long way. [11:16.5]

Dave: Appreciation is a key thing. And you want to find people to go on a mission with you and the best way to show people, I mean, you can tell people what your mission is, but most of the time, they'll just feel like that's a mission statement. But if you're able to show them, that's really what gives them a glimpse inside of who you really are and is attractive to them. Whitney share some things like you mentioned, the first community initiative, getting started with that, but you do much more than just direct somebody to a community initiative. You have a marketing plan with them; walk through what you think a builder needs to have in an ongoing marketing plan with respect to the community. [11:59.5]

Whitney: Absolutely. So again, you know that initial thing is identifying that thing that you're genuinely passionate about and how you want to get involved in that. And then from there, I think you look at what is your network? So who are you already involved with? And how can they help you build on that contribute to that and are they even interested? And then who outside of that network, do you want to start collaborating with, right. That's a big part of it. And how do you, how do we start those conversations? What does that look like? I think a strategic plan is very important. You can't just kind of say, I want to do this and then just go do it without any direction. So as painful as that is for many builders, it is very important. And putting that in place and looking at not just, okay, what's this community thing we want to do, but like, what are our goals for the next year, for the next three years, for the next five years? [12:56.8]

And how does, what we want to do for our community fit in those goals? And from that a plan just kind of generates itself because you're, then you're thinking about bigger picture. And again, like I said earlier, sometimes that's the hardest thing for builders, is because they're always in that day to day, looking at that bigger picture of like, okay, this is where we are today, but where are we going? Can be difficult for them. And so that's where my nagging aspect comes in sometimes is to just say, let's just sit down and look at this. What are your goals? And what are your goals for the community around you and how can you make those goals happen? And from there, a lot of things just kind of organically happen. And without anyone feeling pushed or pressured or, or anything, they just, the people want to get involved. I mean, it becomes like a magnet, honestly. [13:50.8]

Dave: Yeah. And it's interesting because this is not just a burden that falls on the business owner. This is something that this is a, a program that's shared by all the staff of your company. You have project managers that are looking for moments of appreciation with trades. I know we're going through that this week, but you're coaching your teams of, or your ownership teams or your builders to look for appreciation. You're standardizing imagery. You're doing things like, Hey, if a project manager or office admin has a passion or has a cause, let's talk about it and bring it up. This is not a one and done program, is it? [14:31.3]

Whitney: No, absolutely not. This takes a village, it takes an army and everyone has to, to get involved and want to be involved. And like you said, not every person is going to share the same passion as that builder or the partner of the company. But you have to look at what is this person's passion and what do they want to, and honestly so much will stem from that, if you make it a team oriented thing. You can't go about it as this is my mission. I have personal experience with that early on when I started all of this. I went to a developer I was working with at the time and, you know, I really was excited about this idea I had for Haiti and I was really geared up about it and it wasn't his thing. And so I came away deflated and discouraged and I shouldn't have been because it wasn't his passion and he had another passion. And you know that was the thing that I really should have hit on and talk to them about. So I think as a builder, don't get discouraged, it’s not everyone on your team has the same passion, but, but feed their passion as well. Cause it is a team thing and you really want everyone to be involved on some level. [15:41.6]

Dave: Are there any recurring things that are baked into, Hey, this is happening every week. Like how do you make some of these things habit? How do you set some of these things? So they're just naturally happening as part of your DNA.

Whitney: You mean from a builder's perspective, like how do they set them up? You get help.

Dave: Exactly.

Whitney: Yeah.

Duane: There's your gold right there. You need somebody to handle this, somebody to do it. And that's one thing that I've noticed from the builders that Whitney and remodelers that Whitney has worked with. She's made it easy for them to start embracing it because they don't necessarily have to do it. They just have to take the time as she said, to figure out who they are, what's their message. The rest of the stuff will happen. You'll have somebody that can handle your social media and set up your events and things like that. But you've got to take the time to figure out why do you do what you do? [16:34.7]

A quick reminder that the best way to get the most out of this podcast is to engage with the Builder Nuggets community, visit our website at BuilderNuggets.com and follow along on Facebook and Instagram. [16:48.1]

Whitney: That's exactly right. Get the message down and do not try to do it all. You're stay in your lane, that's what I always say. I am huge on, I stay in my lane. You stay in your lane. I am not ever going to try and go pick up a hammer and build something and I know what I can do and that’s how I'm going to help you. But I also, you know, put your message down on paper and then, and then we handle the rest because builders have enough going on in their day to day without having to worry about what is happening with marketing and what's the plan and have a, definitely have a touch point with that person. But give them the message and the tools and let them go take care of it for you. [17:30.9]

Dave: I think a lot of it is getting started and it can be overwhelming to think of these are the things that I know that I need to do in my business, but I don't have time to do them. It's one of the hats that we're wearing. And by outsourcing it to somebody who's an absolute pro really you're putting together the framework. They're actually the ones getting involved in the community and, and following the steps that you clearly lay out for them. So it really can be that simple to follow along. I know that many offices look at what they're doing in a weekly office meeting. These are some of the things that's helping to get the whole team behind it. How are you seeing the teams come together? What does it meant for the culture in these offices? [18:09.6]

Whitney: I think it's a game changer for culture because part of that right community is not always just an external thing. Community is also within our offices and the people within our offices. And so I think it is a culture builder because then once you start becoming involved, everyone becomes involved and then it becomes a team building thing almost. So I think that's huge. I keep thinking back to one of the market partners that was involved in building the home that we talked about earlier. And one thing that he said that just really resonated with me was he was older and he had a lot of younger people that had recently joined his team. And this was kind of the first community thing that they had ever been involved in. He said for them, it was so eye opening and really changed the whole dynamic of his team to get involved in that project because it was the first time they had ever been involved in something so much bigger than themselves. And it made them realize that, Hey, as a team; we can make such a huge impact in the community around us and even within our office. And I don't think that they had ever really seen that happen before. [19:17.2]

Dave: And that energy can be so infectious. I mean, it just.

Whitney: Oh absolutely.

Dave: It just, it just snowballs.

Duane: One of the other things that Whitney brings to the table is she'll call herself a pit bull sometimes. She will, she'll be relentless. She'll come after you. She wants you to get it done. But the thing I have the most respect for is that she's challenging you to be your best. And it doesn't mean, as you said before, that doesn't mean you have to do the most glamorous thing or some giant over the top thing, but whatever it is, you are doing do it to your best ability. And by doing that, you give off just a vibe, the people around, you know, that, as you said, Whitney, maybe they don't totally align with what it is that you're doing, but they're going to align with your passion for doing it. [19:57.7]

Whitney: Absolutely! Well and you know, one thing I always say is expect the best thing, the best work with the best. And sometimes that's hard to really get that in your mindset, but if you're always striving to do your best and be your best, then, like Dave said, it's infectious and everyone else will strive to do the same. So it becomes a magnet. It really does.

Duane: You’ll post best photos. Take the time to get professional photography. All of those things that you're going to do, you can take just a little bit more time and do it better.

Whitney: Exactly.

Duane: And that's the stuff that really pays off. [20:30.5]

Whitney: It is, it is. And sometimes it seems like such a big hurdle. And again, if you have a project that's finishing up and you need photos and just scheduling, that seems so overwhelming, let that person handle it for you. Let them say this is who we recommend. They're going to do the best job and let them schedule it and let them just give it to them, to let them take care of it. And you do what you do best. I mean, you built the house, now just let them help you photograph it

Duane: Well. And speaking to the power of that, maybe if you could just touch briefly on the fact that you get out ahead of it, but the folks that you work with you've got 12 months or so planned out already. That’s huge

Whitney: Yes, yes.

Duane: As a builder, remodeler myself, I'll say it. I'm thinking about tomorrow. [21:14.8]

Whitney: Exactly. So I'm a bigger picture thinker always. So I sit down actually next, you know, in October we do this and I sit down with every builder that I work with and I talk to them about what's coming up. What's our year look like? Again, what are your goals? How does our community goals fit within that and then we plan it all out. And they know every dollar and every plan and, and then I handle it from there. They make that initial decision and those initial kind of message assertions as far as what we're wanting to put out there. And then I just remind them, Hey, it's January and this is what we're doing. And I've taken care of X, Y, and Z and this is kind of what we talked about. And they take it from there, but planning it out is really helpful because like you said, you're thinking about today and maybe tomorrow and that's it. So if you can get someone that will plan it for you and be there to help look at the bigger picture when you're not always thinking of it, but it makes a huge difference. [22:14.0]

Duane: Yeah. This is a quality versus quantity thing.

Whitney: Yes. So I think too, like, especially from a marketing standpoint, when people think about social media, they think, Oh, I need to be posting. I have to be posting and I need to post every single day. And I actually don't recommend posting every day. Think about what's of value to you. What's of value to your audience and is what you're about to hit post on bringing those people value. Because right now there's just so much information out there for us to get bogged down in, in our inboxes and in our social feed. And, and you don't want to just be noise to people. So I think it's really important to think about and plan out. I mean, Duane knows this, I plan content out 60 days and before I'll open an Instagram account for you or do your Facebook, I want to look at how much content do you have? Is this of value? And what's the message here. I don't recommend you start until, you know what that is. And then all the builders that I work with, they know, 30 days in advance, what I need from them and by what date, and it's all scheduled and there's value behind it. And there's a message behind it. And we're not just posting to post. [23:30.9]

Dave: If the business owner went on vacation for a month, would this plan still work?

Whitney: Yes, it would work. They they have complete freedom. I just had a builder who that I worked with, who in literally into the wilderness for three weeks, he's completely unreachable. He has a satellite phone for emergencies and he came back and he said, that was the best vacation I ever had because I didn't have to worry about anything. And his business continued to go right along without him. It's like pushing the easy button and he's just, he doesn't have to be involved at all. And to me, that's the goal for all of us, for anyone who is a business owner, you want to be able to step out of your business and it not catch on fire. [24:16.9]

Duane: That's exactly why we're doing what we're doing. That same builder, she's talking about called me as well last week. Over the moon, he's worked with us for several years and he's managed to put the pieces together for his business, for things like marketing, for things like accounting, operations, all those things. He now has the support and things that he needs, that he can go and do those things. So when you see people that do, you know, believe in it, they, they take the time to get the right people and processes and systems in place. And then they do, they reap the benefits.

Dave: Setting it up properly in the beginning is it going to be one of the keys to all this so that it can run, is that it can run really well without you. And then you become sort of a, you take on a leadership role as the business owner, when you have a bunch of committed team members that are all looking for these things to do, all valuing each other. And I got to believe Whitney, that in today's work environment where it seems like there's a struggle to find younger people interested in construction, this has to be a way to attract them to this sort of ideological lifestyle and bring them into the business. [25:23.8]

Whitney: Yes. So I think it is a really great way to attract people coming through. That's one of the big things that we've been working on with a group of builders that I work with. And Duane is one of those just looking at workforce development. And we all know that's an issue in our industry is not just finding the younger generation that wants to work in this industry, but also the valuable ones and the ones that want a long term career. And they want to be a business owner and they, and they really want to do it for life. And so I think making them see value in that can be hard, but you can really use your marketing and the way that you get involved in your community as a megaphone for that, and just helping them understand and see that, that, Hey, it is a great industry to be involved in. And here's all the amazing benefits that come with it. [26:12.7]

Duane: And the big challenge I've talked to you about it Whitney, I've talked to folks at the state and national level with the HPAs, and we've got to make it cool.

Whitney: Yes.

Duane: You know, over the last 30 years, construction has not been a cool thing to pursue. It's up to us as an industry to start showing, like you said, that it can be a successful career. It can be challenging, very rewarding, but we've got also, we've got to make it cool. [26:36.0]

Whitney: I think a lot of that stems from, for me, I started in this industry very young and I really lucky to have some amazing mentors and people that were really gonna encourage me and feed me information. And, but also hold me accountable. Right. That's a huge part of it. The biggest thing for me is like, you have the ability to bring someone else's vision to life, and what's not to love about that, right? And so I think allowing them to see that, Hey, this isn't just long hours or all the negative things that you've seen, but this is really about bringing a vision to life for someone. And some of these people that we work with, I mean, this is their dream forever to build this dream home that they've planned for and they've saved for. And why would you not want to be the person that gets to bring that to life for someone? [27:28.8]

And so I think showing them that, Hey, this is bigger picture what it's about. And, but also being their mentor, I think that's a big thing that gets lost in this industry is people don't see it as an industry where they would have a mentor and that's a game changer. And I know that the group of builders that we work with were really very much about that, about collaborating and mentoring one another. And I have no doubt I can pick up the phone at any time and ask any of them a question or talk to them about anything. So I think showing that as key. [28:00.8]

Duane: Hey, Dave, when we started to really bring the idea of having someone come in and, and help builders and remodelers with their community engagement, marketing challenges, think back to some of the, I don't know whether it was pushback or objections, maybe straight out fears from some of these builders.

Dave: One thing that we haven't talked about is cost and investment and return on investment. And a lot of times I've been on the other end of the phone where I've been working with the builder and saying, Hey, what about this opportunity? And the response has been well, how much does it cost to participate in that? And can you show me how we're going to get clients that are participating in this event? And that can be the wrong way to go about it, but I think it's still, well, it's clearly the wrong way to go about it. But it's still important I think to give our listeners an idea of costs, of what it takes financially to get this going. Is it expensive? Is it easy? Are there different ranges? Like we've seen it with our offices. It depends on how much you want to get involved. So maybe Whitney, you could address that. [29:02.0]

Whitney: I work with all types of budgets. So just because you don't have a giant budget, it, doesn't not really a game changer because I think the way that you plan and you go about it, a lot of this stuff happens organically. And I think as you were saying that the one thing that I thought about, and it always makes me laugh a little is the first question that you always get from a builder is, what's the ROI? That's their number one question, because they've never done it before. They don't understand how it works. And they want to know in 30 days is it's going to make me a million dollars, that's the question. And so I think helping them to understand the long-term goal there and the value that it brings to them from a brand awareness perspective, from a networking perspective, you know, it's, yes, it's about, you know, we are generating clients, but that's not always the end goal. And so for them to be able to see all the benefits that come of it is super beneficial. But no, I mean, a huge budget is definitely not required to make this happen and to get involved and to have a great marketing plan. [30:12.0]

Duane: Think it was you and I that talked about at one point, it's almost like setting up savings accounts for your children. X amount of dollars that fits into the budget is going to be put into your 12 month marketing plan. So it's, it's already been budgeted and it's put aside, and now it doesn't hit you as, Oh next week I've got this expense, huge expense that I've got to deal with. You've already talked about it. You put it into the budget, it's banked, it's forgotten about that's what makes it successful.

Dave: Yes. Well, cause it's put away and you're exactly right, it's like a savings account. I mean, and then at the end of the year, you could have surplus and then, and that's always a great thing. Out of sight out of mind is always best in planning. You know, no one likes a surprise invoice. So planning for that definitely prevents any surprises.

Dave: One of the things that we noticed when we look at the results and the initiatives that you're running is everybody's having a good time. This is really fun. It is really rewarding. And it's amazing, you know, Duane and I have watched this program grow over the years. And in a very short time, you have really elevated this group and you can tell they're having a blast. You must be having a good time too. [31:19.5]

Whitney: Yes. I love doing what I do. I am very passionate about it. And so that again, going back, that's why that's always my number one question is what are you passionate about? Because if you are doing something that brings you joy and you're passionate about, and you're seeing change and you're driving change and you're innovating, work is not work, then people do become elevated results, happen faster. All the things that you want to see happen, if you are doing something that you're really passionate about, and that brings everyone joy around you, it reflects like light, right? I always say that whatever you're doing reflects on everyone around you. So make sure you're doing something positive and innovating and challenging people to do their best and be their best.

Dave: And that empowerment will always be cool.

Duane: Let's say somebody fumbles around there really haven't they've tried everything. They've tried SEO. They've tried Pay-Per-Click they've just throwing darts. What are maybe some quick tips that people should do that can get them started on a path like this, especially with, with, with the community engagement involved. [32:25.4]

Whitney: Yeah, absolutely. So number one, again, sit down, take 30 minutes and identify, maybe start with a list of three things that you're passionate about and then dwindle that list down. Second, are you involved in that working in some way in your community? So if you're in a small community that might be your chamber, which is very inexpensive and easy to do, what type of collaboration are you doing with other people in your industry? That's always huge. That's really easy. And then get with someone that will put a plan together for you, because otherwise it's gonna feel like work and you're going to abandon it and you're going to walk away. [33:05.5]

So I would say those three things are key. Another thing I would say is Don’t. You know, as Dwayne's talking about SEO and pay-per-click, and don't align yourself with a company or an individual or a group of people that aren't hearing your message. So if you're asking for something very specific and you're passionate about something specific, and they're not willing to come alongside you and innovate and find a solution to that and help you put a plan together, they're not the right person to be working on it. And so don't just do something because someone else is telling you to. Think through it and put your money where it matters. [33:43.6]

Dave: To add to that, Duane, in the, in our theme of building a more valuable business that can thrive, even when you're not there, I think inspiring your team and including your team in that plan is probably a key piece of that as well. Because if you have to be there for all of it, then you've just, you haven't taken the hat off. Obviously as a business owner, you want to participate in it, but this really becomes powerful when your whole team is doing and it's not relying on just you.

Whitney: Absolutely.

Duane: I'm Testament to that. I can say over the last few years, Whitney has helped us just get to a point where I no longer really even think about this stuff. I used to drive myself bananas just with all the different options and what should I do? And is this the right thing to do? And is that the right message? What should I put on Instagram? It's totally overwhelming. And it's so far out of my lane. It's not what I need to be doing.

So once Whitney got involved, it allowed me to focus on it, better, get the entire team to understand just the message that we're trying to put out as an organization. And as an owner, I can just, I can check it off the box. She outlines the things that need to be done, and it's taken care of. [34:49.8]

Dave: Duane I remember when you and I first started talking and in this arena, you had tried everything. And I think a lot of builders are probably they've tried everything. Being builders we weren't able to make it all stick, there wasn't that layer of accountability there, wasn't the team buy-in, there wasn't a dedicated plan. That's the framework, that's the glue that brings all of this together. [35:12.8]

Duane: It always seemed like it was a race against somebody else, there's always a bigger fish. You know, whether it's pay-per-click or whether it's Instagram posts or whether it's, you're going to try to put on some advantage, there's always somebody else out doing it, doing it better, putting more money into it. And then once we got our head around the fact that we're, we have to personalize this, we have to make this ours.
What is our story? As you said, what are our passions? And then it's not about dollars. Then it's more about the things that you really care about and all this stuff, tt is amazing how much easier it all becomes.

Dave: There are a lot of different solutions out there. If you'd like more information, reach out to Duane and I, we will take some time to hear about your particular situation and connect you within the industry. So, or at least point you in the right direction so that you can get started with your plan. [35:58.5]

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